Review by hurricanedarby
"A Truly Portable Symphony of the Night? Eh..."
Castlevania: White Night Concerto can be summed up in one phrase. It's fixes everything that's wrong with Circle of the Moon while screwing up everything that was right with it. This new Castlevania promised better graphics, more depth, better animation, but most importantly, to give us a truly portalbe version of the Playstation hit ''Symphony of the Night''. Did it succeed? not even close. But is it a bad game? Read on to find out...
Graphics - 10
The graphics in this game are the best released so far on the GBA (this written in June, 2002). The colors are bright and easy to see, the backgrounds are colorful and varied, the bosses are HUGE and very well animated, and the different spells all move very well. It's MUCH improved over Circle of the Moon, as you can actually see the game without having to hold a light bulb over the screen. Very good job done here.
Sound - 4
For HOD's predecessor, the game's major victory was it's incredible sound, but it's downfall were it's dark graphics and bland backgrounds. It's been completely reversed here. The sound in this game is.....not bad...but....average. To make the graphics as good as they were, the designers had to sacrifice sound quality, which helps explain why this happened. The music sounds very ''late-generation NES'' quality, which is a HUGE step down from the previsous GBA Castlevania game. Not only that, but the majority of the tunes in this game aren't very catchy or appealing at all. I understand why the quality had to be degraded, but we still should have gotten some better music to listen too. It does recieve a 4, however, because the sound effects are EXCELLENT, and it does include a remix of ''Vampire Killer'' (best known music track in the Castlevania Series).
Replay Features - 10
Much to my suprise, this game has quite a bit of replay value! Secret Modes, Secret Characters, Secret Endings, etc. etc. I'd have to say it's probably the most secrets out of any Castlevania to date. This shows good effort on the part of the programmers.
How Much Fun? - 7
This is the other major place the game falters. This game will be a lot of fun for those new to the series. For those who've played COTM and Symphony....this game doesn't really add in anything new above and beyond what those games had (save for a new spell book system). It isn't nearly as fun because about %20 of the way through it you realize you've done this all before. This does have some new innovative puzzles, as well as a nice Boss Rush mode (unlockable secret) where you can fight all the bosses in succession, but it just won't feel like anything new to the Castlevania veterans out there.
I'm somewhat dissappointed with how this game turned out, but I don't entirely blame Konami. I realize that the sound had to be sacrificed to make room for the graphics, and I realize that more people buy a handheld game for graphics than sound. But I expected an expanded COTM, larger levels, new innovations, etc. etc. What I basically got was a dumbed down version of Symphony of the Night. Is this a bad game? No, it's a good game. If you've never played any of the new ''Metroid-Style'' Castlevania's, it'll likely be a great game. The disspaointing factor is that Konami didn't seem to really go out of their way to make this a great game, they seemed content to take what we've played, dumb it down, and give it to us again.
Final Score - 7
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 06/09/02, Updated 06/09/02
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