Welcome to another edition of Nostalgia Game Review, a piece where I review video games from your (and my) childhood. This edition will be covering a game that is perfect for ushering in fall: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. Harmony of Dissonance was made for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. The game takes you on a journey as Juste Belmont, a descendant of the legendary Simon Belmont that vanquished Dracula's curse fifty years ago, as he tries to rescue his childhood friend, Lydie.
A "Metroid-Vania" style game, Harmony of Dissonance has two different castles for you to traverse through. Completing 100% of each castle is an objective of yours and you go through the castles collecting spell books and relics. The spell books can be used to combine your spells with your sub-weapons to unleash powerful attacks on your enemies, while the relics help you to go through various tribulations of the castle. You level up in this game and can equip yourself with various items to boost your character.
The only downside of playing through this game is that you may have a hard time going around the castle if you're a first-time player. Certain doors can only be accessed by the use of a bracelet, while some paths can only be accessed by using the Crushing Stone to take down crumbling barriers. You'll have to navigate back and forth for long periods of time if you are to complete this game 100%.
Other than that, this game can be addicting because of the navigation. Having two castles to travel around in makes for a fun journey, for you don't know what to expect in the next path. The visuals are nice and the boss battles require some strategy to pass through, making for a trademark Castlevania game. I love Castlevania because of the horror element as well and that is alive and well in this game, too.
Harmony of Dissonance provides a good adventure for those looking for a new "Metroid-Vania" game to try. Countless hours of exploration mixed with intense battles make for an excellent game (even if the soundtrack's a little cheesy).
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