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The RetroBeat — Castlevania: Circle of the Moon in some way grew to become underrated

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Castlevania: Circle of the Moon has had some ups and downs in the case of public opinion. When it debuted as a launch title for the Game Boy Advance, it was one of many best-reviewed video games ever. People had been so glad to have one other Castlevania sport in that Symphony of the Night type.

But then its popularity declined. As we acquired 5 extra Metroidvania-style Castlevania video games on Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, Circle of the Moon started to really feel a bit quaint and outdated to many. And then Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi famously acknowledged 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 have now the Castlevania Advance Collection, which has given me an opportunity to replay Circle of the Moon for the primary time in many years. You know what? This sport is pretty much as good as everybody was saying again when it was new.

Sure, its graphical presentation isn’t as snappy as Symphony of the Night. You don’t have of these fancy PlayStation 3D results. This fortress and its enemies can typically look a bit easy. But Circle of the Moon nonetheless performs like a top-tier motion sidescroller.


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Bloody tears

I additionally respect the sport’s problem. Numerous the Metroidvania Castlevanias don’t supply a good problem. You can simply farm expertise factors and cash, which you’ll be able to then spend on a large 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 laborious to come back by. This means it’s important to rely extra ability, timing, and good magic utilization to beat its difficult bosses, particularly the brutal remaining battle with Dracula.

Speaking of magic, I really 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 decide one card from every deck, and this offers you a distinct spell or impact. It may make fireballs spin round your character, or it may allow you to regenerate well being whilst you’re standing nonetheless. There are a variety of totally 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 fortress doesn’t have many gimmicks like, like Harmony of Dissonance’s two-layered map. This simply looks like a quintessential, fast-paced Castlevania expertise.

Oh, and the soundtrack is unbelievable. And since we now not should cope with 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 Collection. I couldn’t disagree extra. I’ll discuss Harmony of Dissonance one other time, however each it and Circle of the Moon nonetheless stay top-tier Metroidvanias. Maybe neither of them are the perfect of their sequence, however I’m unsure how you may totally low cost them as subpar choices.

Now I’m excited to check out Aria of Sorrow for the primary time in years. Of course, 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 how previous favorites — and their design methods — encourage immediately’s market and experiences. If you’ve gotten any retro-themed tasks or scoops you’d wish to ship my method, please contact me.


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