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.
Excerpt: Similarly to the recent Mega Man games, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair’s visuals have retro charm, which will appeal to series fans. Characters are all from past entries in the franchise and the musical pieces are remixed versions of those from other games. Fan service is more or less permeating throughout the game, but actually playing it will reveal that Koji Igarashi and his team have conjured up something that merges the past of Castlevania with something that is...
Excerpt: 2010’s Summer of Arcade rolls on with the first XBLA-original Castlevania game yet - Harmony of Despair. CV: HD’s most noteworthy accomplishment is being the first online ’Vania yet. It also brings with it a widescreen format for gameplay, multiple playable characters, including Soma Cruz from Aria/Dawn of Sorrow, Shanoa from Order of Ecclesia, Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin from Portrait of Ruin, and the legendary Alucard from SoTN.
Excerpt: Does anyone recall ever asking for a multiplayer Castlevania game? Well, regardless, here we are. Harmony of Despair comes way out of left field, and it hooks you in unexpected ways. Not too bad for a concept that by all rights should be unworkable. If you're having trouble imagining how multiplayer Castlevania goes down, that's perfectly understandable.
Summary: Cooperative play probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when reflecting on Castlevania--a series that built an identity around solitary adventures through a single, massive castle. Some ardent fans may even consider the major integration of such a feature sacrilegious, something that breaks Castlevania's fundamental appeal. But, like it or not, cooperative play (that supports up to six players) is the crux of Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
Pros: Cooperative gameplay is fun, Grinding is addictive, Offers a good challenge
Cons: Instructions are terrible, Some areas seem too focused on multiplayer, Controls feel a bit too loose
Summary: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is not the 2D sequel to Symphony of the Night that Castlevania fans have been clamoring for, but it is a fresh approach to a series that has been remarkably predictable since the PlayStation's pitch-perfect Symphony of the Night. However, if you're planning on purchasing the game solely for its single-player content, you're probably going to be disappointed.
Pros: Entertaining co-op action for up to six players, Deep character customization through equipment, magic, and skill acquisitions, Challenging, fast-paced gameplay, Six playable protagonists from previous Castlevania games
Cons: Pixelated visual style goes for a retro feel instead of a modern take, Some may lament the lack of continues or extra lives, No story elements or leveling from earlier titles
Excerpt: The classic console game, Castlevania arrives on XBox Live with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and unlike the original game, this title supports co-operative play with up to six players, which is pretty damn impressive. If you’ve played this game on either the DS or the PlayStation, than coming back to this universe is like coming home again and although this title shares many of the same elements, there are enough changes to keep this title fresh and entertaining to...