Today, I have completed more of the Castlevania Advance Collection. I never played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, originally on the Game Boy Advance, but now that I’ve played this game, I can gauge how well the game may have aged. If you were looking for the previous games that I reviewed in this collection, then check out Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 1: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Switch) or Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 2: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Switch). Otherwise, read on!
In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, you play as Soma Cruz, a character that doesn’t play like the whip wielding Belmonts of previous games. Instead, there is a variety of weapons that Soma can equip, mostly things like swords with varying ranges and power levels. Some thrust forward, while others swing and have a wider arc, and a handful are really large. Additionally, Soma occasionally acquires new abilities by defeating any enemy in the game.
The new traits gained from these enemies come in three flavors: subweapon, support, and passive. The subweapons are usually longer ranged than Soma’s main weapon, and function similarly to the subweapons of past Castlevania games, although these cost MP instead of hearts. Support souls are activated to help you navigate the game world, and slowly drain MP while activated. The passive enemy souls grant an ongoing bonus, and if you want to change the bonus, you have to switch them in the menu. This variety is worth exploring, and adds depth to the game experience as you find more souls to try out.
Aria of Sorrow is also more story based than before. Sure, the game still takes place in Dracula’s Castle, but there are a few mysteries surrounding the main character’s ability to absorb monster souls. The story isn’t too complex, but is more satisfying than the first two games included in this collection. Like Harmony of Dissonance, there are extra endings to find as well that add to the story. It should be noted that the best ending is a little obscure to find on your own, without a guide.
What is odd about this game is that it may be the easiest in the collection. This may be due to the fact that the in game shop is located in the same spot throughout the game, and that there’s a teleportation spot close enough to this shop. Much of the time you’ll be fully stocked on healing items, which makes the big fights much easier. That being said, it feels like the game is easier in a fair way due better game design. The in game shop doesn’t move based on weird conditions like in Harmony of Dissonance, although there could in theory be multiple shops throughout the game somewhat near warp or save points. The game’s layout is much easier to navigate, making for a smoother experience.
Despite being a little on the easy side, Aria of Sorrow has the most content of the Castlevania Advance Collection. The wide range of gameplay options add a lot of depth and room for varying playstyles. Sure, the best options can make the game reasonably easy, but sometimes complex but easy is more fun, and that is the case here.
For part 4, click here: Review: Castlevania Advance Collection: Part 4: Castlevania: Dracula X (Switch)
- Try out new souls as you acquire them.
- Try out new weapons as you find them, and stick to the strongest one that you are comfortable with.
- Exploration is highly rewarded, so look around!
- Use the shop for healing items, and new equipment.
- Find 3 specific souls to find the true ending, though you might need a guide to identify them.
- Check out the extras if you need more from the game, such as boss rush and a bonus character.
- Good enough graphics, considering the original hardware.
- Good music.
- Shop is conveniently placed.
- Game features some story elements.
- Variety of weapons and souls to equip.
- Game is a little on the easy side for the Castlevania series (this is based on a player’s difficulty tolerance).
- Finding the true ending without a guide might be a little obscure.
- Quite a few souls might not be used.
- Money might be somewhat scarce.
8.5/10 A great Castlevania game
This game’s range is 8.5-9.1, and is most likely the best in the Advance Collection. Aria of Sorrow has the most depth here. The game also refines the issues the first two games have in the collection as well. Sure this makes the game even easier, but it also leads to a much smoother experience.
What did you make of Aria of Sorrow? What is your favorite soul to use in this game? Favorite weapon? What do you make of the difficulty of this game? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this review, then click that like button, and share on social media. To keep up with That’s All Games, you can subscribe via email or WordPress. Until next time, have fun gaming!