Castlevania: Harmony of Despair croons on XBL

Microsoft Store Update: $15 side-scrolling adventure game hits Arcade; Batman: Arkham Asylum, Too Human, and Phantasy Star Universe added to Games on Demand.

Microsoft follows up last week's Hydro Thunder Hurricane with the third installment in the five-part Summer of Arcade promotion today on Xbox Live. In addition to the 2D revival, Microsoft's store adds three new downloadable games this week, ranging from the caped crusader to a man who just might be too human.

Leading the download pack this week is Konami's Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (1,200 MS points, or $15). The 2D action adventure game was designed by noted Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi and features competitive and cooperative multiplayer, as well as a solo campaign. Players will encounter puzzles, enemies, and various characters from other 2D Castlevania games, as well as boss fights throughout the game.

You can fight a 2D face in the new Castlevania.

Switching to Games on Demand, Microsoft added three games to the download service this week. The first is Rocksteady's award-winning caped crusader entry, Batman: Arkham Asylum (3,200 MS points, or $39.99). In the Dark Knight shadowy adventure, players suit up as Batman and fight with stealth and brute force to defeat the Joker's minions.

Also hitting the download hub this week is Silicon Knights' tepidly received action role-playing game Too Human (2,400 MS points, or $29.99), which debuted in 2008 and is now available to download. The sci-fi-meets-mythology title casts players as Norse God Baldur, a member of a caste of cybernetically enhanced humans. As Baldur, players are presented with choices that alter his status as a human and can cause him to become "too human."

The last Games on Demand entry this week is 2006's Phantasy Star Universe (1,600 MS points, or $19.99). From Team Sonic, the hack-and-slash role-playing game lets players control protagonist Ethan Waber, who is tasked with bringing peace to the Gurhal System. Of note, the game's server closure in January did not affect the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Living room faux rock gods and goddesses this week can download new tunes for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Guitar Hero adds a three-pack from scream-thrashers The Used, and Rock Band welcomes eight singles from bands ranging in style from The Eagles to Death Metal to Blondie.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

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Discussion

20 comments
PvtCaboose23
PvtCaboose23

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is such a fun game.

mr_teeney
mr_teeney

I was really looking forward to Castlevania and after downloading the demo I was really disappointed. First off, even zoomed in on a 42" plasma the characters are hard to see. The controls leave a lot to be desired and it's just not fun to play. Stick to the Castlevania Rebirth on the Wii, Symphony of the Night or any of the DS games are better. Your points are better spent on last weeks Hydro Thunder.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

@mrsniper83 - I fell asleep twice playing the too human demo...i didnt get the game...

leeko_link
leeko_link

I would had been more excited for this one if only this was a true Castlevania game and not a spin-off disguise as one.

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

It looks like Harmony of Despair is barely passable! I'll just keep playing Symphony of the Night and get a used DS...and forget this ever happen!

supernaught360
supernaught360

I agree with some of the others. This Castlevania game has no personality, or soul. I played the demo, and it feels like "Castlevania: Arcade" - like it would have been right at home eating quarters. I'll jump back on the REAL Castlevania train when Lords Of Shadow comes out.

mrsniper83
mrsniper83

Too human was BY FAR the worst game that i have ever put into my xbox 360

Un4givingAsault
Un4givingAsault

I enjoyed Too Human, If it was tweaked a bit better without all the bugs it would have been a pretty solid game, I wouldn't mind a second one at all

Pete5506
Pete5506

Harmony of Despair is pretty fun

Pumpkinhead3
Pumpkinhead3

Batman is a great game, but it would be a lot smarter just to rent it. Or buy it used.

XanderZane
XanderZane

If the single player mode sucks, I'll pass. I want to be able to play the game through in single and multiplayer mode. I don't want restrictions where you have to play multiplayer to make it to the next level or room.

LpcWarrior
LpcWarrior

castlevania hd, is different than other castlevania (2d side scrolling) games are. their are various levels that you can complete alone or with friends. althought tried it by myself and alone is not the way to go

vega13mv
vega13mv

ill wait for the new console verison of 'Vania, hopefully itll be on par with games like dmc and ninja gaiden

weedman1985
weedman1985

Too human on demand? yeah right, and I'm the tooth fairy.

Neo987
Neo987

So, I picked up Castlevania: HoD last night, and I must say it's really fun. But, a word of warning, do not buy if you're only going to play single player, as you'll likely never get past the first stage.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair has me very excited! Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is the true sequel that fans of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night have been waiting a very long time for! I remember when Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade for only $10 with "Enhanced Graphics" that looked awesome on HDTV sets and "Remixed 5.1 Sound" that was updated to work perfectly with all the new 5.1 surround sound A/V Receivers. I thought that I was in heaven since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is considered a legendary game and one of the best platform games ever created. Castelevania: Harmony of Despair is the game I have waited ages for! I really love the way its name "Harmony of Despair" intertwines perfectly with "Symphony of the Night" in order to prove that the two games are mixed together with their plot and storyline. I think it's awesome the way Harmony of Despair adds co-op and multiplayer to Castlevania! I'm looking forward to Harmony of Despair a lot!

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

Castlevania is not that good. It's primarily a multiplayer game but in single player it fails. No story, you can't adjust your equipment without going to stations, controls don't feel very tight when compared to SoTN or any of the DS titles, the characters feel very tiny on closest zoom (I suppose so you can see teammates nearby in multi), and while advertised as 1080 it sure doesn't look it all for $15. Despite all this I am Castlevania starved and want something besides FPS. That is a sad commentary on me as well as the sad state of affair for games atm. If only I hadn't beat Starcraft II already.

dudy80
dudy80

I think Batman might be the first game they put on there over 30 bucks. Makes me wonder if we can expect more newer games to come soon.