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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5
Star Fox 2 3/5
Metroid: Samus Returns 4/5
Dragon Quest VI: Realms... 4/5
Super Mario RPG: Legend... 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 5/5
Blaster Master Zero 4/5
Dragon Quest Heroes: Th... 4/5
Super Mario 3D Land 4.5/5
Castlevania: Dawn of So... 4.5/5
Bravely Second: End Lay... 4/5
Inside 4/5
The Legend of Zelda: Tw... 4.5/5
No Man's Sky 3/5
Mighty No. 9 3/5
Mario Golf: World Tour 4/5
Mario Kart 8 4.5/5
NES Remix 2 4/5
R.B.I. Baseball 14 2/5
Bravely Default 4.5/5
NES Remix 4/5
The Legend of Zelda: A ... 5/5
Dr. Luigi 3.5/5

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Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow   Nintendo DS / DSi 

The DS Helps Make This One Of The Series Best    4.5/5 stars

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is one of the best in the series and the game works incredibly well in the dual screen DS set up.

Ever since the Castlevania series was revolutionized by Symphony of the Night for the PS1 the portable versions have followed suit with this "Metroid-vania" type game. The 2D platformer style where there's a map with save points as you traverse the castle simply works very well. There were 3 GBA titles that followed this same formula and were generally well received and successful.

Dawn of Sorrow follows the same formula as these predecessors. But, since it's for the Nintendo DS there's an added advantage with the 2nd screen. This allows for one of the screens as a dedicated map for referencing and it works perfectly. The ability to avoid pausing to look at where you've been or where you're going is so convenient. It's by far the most attractive feature for this game.

The game's story follows Soma Cruz who was the main character in Aria of Sorrow for the GBA. Soma was suppose to become the new Dracula but stopped the process in that GBA game. It had been so long since I played that game I had forgotten that which made the story a little less interesting. This game starts with a new cult forming trying to bring about a new dark lord luring Soma Cruz back to into battle to try and stop this cult from succeeding. Honestly the story isn't that good with the dialogue being cheesy and almost child-like at times. It's probably the game's worst feature.

Dawn of Sorrow's game play, on the other hand, is as good as any of the others in the series. Play control is easy and intuitive. It's easy to control Soma. Jumping, attacking, and going through the game is seamless and easy. There are several different weapons you can use, some are quicker to strike, some have longer reaches and some are bigger and slower but in general they all have a sword-like thrust to them. The game also brings back the soul system. As you play the game you gain souls of enemies which gives you various abilities. Some are weapons like throwing an axe or a knife. Some add abilities which allow you to gain access to other parts of the map like the double jump or swimming under water. Then there are passive abilities which can give you added strength or luck or something like that. Equipping these souls as necessary can get tedious at times since you have to go into the menu do it. Later in the game you do gain the feature to have to sets of equipment that you can switch back and forth from with the simple press of a button which is useful.

This game has good graphics (for the DS) which are colorful and memorable. Different areas of the castle have different themes to them so it's easier to remember where stuff is located. One area is lush with green plants, another part has a clock tower feel to it and so one. The castle is pretty large for a handheld game so this is helpful. There are also warp points which allow you to go from one end of the castle to the other pretty easily which I found very useful. The music in the game is also good, I've always been a fan of Castlevania's music and this game doesn't disappoint there either.

There are several bosses in the game. Generally speaking this bosses aren't that difficult. If you use a bit of strategy by equipping useful souls while having a few potions to heal yourself you should take them down without too much effort. Some of them are easier you if you try to dodge their attacks and time your strikes others it's just easier to attack them hard and fast and not think about your health. I rarely died and I didn't spend an abundant amount of time grinding up my level either.

Here's one of things I really like about these Castlevania games, Dawn of Sorrow in particular. There are multiple endings. If you just fly through the game quickly without exploring as much of the castle as possible you'll get the bad ending. If you find the soul that allows you to go into mirrors you can get a better ending and then gain access to a another magic seal which allows you to get yet another ending. I played the game until I filled up more the 99% of the map and saw the best ending. Also you can open up another game mode which lets you go through the castle with other characters (I won't say who). So, there's replay value in this game as well.

I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 hours playing this game and I enjoyed every minute of it. Exploring the castle, finding secrets, getting better weapons and leveling up your character was all fun. The added second screen with the map made the game more seamless and it made the experience better. This is one of the best Castlevania games out there.

4.5/5

 

 


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