Review by Uncle Fuz

"An instant classic and a must-buy release game!"

Out of all the commotion of the Game Boy Advance, there was always one game that was being repeatedly mentioned throughout conversations: Castlevania. Although I have never played a Castlevania game before this one, I can understand why everyone was so hyped up about them. Circle of the Moon is a 2D side-scroller, yes, but one of the best 2D side-scrollers ever invented. Behind Turtles in Time and Donkey Kong Country 3. Enough chit-chat, LET'S GET IT ON!

Graphics: 7
Okay, they say graphics aren't everything, and they're right. CotM does not take full advantage of the GBA's hardware, but the game still looks pretty good. The character animations look a bit chunky, but there are other things that cover that up. Enemies, for example. The enemies are about as stiff as a handful of Jell-o. When you, kill them, however, the blood or bones that are dispensed look awfully nice. Good graphics, but one major flaw. TOO DARK! Everyone says that the GBA's screen is too dark. After playing CotM, I can see why. Don't believe me? Play it yourself and watch the second screen pop up and you'll be begging for light. Good, but nothing revolutionary.

Control: 10
Konami took full advantage of the GBA's limited amount of buttons. The controls are very easy to master and you should never get mad at them because you know it's just yourself screwing up.

Sound: 9
The music fits the theme nicely with its creepy horror music and strange tunes. Sound effects are just right, so you won't find anything out of the ordinary when doing mundane activities. In other words, if you land after jumping, you'll hear yourself landing. If you use the whip, you'll hear yourself using a whip.

Gameplay: 10
I wish I could give this a higher score because this game has single-handedly become my most played game in years. And it's handheld! CotM is without a doubt a great game. Even though it is basically a side-scroller, it also inquires some other genres as well. There is level building (RPG's), uh...level building, and um, level building. Oh, yeah, it also uses this unique DSS system which requires you to collect cards and mix them up for different effects which result in over 100 different abilities you can use on your enemies. Oh, and another thing. This game is huge. I've progressed over 20 hours in the game and it says I'm only 32.7% done! All this in a cartridge no wider than 4 inches! Wow. Simply amazing.

Buy or rent?
I'd suggest buy. Why, you ask? Read my review.

Overall: 10
Easily one of the best choices you'll ever make in your life. So far I've had my GBA for a week, and I don't plan on buying another game besides CotM for a long time. One game will do me good for the rest of the summer. Or not. You'll have fun with this game!!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/20/01, Updated 06/20/01

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