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Review ~ Castlevania : Aria of Sorrow

Castlevania : Aria of Sorrow

Game Platform

GBA

Game Overview

The year is 2035 and Soma Cruz is about to witness the first solar eclipse of the 21st century when he suddenly blacks out — only to awaken inside a mysterious castle. As Soma, you must navigate the castle’s labyrinths while confronting perilous monsters at every turn. But beware, you must escape before the evil consumes you! – Gamefaqs.com

What Did This Game Do That Was Different From Its Predecessors?

The Castlevania games usually supply your hero with a healthy choice of sub-weapons to accompany the usual whip. This game allows a choice of weapons, RPG-style, which only a few titles have done before. It also forgoes sub-weapons for the ability to absorb and equip the souls of the beasts of the castle for various augmented abilities, unique attacks, etc.

Favorite Part about the Game (and why)

While most Castlevanias are set in the past and document one of the various battles against Dracula, this title is set after his final defeat, and has a story about various powers and people attempting to inherit or escape from his legacy. The new gameplay elements are also very fun, as most enemies do not automatically reward you with their souls upon defeat, being somewhat of a random drop, adding that optional “Gotta Catch Them All!” aspect to an already fun game for more enjoyment. The different story and new gameplay elements felt like a breath of fresh air after the umpteenth “Dracula has awakened. Go kill him.” game that came before it.

Least Favorite Part about the Game (and why)

The clock-tower is still full of annoying enemies that are hard to hit and have the ability to paralyze you. In addition, it makes full use of the gears and cogs theme to have a bunch of platforms and whatnot that actively move around and try to throw you into walls and pits of spikes while you attempt platforming puzzles in addition to avoiding the aforementioned enemies. I realize that the locale is somewhat of a tradition to the series, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.

How would you change the game to make it better?

While most of the special abilities that are required to progress further into the castle are automatic and mapped to a button on the controller, some are not, and must first be equipped. I would make this more clear, as a couple of times I did full circuits of all explored areas looking for a path I’d missed before going through my catalog of souls to see if any granted a special ability that might be of use in getting somewhere new.