Review by drmchaser5

"White Night Concerto definite PLUS!"

Castlevania: White Night Concerto/Concerto of the Midnight Sun/Harmony of Dissonance is a true masterpiece I believe. It recreated the feel of Symphony of the night quite well and in one place surpassed SOTN. Quite possibly the most challenging Castlevania yet to come into the hands of the portable machines.

Graphics - 10

The display in this game is magnificent, from transparencies, to 3d polygons, to interactive backgrounds. The graphic representation of the usual Dracula’s mysterious morphing castle had me awestruck. I was amazed at watching smooth transparencies, and 3d (mode 7) backgrounds stream by with no slow downs. I was expecting plenty of lag while playing, but apparently there was little to none. Something which amazed me was when there was one part of the castle where you can see 4-5 frames in the background in movement without lack of processing power. The smaller sprites were well animated, and extremely well done in recreating the same level of detail within the newly introduced characters. The doors, opening was something which completely took my by surprise. I would have never thought that a handheld machine can create 3d polygons. The display is truly a masterpiece -- flow of motion, transparencies, detail, and polygons combined without any compromise of game speed gives this a truly deserved plus!

Sound - 6

I wouldn’t count this game out for sound yet. There was some greatly composed music in this game. Some areas didn’t fit, but there were more that did. The sound never does lose, or gain quality during the game, the music sometimes becomes extremely simple, I believe it is due towards ambience and not music. One big surprise is the detail and a burst in quality during the ending theme of this game. If the ending theme did not sound as wonderful as I thought it would, the sound section I give you now would be a 4. Trust me; the ending theme alone deserves another 2 points. The combination of voice and good composition makes up 100% of the 1st 4 points in this game. The voice acting is superb, and the enemy effects are extremely well done. Sound is a big package in my opinion, and this score is something I believe it deserves.

Replay Value - 10

The replay in this game is amazing, there are plenty to go around, and more to come. The combination of secret modes, being able to play hidden characters, and extra endings just makes you want to go back to the game over and over again. This is truly a great game.

Fun Factor - 8

Although this is a great game to play, the difficulty of trying to get to one area to another is, in a phrase, pain-in-the-butt! When you are stuck, you wander around the castle for unending hours trying to either search for a certain item, or just going out of your mind in figuring out how to get through a certain area. Your mind completely is at an unending awe of destruction as you ramble through this castle just trying to find a certain item.
On the upside, this game is the most difficult out of all the Castlevania’s in this genre (Metroid style???), and if you are interested in difficulty then this is your game! For old-school CV gamers, this offers nothing extremely new, but a good story.

Story & background - 8

This is the place which puts SOTN to shame. The story in this GBA game is well done, and more in depth than SOTN. I cannot explain anything more on this, or else I’ll give away the rest of the story. You will just have to play for yourself.

Final Words
This game is truly an upgrade towards COTM. The art is a masterpiece, the music is superb (only if you think of ambience!), and last but not least story. This is a good all around game. I would recommend this game to even the most skeptical of gamers. White Night Concerto is certainly the most innovative game on a handheld machine. This is truly a masterpiece for your eyes and ears.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/09/02, Updated 06/09/02

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