Saying this game is 'Fair' is.. just not fair.

User Rating: 9.6 | Castlevania: Curse of Darkness XBOX
I'm a huge castlevania fan. Ever since Castlevania I for NES I've loved the atmosphere of the games, the creativity of the storylines, and most of all, the music!

I'm going to start off with the music, which is the best part of the game. I love Michiru Yamane. Everything she has done has been near perfect. The music really brings the game to the next level. (She also did the scores for Symphony of the Night, Lament of Innocence, and I believe Aria of Sorrow for GBA as well). I don't think there's a better composer out there right now.

I love the feel of the game. I've read people bashing the games 'plainness' and lack of detail or whatnot in other reviews, but I really cant see where this is lacking.. I love the colors, which create a splendid atmosphere. Dungeons that reek of death and blood, mountain ranges, underground waterways, Dracula's castle, etc. Hector looks cool, his moves are very smooth, and as you progress through the game, your abilities keep growing and growing which keeps the game interesting. Also the Innocent devils (which can be easily compared to the 'Familiars' of Symphony of the Night) really set the game apart from other similar style games. Its nice to have a helping hand sometimes. The Innocent Devils also add to the 'Non-Linearity' of the game because you can build their strengths and they learn new abilities, which sometimes can help you to reach a certain area you couldn't get to otherwise.

There are many different combos and many different weapons and styles of weapons to choose from, all of which have their own combinations and strengths. The gamespot review claimed something like 'you get bored with the same weapons and same combos over and over..' it made me wonder if he was playing the same game. If I can compare it; Onimusha (which is another game i love) has a much more limited selection of weapons and combos. The weapon system has just as much variety as Ninja Gaiden does. The action might not be AS intense, or insanely hard for that matter, but this game is not 'easy' by any means.

Replay value: Fantastic. This is where this series really shines. Once you complete the game (as in SOTN or LOI) you can select a new character to play the entire game over with, which adds a whole new dimension, its almost like playing a completely different game. Also after you complete the game with the second character, you are invited to try a mode where you have to defeat every boss consecutively, which is one of the hardest things to do in the game. If you complete this, you can collect an item (same as Lament of Innocence) called a Music Box, where you can play each song of the games soundtrack, and read the composers thought on each piece, which I think is very cool, because composers dont get nearly enough credit.

If you are a fan of Castlevania (especially Lament of Innocence) you will definitely enjoy this without question, for it is very similar. I hope Konami continues to work on this series on the high end systems. I bought this game new for $40 and it was well worth it. I also bought the soundtrack!