In accordance with the upcoming Halloween holiday, I am going to be doing a Nostalgia Game Review on one of the greatest Castlevania games of all time: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. It takes an exchange student named Soma Cruz on a journey to Japan. He goes on a date with his friend to see the full moon, which takes him and his date to Dracula's Castle, instead! Now, Soma must try and escape Dracula's Castle before it's too late.
Released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance, Aria of Sorrow is the third installment of the three Castlevania games for the Game Boy Advance. On your way to escaping Dracula's Castle, you collect souls that will either be used as projectiles, attacking weapons, or will boost your stats or give you special abilities. Hearts don't heal your health, as is established Castlevania canon. Rather, they heal your magic points. It's the potions and the meals that heal your health. You also level up and gain better weapons and armor as you progress through the game.
As you progress throughout the game, the game will get tougher to navigate. One big gripe of Igavania games are that you have to do a great deal of backtracking in order to progress. Aria of Sorrow will also ramp up in difficulty, which is especially true during the brutal fight against Balore.
That doesn't mean that the game is bad to play. No, this is one of the best, if not the best, Castlevania games around. Koji Igarashi did a masterful job establishing the soul system in the game, giving you more incentive to grind enemies and gain their soul. There's also plenty of post game content to try out, such as playing as Julius Belmont. The gameplay feels right, the music is awesome and has that Halloween feel, and the story line takes a surprising turn. This all amount to a masterpiece made by Igarashi.
I love Aria of Sorrow, as it is my favorite Castlevania game. Many others will agree with my statement. It's the game that feels right and has that Halloween feel to it. If you're looking for a Halloween game to play, I definitely recommend Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
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