"Quite the adventure....."

I am new to the castlevania series, as i only played the GBA ones and SOTN. I really enjoy this series and this is very good. I see that most people who do not like these newer games are the ones who started very early with CV. I never experienced the older games, so this review wont be harsh ^_^. The game takes place in the future, where Soma Cruz and some other interesting characters are sucked into a reincarnation of dracula's castle. meh - i know, the castlevanias haven't ever been much for story, but the real fun is in the next section......

GAMEPLAY - like other castlevanias, this game plays great. Excellent response, and fun as hell to play. The enemies are deverse and have different strategies and always provide something new. I mean that literally, in this game, every enemy has a soul that can be captured. Some souls are offensive, some defensive, some are needed to reach new areas. It will take very long to get all the souls, and each one is worth experimenting with. Certain souls can be captured on the first try, whereas other will take many many kills to receive. Some areas of the game can be difficult. At certain points, enemies can get hard or somewhat cheap. It doesn't take away from the overall experience though, being it isn't as bad as some other games. I was disappointed with the bosses, though. Most bosses have VERY simple patterns that are so easy to figure out. It isn't often that you're finding yourself yelling at the gameboy for it to pick up the difficulty. I only found three bosses difficult, and only one can be found in the regular story line - and he was cheaply hard. You're going to have to do something special towards the end to get to fight actually tough bosses. This game takes after SOTN in that you don't use the whip, also your character controls alot like Alucard, which I like over the slow walking of COTM. There are many swords, hammers, ect to experiment with. Add the souls to that and you have hours of new gameplay. There is even a handgun in it. You won't be using the traditional secondary weapons until you beat the long version of the game, but the souls are much more diverse than them. Castlevania has always been about the gameplay and this one doesn't fall short. 9/10

STORY - like a i already mentioned, CV has never really been about the story. It is enough that you know why your there, but dont really feel compelled to do anything about it, but the action makes up for it. The characters are pretty stagnant and quite offbeat. I think its funny how someone opens up a shop inside draculas castle just for you, assuming he'll get more business. Oh well, its not fatal to the game. Make sure you get the long ending in order to feel satisfied at the end. 5/10

GRAPHICS/SOUND - i hear many people say how they are glad the graphics improved over COTM. I think COTM's graphics were much more fitting. In most other cases, the vibrant, energetic look of AOS would be great, but i tend to think tha if you're in Dracula's castle, a darker more gothic look is necessary. Sorry, but i just can't be scared of Death in his pretty purple robe. Besides my issue with the color, i think the graphics are very good. Clean and detailed. The sound in a castlevania is expected to be incredible, i think this one falls short. Although the music is very good, better than most games, its not quite up to par with other CV games. Its good, but not castlevania good. g - 8/10 s - 7/10

PLAYTIME/REPLAYABILITY - This game is not very long, but it would probably drag if it was longer. To play through the story mode, you'll be spending about 1-3 days. To get all the items and souls, it could take a week or longer. I have dumped in a good 25 hours and I'm still playing. After you beat the game, you get a boss rush mode and the ability to play on another difficulty. Beating the FINAL final boss, however, gives you a new playable character. That is a definite advantage. After beating the game with him, you get to use him in the additional modes same as Soma. CVs always have great extras and this is no different. 10/10

FINAL RECOMMENDATION - This is a great action side scroller that i cant see anyone turning down. It will entertain you, and IMO is worth the price. I can't see any reason why someone would want to rent it first, except if they aren't into this kind of game. Thanks Komani^_^.

FINAL SCORE (not an average) - 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/04


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