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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Member Review for the DS

By:
McCoy
08/01/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Konami 
DEVELOPER Konami 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
T Contains Blood and Gore, Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is probably one of the best Castlevanias over the original and GBA Castlevanias. I like Portrait of Ruin better, but this one was still excellent.

I really liked the soul system- some souls can get stronger by collecting more souls. Although you may drive yourself crazy just trying to get 9 of one soul, sometimes, it's worth it. I also found it rather unique how you can use souls to create other weapons. The only problem with this is that very few weapons can even be found in the castle, and the ones that you do find are the weakest weapons imaginable. So, this almost forces you to gather souls just so you can have a halfway decent weapon. Especially when you need a soul that has a very high rarity (Final Guard... ugh.) So this adds a factor of annoyance to the game.

Some bosses are easy, others are difficult. They are still following the typical theme of having monstrosities that take up the entire room, leaving you little room to maneuver. This is also slightly annoying, but not all enemies are colossal like the Balore or Aguni. Some are small, like Abaddon, but unfortunately, their attacks sometimes take up the entire room, regardless their size. Using magic seals isn't hard, as long as you practice with it, but I hate it when it just pops up on me unexpectedly, but I can't blame the game for my failure to pay attention sometimes. Haha.

The story is great. I won't really say much about it for the sake of anybody who has not played it and reads this review. The only part about the story I don't like is the cult... they talk about the cult, but at times, the cult seems insignificant. Then again, the only member of this cult you even see is Celia. Once again, like Aria of Sorrow, there are three endings- killing Dario, turning into the Dark Lord, or the best ending. At least they didn't make it too hard to figure out how to get the best ending... heck, Arikado even says what to do even if you did become the Dark Lord. They never say anything about Dario though, they just assume you know what to do. Which you should...

As with most of the Castlevania games now (excluding Circle of the Moon), you can also play in an alternate mode- with Julius. And Yoko and Alucard (aka Arikado.) It has a very small story, but it has one nontheless. It follows the idea that you let Soma turn into the Dark Lord. Therefore, your mission is to kill Soma. Each person has their own abilities, Julius with his subweapons, Yoko with the ability to heal just by smacking an enemy and spells, and Alucard with Hellfire and turning into a bat. This mode is really hard, especially the Bat Company, Abaddon, and Death (it took me FOREVER to kill Abaddon.) Soma, or Dracula, decides to pull a few new tricks instead of Hellfire all the time, making him not as original. Although, one funny thought... Alucard/Arikado is Dracula's son.... Soma is the reincarnation of Dracula and will turn into the Dark Lord... Soma is 19 and Alucard was estimated to be about 400 in 1719 (Symphony of the Night), so that makes Alucard over 700 years old... so... doesn't this technically make Alucard older than his own father? Weird...

Anyway, graphics are great, music is awesome, great story, challenging... still not as good as Portrait of Ruin though. ;)


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