Summary: I really enjoyed this entry into the series. I think it made some needed improvements over the previous game, COTM, both in graphics and controls. The gameplay, while challenging, wasn't overly difficult which is something I appreciate. Pretty much all the recent hand held games in the series have been great, but this is in the top three in my opinion. If you have a chance to pick it up, don't skip it!
Excellent game, but a bit short and lack challenge.
30 August 2011
Conclusion: Castlevania : Harmony of Dissonance is a good game, and fun to play. It fixes all that was wrong in Circle of the Moon, and has definitely aged better (considering it was released only one year later, it feels much smoother), but unfortunately it is also easier and shorter, so don't expect a huge challenge with this game. Eventually, Konami has released their third and final GBA Castlevania : Aria of Sorrow, which will be way better than both, but that's another story.
Pros: Castlevania : Harmony of Dissonance is the 2nd game of the series to have been released on the Game Boy Advance. The 1st, Circle of the Moon, was successful, but the game had bad graphics and very little sprites, and the game felt overall inconsistent. Harmony of Dissonance fixes all that was wrong with Circle of the Moon and go back close to what Symphony of the Night was.
Cons: The only bad point about this game is the lack of challenge. The game is hard at the beginning of the as you start underleveled, but after some point it becomes way easier than other Castlevania games for some reason. Most bosses are a cakewalk, too. A reason for this is probably the spells which are so powerful.
Excerpt: Fifty years after Simon Belmont vanquishes Dracula, one of his descendants, Juste Belmont, is hunting the Count's lost relics, when Maxim, a family friend, informs him that Lydie, a childhood friend, has been kidnapped. As Maxim leads Juste in search of her, a castle materializes out of the fog, which the two begin to explore.
Excerpt: Castlevania titles in recent years have been nothing but goodness, or so it would seem. Even the 3D titles on PS2 have been of generally high quality. Coming prior to the triumphs of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and post the triumph that is Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, one would presume Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance to be another in the string of high quality. According to some, this is indeed the case.
Summary: WIth the Sorrow series being the first Castlevania games that I TRULY played, I can say this about Harmony of Dissonance so far . . . it's hard. It's almost NES, SNES Castlevania hard. The graphics are definitely better than the 16 bit days, but after playing it on the DS and later games on the GBA, this game seems a little bit rough for wear. However, this does NOTHING to detract from the challenge presented. Difficult, but don't give up on it.
Conclusion: Castlevania's second game for the Game Boy Advance is a good game, but not better than the previous one. You'll enjoy exploring an enormous castle, taking all the relics and collectibles of the game and all the things that you usually do in a game like this. Don't expect too much or you'll be disappointed (specially if you've played Castlevania: Circle of the Moon). Take away Dracula's ambition... again.
Pros: Harmony of Dissonance is the second game of the Castlevania series for the Game Boy Advance system. It has many new features, bigger sprites, a new magic spell system based on spell books instead of the DSS system seen in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon and two castles (which are the same one with a different look).
Cons: The androgynous main character Juste Belmont suits with the essence of the game, but the story is a bit stupid. Dracula's presence is only available if you do some specific tasks, if you don't you won't see him, facing a final big boss a bit disappointing. Anyway, Dracula as the final boss is disappointing too, far from the evil boss of the other games of the series.
An enjoyable, but merely average entry to the series.
The Cliffe, MobyGames
19 June 2009
Conclusion: While the core design of Harmony of Dissonance shows a lot of potential to make a truly memorable Castlevania, the final product, with the flaws that it has, bumps this title down to a simply passable platform adventure game. Nothing is so wrong with it that it's completely unplayable, but Castlevania fans are used to a higher standard of game than what's presented here.
Pros: If you've ever played Castlevania before, specifically Symphony of the Night, you'll get what's going on here very quickly. Harmony of Dissonance sticks very much to the formula that its predecessors laid out for it, and that's mostly a good thing. You play the role of Juste Belmont, who's taken on the family responsibility of keeping the vampires in check. In this particular adventure, you and your friend Maxim are charged with exploring a mysterious castle that has ...
Cons: It's not hard to see that Konami wanted to capture the same feel for this game that they had for Symphony of the Night. Unfortunately, by comparison, Harmony of Dissonance feels distinctly average. Even though the platforming jumping, puzzles, and combat live up to the Castevania name, I just could shake the feeling that I've done all of this before, and there wasn't anything particularly new here.