Review by Tomalot

"Castlevania HD - More of a Castlevania Remix full of multiplayer goodness"

First off, if your expecting a complete game with a story or character development your looking at the wrong game. The beauty of this title is in it's combining of all the different character mechanics from throughout the castlevania series & serving them up in a multiplayer friendly format. I personally brought this on release for what works out to be around £10, and I must say I dont regret it. There is a joy in sharing what would normally be a personal experience with a party of six from around the whole world.

The gameplay is what you would expect from the series, arcade style play with platform/minor puzzle elements and item and equipment to enhance your characters stats and skills, with a boss to defeat at the end of every level. There are five different characters to play (more through future DLC?), with varying styles of play adoptable within each character chosen. These characters can all be customised & "leveled up" separately. Although can equip and use much of the items found with all.

There are a few modes; single player, co-op (online only) and survival. I mainly stick to co-op as I love it how your team can find different ways to complete a level and work together (or not sometimes)! Single is good as you can play at your own pace and is often used to farm items & develop skills. Survival is competitive online and is last man standing against the undead minions.

The levels (only six until more DLC) get increasingly hard, with team play becoming key to efficiently conquering a level. Your team often start at different points and have to all work their way towards the target (boss). You can have varying camera zooms, from normal to seeing the whole level (while still playing). There is a nice co-op touch that everyone shares loot and keep it even after failing the level. Lots replay value as the hard mode is "very" hard and requires teamwork, skills, & thinking... Also the fact you are rewarded with money & loot on every play!

Cool Moments:
When the third level boss wakes up - U think it's a giant crab but turns out to be a 200 foot colossus ..."run away maybe"?
Dracula's final form - ...Pretty tough

Pros:
Great online fun - encouraging co-op
Addictive gameplay/leaderboards
Graphics are faithful (ported even) to the series
Variety of characters & skills
Loads of hours of gameplay
Value for money

Cons:
Single player is multiplayer - other people in level
Only six levels (12 if you include the differences in hard mode)
No split screen/guests
The loading screen sucks & potentially annoys
Lobby system is poor... quickmatch my eye! and many difficulties joining public games

Conclusion: A brilliant retro style remix brought into online-muliplayeriness. Sadly let down by poor lobby system (thus no 9/10) which I hope will be fixed.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/06/10

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


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