Review by BakaOrochi

"Great for Castlevania time attackers, not worth the price for anyone else"

I enjoy 2D Castlevanias. I find 3D CV games rather uninspired so I tend to stick with what worked.

I was excited for the new XBLA CV title although I figured it would be a grind-fest so I hoped for nothing more than a fanboys' wet dream. I also thought you couldn't mess up a 2D title that's been tweaked and worked so well for several years on consoles and handhelds.

Yeah, not quite.

It seems obvious Konami rushed this out without thinking this through. For starters, the controls are sluggish and just doesn't feel as responsive as they could be. There's so many buttons I didn't know what to do with, but eventually you can get used to it . The camera angle changes work for what you need it for but annoying if you need to pan up and around.

The story is laughable to the point where one should ask, why bother?

All the characters you've come to love have been nerfed horribly; Now granted I would assumed it so they would all be unique so Alucard (or whoever else) wouldn't plow through entire levels. But still, it's irritating how I'm stuck with Soma restricted to axes and large weapons.

The fact that you get weapons, armor, and accessories are great, but the fact you can't equip them on the fly, especially with items unless at a save point is just horrible execution in my opinion. What's more irritating is when you're trying to do time attack and grind at the same time. It feels like a horrible excuse to draw out play time.

The graphics are...well copy/paste of all the GBA DS Castlevania titles honestly. I didn't expect anything epic.

The music and sounds are also what I expected, so no surprises there. Think DS Castlevania with cleaner voices. An option to switch region voices would've been nice but whatever, it's not game-breaking.

In short, I know I can eventually get used to the sluggish awkward controls, annoying camera angles, and insane amounts of grinding but this title certainly isn't worth the price Konami and XBL is asking for. If you have the money to burn and you're a really die-hard fan, by all means. Otherwise, try the demo a couple times and pass it by. Play the either Symphony of the Night, Aria of Sorrow, Dracula X Chronicles on PSP, or most of the DS titles if you want a solid 2D Castlevania game.

I'm sure multiplayer is fun but finding friends that would actually buy this is going to be far and few between.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 08/04/10

Game Release: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (US, 08/04/10)


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