Conclusion: While HoD captures a good number of things about what makes Castlevania awesome, its approach to online play is quite messy and, frankly, depressing. I can't believe that this is what the fans get as our first online Castlevania... It's just a glorified grindfest with maybe a quarter of the map space you'd find in a full single-player Castlevania game!
Pros: Weapon variety is one of HoD's greatest strengths. It features hundreds of weapons from past Castlevania games, including mundane arms (like daggers) and mystical arms (like Valmanway!) alike. It's difficult to get good weapons at the beginning, and so you will most likely feel like a n00b – don't despair! Just keep running stages with uber-powered players and you'll be getting loot all over the place! Granted, this is exceedingly boring, but more on that in the cons ...
Cons: Basically, the structure of Harmony of Despair as a game is lacking, and the problems that would arise from the developers' design decisions would be obvious even at the development stage. Being an avid Castlevania fan I was extremely disappointed by how HoD turned out; a serious lack of levels to play, the pain of being a slow n00b as everyone else dashes ahead and does everything before you, money-grubbing DLC that gives you a paltry couple of new levels and charact...
Summary: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair takes the open-ended exploration of Castlevania and compacts it into an enjoyable multiplayer, action-based experience. Even though a lot of material in this package is dated and borrowed, it brings in an “all-star” mentality that combines characters, items, enemies, environments and more from a variety of Castlevania titles and molds it into a single concept.
Excerpt: Pour de nombreux joueurs, la série Castlevania forme l'un des patrimoines du jeu vidéo. Loin de se contenter d'un simple jeu d'action aventure, la série offre aussi et surtout un background, un univers, une atmosphère merveilleusement bien conçus et aux inspirations mythologiques diverses. Pour ceux et celles qui connaissent bien la saga, ce fait est indéniablement l'élément qui en constitue le moteur.
Summary: As a package " Castlevania: Harmony of Despair " offers an appealing package to the right player, its just the right player is not necessarily the traditional series fan. With so much hinging on others to get the most from the game many long time followers may be put off by the need for multiplayer. These same long time fans may also struggle to look past the reused assets, finding much of the game simply repackaged old levels played like as a time trial.
Extremely difficult action platformer shows plenty of blood.
Common Sense Media
19 October 2010
Summary: Parents need to know that Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is a challenging platformer with bloody combat. Note, though, that it’s retro graphics make the fantasy violence less visceral. It also supports online play with open voice communication, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for anyone under the age of 13. Its content is suitable for teens, though its extreme level of difficulty will likely leave players of all ages frustrated.
Excerpt: As far as sequels go, modern Castlevania games are some of the least adventurous: endlessly recycling the core ethos of 1997's iconic Symphony of the Night, right down to regurgitating the same art assets over and over again. It must put Konami in a right old pickle, as whenever it tries and branch out into something new – ill-advised 3D attempts, or the loathsome fighter Castlevania Judgement – its efforts are always significantly less successful than if it had just...
Summary: What a great way to spend a Saturday. I played this great downloadable off and on from 9 in the morning until 12 at night by myself and with lots of different online parties. The varied game-play mechanics of the 5 different characters keeps things interesting when trying the games 6 levels with each of them and gearing each of them up.