Review by hamhamninja

"This is one of the best GBA games ever"

Introduction

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is another RPG Castlevania game and is possibly the greatest one since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This game takes all the great elements from the past 2 GBA Castlevania games and mixes it together to make a great game.

Graphics 10/10

These are probably the best graphics I have ever seen on the Gameboy Advance besides the Golden Sun games. The graphics are simply amazing. The weapons look awesome, the enemies look awesome, the castle looks awesome, heck everything look awesome. The sprite animation is very well done and the blood effects are even better than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has the best graphics out of all the Gameboy Advance Castlevania games.

Story 9/10

These types of games tend to not have a great story. But Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow manages to have a great story and still have the good classic exploration gameplay. There is a lot of plot twists that will simply blow you away. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has a story that surpasses even that of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This is probably the most unique and best Castlevania story line ever. Basically you are a guy named Soma Cruz who goes to a shrine to see his childhood friend Mina. But as Soma walks through the gates to the shrine he is transported to Draculas castle. There he finds Mina and another guy named Genya Arikado. Monsters come and Genya kills all of them but one which Soma kills. After Soma kills the monster the monsters soul flies out and Soma absorbs it. Genya tells him that only with that power can they be saved, and that there must be a way to escape somewhere in the castle. Soma enters through the castle gates and his adventure starts. And that is only the beginning…

Gameplay 10/10

This is the games highest point. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is so much fun that I wish I could give this more than a 10. The castle that you get to explore is humongous, and the enemies within it are cool. As Soma Cruz you explore the castle getting new abilities, new weapons, new armor, new items and more souls. The exploration is like that of the Metroid games. You can go all over the place but there is some places that are out of reach because you don’t have a certain ability to get there yet. Like if a ledge is to tall then you need to look for the double jump soul so you can reach that ledge thus opening up a new area to explore. Its really hard to explain but if you have played any games from the Metroid series or any other Gameboy Advance Castlevania games then you’ll get the idea. You level up much like the Final Fantasy games or other RPGs which is good because if you are not good and can’t beat a boss then you can just level up until you get strong enough to beat it, but Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow won’t force you to level up and collect souls, if you are good leveling up really isn’t required (but it will make the boss fights much easier). Also another cool twist to this game is that you can’t get more spells just by leveling up. To get new spells you have to collect enemy souls. Each soul has a different spell. Like if you equip the skeleton soul you can throw bones. Or if you equip the devil soul then you can transform into a huge demon. The different spells you get from the different souls are truly unique. But the hard part about using souls is getting them. Every time you kill an enemy you have a 10% or so chance of collecting its soul (unless you have equipment or another soul that raises your luck or your chance of getting a soul). It gets to be very challenging and fun to collect every soul.

Music/Sound 9/10

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow very great sound and music for the Gameboy Advance. It is not as good as the music from Golden Sun: The Lost Age but is still the best I have heard out of the Gameboy Advance Castlevania games. The music is so good that it is almost as good as that of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. As for the sound it is really realistic and good. The sound of your sword slashing through the enemy and the death cry that the enemy will make as it falls dead on the ground will be sure to impress you. And another cool thing is that just about all the weapons make different sounds as they are swung or hit an enemy. The hammers make bashing sounds. The swords make slicing sounds. Your magic spells will make realistic sounds. Everything is good in this department.

Replayability/Length 9/10

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is really not that long of a game. First time through will probably take you 8-10 hours. But for what it loses it length it makes up in replayability. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has a lot of different play modes. And the game is so much fun that I don’t see why anybody would not play it through again. So far I have played it 6 times through and racked up about 50 hours or so, which is quite a lot for its type of game.

Overall 9.4/10

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is a great game that everybody will like. If you are an RPG gamer then you should definitely get this. If you are an action gamer then you should definitely get this. If you want an awesome game you should definitely get this.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/28/03, Updated 06/28/03


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