Saturday, October 16, 2010

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Genre: Action-Adventure (with some RPG elements. Also: Jump'n'Run)
Release: 2003
Platform: GBA
Graphics: Good. This was 2D as good as it gets on the GBA, the sprites were clear, the areas diverse, enemies colorful. Awesome.
Story: The story seems kinda uncommon for a Castlevania game, mostly because of the setting. Usually one would assume to hunt Dracula somewhere in the Middle Ages or whenever, at least somewhere in the past. Not this time. Aria of Sorrow forwards the story to the year 2035 in Japan, where the exchange student Soma Cruz is visiting some kind of shrine during a solar eclipse. Because of some sort of magic or whatnot, Soma and his friend Mina are teleported into the eclipse (don't ask me what that means, but that is the description of the events happening the game gives you :F) right at the foot of Dracula's castle. Somehow you get to know that Soma is in some way the heir of some kind of dark force which renders him able to absorb the souls of slain enemies. So you go on and try to get rid of Dracula.
Key-Feature in this game is the soul-absorbing. It is possible to get a soul out of every opponent, it only takes some time. Some enemies, like bosses, are always spawning their soul, because you need the soul to advance in the game.
Need the soul? What the hell?
Easy, every soul allows you to do some new stuff. Most of the time it's only a different attack you learn, but sometimes it's stuff like the double-jump or underwater-breathing or whatever. There are 3 different sorts of souls, one is the "active" sort, which can be used like normal weapons. These will always cost you some mana, or energy, I can't remember how it was called in this game. Then there are souls with a continuous effect, like transforming you into a monster, and stuff like that. These will suck your mana dry as long as they are activated. And then there are passive souls, which grant you stuff like "+10 Strenght". Always active, no costs.
At any point in the game you can always just have one of each type equipped, so this is where things get tactical.
This soul-absorbing is really more of a time-absorbing feature, since you get this Pokémon-like-feeling of GOTTA CATCH EM ALL, just because you think "mh, this monster looks cool, I wonder what kind of soul it has" and soon you'll find yourself grinding for hours on one spot, on one monster, just because you think it MIGHT offer you a cool ability. Sounds lame but in reality it is addicting and fun.
Awesome Fact: After you finish the game there is a possibility to start it anew, this time with increased difficulty. OR you can start anew playing as JULIUS BELMONT with different abilities. Pretty neat-o.

RATING: 8/10

83 comments:

  1. I remember the original castlevania for NES.

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  2. The soul-absorbing sounds really sweet. <3

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  3. SOTN is one of my favorite all time games

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  4. played this one it is indeed an awesome game

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  5. I've heard about this game but never played it. Thx for review

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  6. Sounds interesting. I liked circle of the moon for GBA as well because of it's summoning abilities. I think I'll try this game out (it's just collecting dust right now).

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  7. All the castlevanias were too hella tough for me. On top of that, as I got older, I increasingly began sucking at platformers. =(

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  8. Good one, but I prefer Symphony of the Night.

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  9. if i recall correctly castlevania was from the same creators of doom

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  10. im a fan of almost all of these games, although i dont think i have played this version

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  11. instead of armor you have to collect souls, well it's good to be creative... i took a look of the new castlevania lords of shadow, looks different than the previous parts, at least the beginning is outside in a forest or a jungle, no dracula :)

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  12. Great Game, i love castlevania series. :D

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  13. I haven't heard of this before. Good post, much love.

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  14. Reminds me I still need to finish Super Castlevania IV...

    Amazing (and a bit retarded): there's been at least one Castlevania game every year for the last 24 years.

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  15. I gotta say... I like the background of your blog.

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  16. never played this one, but do love most of the castelvania games

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  17. Awesome review dude, I always loved the Castlevania games. Though unfortunately this particular one I never played.

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  18. oh man this game was so awesome!!

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  19. Classic through and through, the whole GBA trilogy rocks.

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  20. definitely gonna check this out as I love castlevania

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  21. thanks for the review. i'll try this game

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  22. I really like this game, played it quite a bit on my GBA.

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  23. thanks for visiting my blogs! :)

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  24. interesting, I like this... keep up the good work

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  25. This game was amazing. Brings back memories.

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  26. How long has the Castlevania "franchise" been around?

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  27. The DS part-two is pretty good. God, it's been year since I played this damn game.

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  28. never had a GBA until a couple of weeks ago... screen looks like crap LOL

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  29. Hey, these reviews of yours are just the perfect length, and quickly accessible. Great stuff.

    Despite me being a fan of playformers and used to be a big GBA-nerd during it's time, I never tried this Castlevania out. I somewhat felt let down after the first NES games, and had given up on the series as a whole. I think I might give this game a try if I'll come across it, sounds like a stable platformer.

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  30. you know which Castlevania game is underrated? The one for N64, thought that game was awesome

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  31. Castlevania is so beast. Nice blog bro

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  32. Never played it but sounds good.

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  33. Nice review, I need to play it!!!!

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  34. Very nice view of Castlevania dude!

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  35. Got pretty far but never finished it.

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  36. as horrible as it sounds, THIS was the game that brought me to the Castlevania series. After beating it, I got myself every other Castlevania game and loved them ALL.
    Aria of Sorrow was still not the best IMO, that would be Order of Ecclesia -
    <3 Shanoa

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  37. Castlevania: Song-phrase of Emotion. XD

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  38. Best castlevania in the last years

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  39. expecting a new exciting review today

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  40. I love castlevania, but not sure how well it translates today

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  41. never played this :-\ awesome review though, cheers

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  42. Good stuff, thanks for replying to my question :)

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  43. I havent played this exact one, but man I love this game!

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  44. I used to love playing Castlevania as a kid man. I remember those days. So So much fun. Great review :D

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  45. if i recall correctly castlevania was from the same creators of doom

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  46. Haha, bit of a trip down memory lane there

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  47. nice review, hope I'll read some more here ! :) following you ! :D

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  48. castalavania i can slightly remember the game

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  49. Nice review, but something that I gotta say is that is kinda hard to read the text with your background.

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