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Castlevania Aria of Sorrow

version: jp - year: 2003 - developer: konami - publisher: konami - format: gba, cartridge - condition: mint - rarity: not very

 

Fine graphics huh? Once you finish the game, Julius is accessible as a playable character

 

Teleports are back in this new adventure

 

Konami graphic designers might have taken some inspiration from Square's Final Fantasy saga when they designed this boss

 

Aside from the handgun that you'll be able to pick up later in the game, I could not find any other modern weapon...except this one. I didn't get it yet, but apparently, it can be obtained by beating the Boss Rush Mode in under a certain insanley short amount of time. Looks more like the sort of stuff you would find in a Contra game though ;)

Review - After Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance, Castlevania is back on GBA with Aria of Sorrow. In this 3rd installment of the series on Nintendo's 32 bit portable, Konami brings back the same successful formula.

Playing as Soma Cruz, you'll have to wander in a huge castle, and rid it of the presence of Evil (for a change...). This time around, the adventure takes place in the future (2035 AC) but gameplay isn't affected at all by that.

Graphically, Aria of sorrow is excellent. The areas of the castle are very different one from the other, there is plenty of parallax scrolling all around and colors are always vivid. The characters animation is smooth, even if I think that some of the baddies still have a very stiff look. They could have used some more frames of animations…I just wish that one day, I'll have the chance to play a 2D Castlevania on a "real" home console.

The music is excellent, and the GBA sound chip is certainly put to good use.

Gameplay is very similar to Harmony of dissonance, but the weapons system is different and I think it's even better! Basically, it is possible to capture the souls of the enemies you defeat and by doing that, you will acquire their special attack. This means that you will have tons of different special attacks to pick up from!

All in all, Castlevania Aria of Sorrow is a great addition to the series even if it remains pretty conservative. Aside from the weapons system, don't expect any drastic changes over the previous chapter.

Bottom line: the final Castlevania chapter on GBA and one of the best games on the system tout court. 9/10

 

This artbook was distributed with the game to the people who preordered it on Konami's Japanese website. It features interesting art from Ayami Kojima (Dracula X PS, Castlevania HOD etc) and a useful Castlevania timeline. Thank you Konami!

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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