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Castlevania: Circle of the Moon has had some ups and downs in relation to 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 joyful to have one other Castlevania sport in that Symphony of the Night type.
However then its fame declined. As we bought 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video games on Sport Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, Circle of the Moon started to really feel a bit quaint and outdated to many.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 said 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’ve the Castlevania Advance Collection, which has given me an opportunity to replay Circle of the Moon for the primary time in a long time. You understand what? This sport is nearly 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 citadel 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 admire the sport’s problem. Quite a lot of the Metroidvania Castlevanias don’t supply a good problem. You may simply farm expertise factors and cash, which you’ll then spend on an enormous provide of health-refilling potions. That’s not the case in Circle of the Moon. There isn’t any in-game store, and potions are arduous to return by. This implies it’s a must to rely extra ability, timing, and good magic utilization to beat its difficult bosses, particularly the brutal closing 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 certainly one of two classes. You then choose one card from every deck, and this will provide you with a distinct spell or impact. It might make fireballs spin round your character, or it might allow you to regenerate well being when you’re standing nonetheless. There are loads of completely different card mixtures 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 citadel 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 need to take care of 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 value enjoying within the Castlevania Advance Assortment. I couldn’t disagree extra. I’ll speak about Concord of Dissonance one other time, however each it and Circle of the Moon nonetheless stay top-tier Metroidvanias. Possibly neither of them are the perfect of their sequence, however I’m unsure how you may fully low cost them as subpar choices.
Now I’m excited to check out Aria of Sorrow for the primary time in years. In fact, 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 taking a look at how previous favorites — and their design strategies — encourage in the present day’s market and experiences. In case you have any retro-themed tasks or scoops you’d prefer to ship my means, please contact me.
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