I have to admit, I am a big castlevania fan, so consider that when you read this review. But even if you haven't played one of the 2-D masterpieces, this is a great one to start out on. Visually the game is beautiful. From the many huge bosses to the breath of the hero in the snowy woods, this game has a great visual style most gamers can appreciate. Game play stays true to the series with light RPG bits,(weapon and armor stats, hit point, leveling up, etc.) but the meat of the game play is in exploration and combat. While it doesn't use the touch screen as much as some would like, I would rather Konami focused on making a great game rather than stuffing Castlevania with a bunch of meaningless filler, and that's exactly what they did. Bottom line, easily the most value for the dollar when it comes to spending money on DS games. Whether you want to collect every enemy soul,(very cool, by the way.) trying to uncover every inch of the huge map, or just trying to finish the game, there's a ton of stuff to keep you happily playing your DS.
The newest installment of the Castlevania franchise is here and it does not disappoint. It perfects the already amazing 2D game play of its predecessors. A brilliant mix of platforming and combat makes this game one of the best Castlevania yet. The game makes brilliant use of both of the DS' screens. On the bottom touch screen is the actual gameplay and on the top is a real time map of the areas that have been explored. The map can be swapped with a status screen that gave give useful information on enemies that have been engaged in combat. The enemies that exist within the game are as diverse as they are numerous. Some old favorites have returned and have been given a new look as well as a few new ones new ones. The soul stealing system from this games prequel is back and better than before. Now some souls can be powered up by obtaining more than one of an enemies soul. For example, just one skeleton soul is very weak and a small bone is thrown when used. When 9 skeleton souls have been obtained a much bigger and stronger bone is thrown. Souls that have been obtained can also be used to make new and more powerful weapons. The weapons not only vary in power but the very way they are used varies as well. Great swords are swung overhead while a lance is thrusted. This choice of weapons adds an element of strategy as some enemies are weaker to one type of attack and strong against others. The addition of a doppelganger soul allows for two sets of weapons and souls to be swapped at will. There are numerous bosses in the game and they all offer many challenges. These bosses make for a particularly difficult boss rush mode which is unlocked after completing the game. Also unlocked after the game is Julius mode where you replay through the game as different characters. There is also a multiplayer mode where you set up enemies in a series of rooms to slow down your opponent as your opponent does the same to you. This is a great game and shouldn't be miss