Soma strikes again.
deeewooh wrote this review on .
Graphics: Very well done. The enemies have great details, and well drawn, and everything is past expectations in this regard. The bosses show great attention to detail. You'll never mistake an enemy for something else (unless it's supposed to trick you), and enemies are largely unique, their attack animations are splendid (especially Dario's Dragon Fire attack, a pretty, albeit deadly, site). Only a few enemies are simple recolors. The backgrounds are well drawn, and show much time and care. The only minor graphical lapse is in the field sprites (their speech sprites are done very well), which area actually quite bland. However, this minor drawback doesn't hurt the graphics very much, as they aren't horrible, and the rest of the game is graphically great. 9.6/10
Gameplay: This is where the game's biggest attractions, and main flaws, are. The plot is fairly engaging, although the enemy's motives are somewhat farfetched. Apparently, a cult wants to balance out the universe by creating a dark lord, which requires the removal of Soma. While Soma is motivated by protecting himself and his girlfriend, the cult's motives are sketchy at best. However, this plot flaw isn't very important, much like the plot in a single Castlevania game. Dawn of Sorrow stays true to the Castlevania Saga, except in one facet (which would be difficult to work into the game and this review, but you'll know it when you see it).
The gameplay is top notch. Soma can use a variety of weapons and equipment, levels up, and gains souls from normal enemies at random, and bosses give specific, progress necessary abilities. Weapons can be 'forged' using certain souls into stronger weapons, and you can buy new items, or find them yourself. The weapons are very well balanced, although finding the right soul can be a pain. Plus, the guns, while expensive, are somewhat broken due to their range. But no one said you have to go through the cheap cash paths of getting them, either.
When it comes to difficulty, the game has plenty. The enemy's attacks are varied, and you'll be hard pressed to learn their tactics. While basic creatures, such as zombies, simply move forward, there are more devious enemies, such as the petrifying Meudsa heads or evasive and deceptive succubi. The bosses are generally difficult, although a few or the larger ones are flawed, as the Axe Armor soul can hit them 3-5 times in one throw, doing massive damage. However, several bosses move quickly and hit very hard, and are some of the best bosses in video games (One of them took me 8 attempts to defeat). The game also offers a suspend function, as well as plenty of restorative save centers, and a warping system to save time.
Overall, the game is very fun while it lasts, is worthy of replay, offers and extra mode, an extensive search for completionists, multiple endings, and an interesting multiplayer mode. However, this replay value isn't sky high, although the game is packed with quality while it lasts. 9.2/10
Controls: At first, the can be disorienting, but I was able to quickly edit them to a very a very comfortable and efficient control scheme. The only issue is the use of slides, drops, and falling kicks, which can get a tad disorienting. 9.8/10
Sound: As one would expect from the Castlevnia series, the sound is great. Great songs, good sound effects, and no clutter or confusion at all. 10/10
Overall, a splendid game, worthy of any DS Owner's $35, especially if you have friends who have it already.