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Rank the GBA Castlevania games ...

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Rank the GBA Castlevania games ...

Old 08-29-06, 10:49 PM
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Rank the GBA Castlevania games ...

I got my hands on a GBA SP a few months back and have been playing through both of the Metroid titles (Fusion, Zero Mission). I have really enjoyed those games, but I have been a little bit hesitant to give a go at the other half of the "Metroidvania" series.

I posted on another thread that I've struggled getting into Castlevania's "Goth" design post-NES, but now, after my hours of Metroid bliss, I believe I've got a serious case of Metroidvania-itis!

I've seen screenshots and movies of the three GBA Castlevania titles, but I was hoping some of y'all would rate those games and share the pros/cons of each title. Although I don't have a DS, feel free to plug or share some thoughts on those games as they relate to the GBA games.

Thanks in advance!
Old 08-30-06, 10:39 AM
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Opinions vary WIDELY on this subject.

I personally didn't like Circle of the Moon at all. I thought the controls kind of stunk and it wasn't much to look at. On the upside, it was challenging, but possibly too much so. Some folks really liked this one because it was hard...I just thought it was boring.

Harmony of Dissonance had the best controls IMO with both a forward and reverse dash. It had great level design and it's a beautiful game as well. The big knock on HoD is that some of the spells you get are a bit too strong, making the game a bit easy. Still, it's a remarkable game, and you do have the option of not using some of the stronger spells.

Aria of Sorrow is probably the best of the bunch overall. It looks just a smidge nicer than HoD and the soul collecting business is addictive as hell. If you like the Metroids, and don't love this, I would be absolutely amazed.

Bottom line: They just got better and better. They should be played in order, and depending on who you ask, you could probably jusk skip CotM. I'd recommend getting the two pack cartridge with both HoD and AoS. It's getting tougher to find, but I'd argue that it's the single greatest GBA cartridge of them all given that it has 2 AAA titles on it.

If you don't mind a plug, I could hook you up with a sealed copy for $35 shipped. Gold Trader and all.

Also, I really hope you are playing this on a newer brighter version of the SP. The older SP like I have doesn't do them justice AT ALL. Thankfully, I didn't play them until I had a DS Lite.
Old 08-30-06, 11:42 AM
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I finished Harmony of Dissonance. It was pretty simple. I am playing Circle of the Moon now and find that abit more challenging, so I like that better. I will play AoS after I am done with CoM.
Old 08-30-06, 11:50 AM
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HoD was definitely too easy, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

I rank them:
CoTM
AoS
HoD

The ranking you will usually see most often seems to be:
AoS
HoD
CoTM
Old 08-30-06, 04:47 PM
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I rank them:

HoD
AoS
CoTM

I loved the two castle and tons of exploration in HoD. Aria was nearly as good, but I didn't like the character/setting as much.

The graphics pull down CoTM and it was a bit difficult for my tastes, though I did beat it.
Old 08-30-06, 06:01 PM
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I own Circle of the Moon, and I played it a bit. For some reason, I don't seem to play my handhelds much, and I was never very good at the game. It was decent, though.
Old 08-30-06, 11:26 PM
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Thanks for the great feedback guys!

I played a little bit of CotM back in the ol' GBA days (literally, the "dark" days), and never got into it (probably because it was too dang dark on the original machine ...). I gather the other two seem a little more user-friendly, so that may be the route I take.

My only other concern with these Castlevania games have been the "RPG-lite" elements; one thing I dig about the Metroid titles is that there is not really any micro-management with weapons/powers. I realize this is an appealing aspect for many of y'all who love Castlevania, but I guess I have become a somewhat low-maintenance gamer.

Still, I know the enemy variety, boss battles, etc. are among the many strengths of the Castlevania series, and that is good reason for me to give 'em a whirl.
Old 08-30-06, 11:33 PM
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I was late to the game on these for the exact same reason. RPG just isn't my bag.

You really don't even notice the leveling up...especially if you are taking your time exploring the castle.

And the item management in HoD and AoS is just right...as in it adds a cool new element without coming close to reaching the level of being a pain in the ass.

You get some new armor...it's either better than your old armor or it's not...and you subsequently put it on or don't. Done.

The combining of magic spells and souls is pretty cool too. As you get new ones, you'll try them and find that they fit your style or they don't. It's pretty rare that you actually have to do any major management, and the little that you do have to do is actually kind of fun.

Last edited by chess; 08-30-06 at 11:37 PM.
Old 08-31-06, 08:36 AM
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There were differences?!
Old 08-31-06, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
There were differences?!
Yeah, they got progressively easier and progressively fewer secret areas.
Old 08-31-06, 11:29 AM
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I guess I disagree with most folks in that I absolutely loved Circle of the Moon. I even played it through without using the "card system" so it definitely can be beaten without digging too deep into teh RPG elements. A very fun game, very hard at the outset but once you get into the flow of it the challenge always feels appropriate.

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