Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Having discovered that he is the reincarnation of Dracula, Soma Cruz is living out a peaceful life with his friends. But anything that powerful cannot be contained as the evil Celia Fortner has a plan to possess Soma's body and corrupt it in an effort to strengthen her own power. But Celia is about to find out that if you mess with someone who has the powers of a vampire, you are likely to get bit.
Being the umpteenth title in the Castlevania franchise, is as fresh and fun as the first. Featuring a leveling up system, new powers to acquire, hidden items, tons of characters and a decent story, this is a worthy successor in a winning franchise.
Castlevania DS is an easy to control adventure. As Soma, you run around a 2D world left, right, up and down looking for new weapons, and powers all the while taking on some legitimately cool looking baddies. The fluid motion of the character's movements is translated nicely for a handheld game. I like the almost RPG feel the game has to it even though it is decidedly an action title. But for what its worth, the game is almost like an early form of those action RPGs later found in games like Baldur's Gate and Brotherhood of Steel with you running around and fighting in real time using special attacks and clever magic.
The touch screen is used but not over the top. You don't feel as if it's used as a gimmick, since you primarily use it for casting magic seals. At certain times the touch screen will appear and you must draw the seal on the screen thus completing the magic. I was reminded of the cartoon Full Metal Alchemist personally, wicked cool.
The sound and visuals are both done with a certain amount of bravado. Since the game has decidedly gothic under tones, you can expect a certain visual flair to be presented. Characters all seem to wear tight leather and buckle type clothing and the architecture have a 14th century Romania feel to it. The monsters are surprisingly large, mean looking, and come at you in threes and fours. The action style sound effects were in the anime vein and the action attacks had a crisp sound to them. The only thing that I would have like to seen was maybe some voice acting.
You can get a second game and you can team up to do battle against the forces of evil. I was hoping this title would only require one game for multiplayer play, but it didn't. Can't really give it a hard time though, since this game is worth buying anyway.
But when you step back and look at it, Castlevania is really a kick-butt action title. The game has a strong storyline and screams play me. It currently is the game I am obsessed with beating even though I have so many other reviews to do. To me, that's a sign of a real winner and while it may be tough at times, the DS has yet another winner on its hands. Pick this one up, you won't regret it.