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   Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - Review  

Aria of Sorrow review.
by kupomogli

BATTLE SYSTEM
INTERACTION
ORIGINALITY
STORY
MUSIC & SOUND
VISUALS
CHALLENGE
Moderate
COMPLETION TIME
1 - 5 hours
OVERALL

2.5/5

Rating definitions 

   Symphony of the Night used the Metroid concept to create a similar exploration style dungeon, yet using Dracula's castle as the base of it. After it was released, it was then rivaled as one of the greatest action/adventure games ever released, which in turn Konami once again tries their hand at recreating it with Aria of Sorrow. You play as Soma Cruz, currently in a Japanese highschool, during the year 2035 he goes to the Shrine to see the eclipse, but when getting their, his body is transported into the castle, along with a few others. The story is very short and seeing what kindof game it is, the story really doesn't have to be long, but the story isn't good either. Also, while the localization is very good, there are alot of mistakes in spelling translation. These are usually on weapons, and can be seen clearly if you know any sortof mythology, but other than that, the story and everything else is fine.

Walking on water?  He's got to be a ninja. Walking on water? He's got to be a ninja.

   The game plays much like any other Castlevania title, with Soma actually having the graceful movements that Alucard did on SotN, however, a new addition to this title is the collection of enemy souls. When killing any enemy in the game, Soma has a chance to aqcuire its soul, allowing him to use an ability with each soul he aqcuires. However, other than the souls you are forced to use to get through the game, there are less than five souls that are actually worth using, and if you don't have those souls, you'll probably have a full bar of MP the entire game, which is what it takes to use each soul. Then there is the castle layout, not as refined as anything you'll see in SotN, HoD, or even CotM, as you have to go from area to area continuously killing the next boss and running into a dead end. Rather than the castle connecting each area to one another, they force you to travel back to a certain point clear across the castle, finishing what's over there, then once again traveling back to the other side.

   While the graphics are similar, and alot of parts are just about exact, most of the game looks nowhere near to what IGA wanted it look like, which is SotN. The main probably with the graphics though, were the weapons, which instead of showing a slashing animation, it shows the full weapon from a layed out point of view with Soma swinging it, and this looks even worse with large weapons that slash forward, which you see a large side view of the sword. The animations to each weapon are two frames at the most as well, even for large swords just popping out and they're gone, this is something that really dissapoints when they used two frames all the way back when the original CV was released.

A game of chicken. A game of chicken.

   When HoD was released, the music was good, just with some very bad quality, which we were promised a better soundtrack this time around. We didn't get the better soundtrack, although the quality of it is great, and doesn't sound like an NES game anymore. Most of the music just doesn't sound like Castlevania, very few actually do, but other than that, almost the entire soundtrack is a dissapointment, but luckily there are a few good ones.

   Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow isn't a bad game, but it's not really a good Castlevania title, and is one of the worst in the series. It's Pokemon style soul collecting gameplay will keep people collecting souls for awhile, but the game itself gets very boring, mainly because it's poor castle layout, but also it's music which gets very annoying at times. If you're not a really big Castlevania fan, then I really wouldn't recommend this, but even if you aren't, if you've played and loved Symphony of the Night as one of your favorite action/adventure games, this may actually be quite enjoyable to you.

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