TGS 2000Castlevania: Circle of the Moon Hands-On

Konami reveals the first Castlevania title for Game Boy Advance.

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Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
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Konami's alliance with Nintendo to produce Game Boy Advance games is finally coming to fruition. Castlevania: Circle of the moon is playable at the Tokyo Game Show and apparently, the series is returning to its roots. In classic Castlevania style, Circle of the Moon is a 2D sidescroller similar to Symphony of the Night. The classic gameplay has returned as candles are broken to reveal hearts and axes, daggers, and holy water are back for yet another go around.

You play as either Nathan Grave or Hugh Baldwin, two vampire hunters out on a quest to stop Dracula once again. The basic controls from past Castlevania installments have returned but Circle of the Moon does not come without improvements. If you tap jump and then hold the R button, Nathan or Hugh will cling to walls. You may then change direction and jump again. If you press the R button twice quickly, Nathan or Hugh will perform a super jump. If you double tap the D-pad, Hugh or Nathan will go sprinting forward. If you press jump while running, they will perform a slide maneuver. Like Symphony of the Night, attacking an enemy results in its hitpoints appearing overhead.

Visually, Circle of the Moon resembles a subdued Symphony of the Night on the Super NES. While the main characters seem bland and plain, the levels themselves are full of color and detail. The sound for the game follows the classic Castlevania theme with a slight remix. Necromancer, the first boss, summons zombies that must be destroyed. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is currently scheduled as a Game Boy Advance launch title and should be released March 2001 in Japan.

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