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Castlevania: Circle of the Moon has had some ups and downs on the subject of public opinion. When it debuted as a launch title for the Sport Boy Advance, it was one of many best-reviewed video games ever. Individuals had been so glad to have one other Castlevania sport in that Symphony of the Evening model.
However then its repute declined. As we acquired 5 extra Metroidvania-style Castlevania video games on Sport Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, Circle of the Moon started to really feel a bit quaint and outdated to many. After which Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi famously acknowledged that Circle of the Moon is now not canon, which many took as a stamp of disapproval from the man most closely related to the franchise. It gave individuals an excuse to discredit Circle of the Moon.
Now we have now the Castlevania Advance Assortment, which has given me an opportunity to replay Circle of the Moon for the primary time in many years. You understand what? This sport is pretty much as good as everybody was saying again when it was new.
Certain, its graphical presentation isn’t as snappy as Symphony of the Evening. You don’t have of these fancy PlayStation 3D results. This fort and its enemies can typically look a bit easy. However Circle of the Moon nonetheless performs like a top-tier motion sidescroller.
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I additionally recognize the sport’s issue. Quite a lot of the Metroidvania Castlevanias don’t provide an honest problem. You’ll be able to simply farm expertise factors and cash, which you’ll be able to then spend on an enormous provide of health-refilling potions. That’s not the case in Circle of the Moon. There isn’t a in-game store, and potions are onerous to return by. This implies you need to rely extra ability, timing, and sensible magic utilization to beat its difficult bosses, particularly the brutal ultimate combat with Dracula.
Talking of magic, I like the card-based system right here. Some monsters have an opportunity to drop a card which may belong into one among two classes. You then choose one card from every deck, and this provides you with a distinct spell or impact. It may make fireballs spin round your character, or it may allow you to regenerate well being whilst you’re standing nonetheless. There are numerous completely different card combos to experiment with.
There’s additionally a simplicity to Circle of the Moon that I discover endearing. The plot is barebones. Dracula is again, now go cease him (and save your mentor). The fort doesn’t have many gimmicks like, like Concord of Dissonance’s two-layered map. This simply appears like a quintessential, fast-paced Castlevania expertise.
Oh, and the soundtrack is unimaginable. And since we now not must cope with the GBA’s infamous sound suppression, it sounds higher than ever on this port.
I’ve seen some individuals on Twitter say that Aria of Sorrow is the one sport price enjoying within the Castlevania Advance Assortment. I couldn’t disagree extra. I’ll discuss Concord of Dissonance one other time, however each it and Circle of the Moon nonetheless stay top-tier Metroidvanias. Perhaps neither of them are the very best of their sequence, however I’m unsure how you would solely low cost them as subpar choices.
Now I’m excited to check out Aria of Sorrow for the primary time in years. After all, now it has to attend till I beat Metroid Dread. It positive is a pleasant time for Metroidvania followers.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column that appears at gaming’s previous, diving into classics, new retro titles, or how previous favorites — and their design methods — encourage at this time’s market and experiences. In case you have any retro-themed tasks or scoops you’d wish to ship my approach, please contact me.
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