Considering that I am a long-standing Castlevania fan, I decided to break down and get the new multi-player Harmony of Despair game on Xbox Live Arcade. The game’s gotten mixed reviews from the media outlets, and ultimately the game is more what you want it to be in order to gauge how satisfied you’d ultimately be by it.

It’s not the standard Castlevania game, by any means. It’s a weird hybrid of every 2D version of the game from Symphony of the Night to present. And yes, it recycles graphical elements from almost every game during that timeframe. Is that a bad thing? It depends. Some of those backdrops were wonderful, but it’s not going to break new ground.

The 2D iterations of the series have long been known as “Meroidvania”, as it merges the playstyle of Samus Aran’s adventures with vampire killing. This is is more of a hybrid of Gauntlet and Castlevania. If you don’t mind working as a team to “grind” in order to become strong enough to defeat a boss within a 30 minute time limit, then not a problem. It’s a lot of building yourself and your party up by finding/buying items and equipment, and working as a team to beat some of the more vicious monsters and bosses. I personally have a perverse enjoyment for spending extended play sessions building up my game characters, so this isn’t an issue for me at all.

As a Castlevania game, it’s very simplified with some basic exploration elements. As an arcade title, it’s a very Gauntlet-style romp that grows in fun the more people in your party.

I personally find it fun with a fair amount of levels so far, but don’t expect an epic adventure this time around.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under: castlevaniaxbla gaming