Ryo here, popping in to chat briefly about an Arcade game I picked up recently and tried out with a few friends.
During one of the XBL weekly deals they decided to offer a bunch of Castlevania stuff on the Marketplace for reduced prices. The Arcade game Harmony of Despair being listed at half its usual price. Admittedly, I had heard very little of the title before actually playing it so I went in without any preconceptions of the game.
After spending a bit of time on the first chapter, I knew that I would love the game once I managed to boost the abilities of my characters. This is one of those games that if you have friends that are also fans of Castlevania, you are likely to enjoy it more since you will have people you know to assist you. Having up to six players running around a level independent of each other can lead to some undead wrecking mayhem, but I have yet to personally play with more than three people total.
The few gripes I had about the game during my playthrough are mostly petty. I’m not afraid to admit the first chapter kicked my ass until I brought out the magic user Shanoa and spammed fireballs at the level boss. Since then the chapter is easy to complete with my characters due to having better skills and equipment on them. To remedy getting your ass handed to you every which way, play with friends and team up on enemies.
One thing I love about this game, it is a multiplayer Castlevania game. I mean, it can’t really get much cooler than that thought alone. Can you imagine running around with two Belmont’s showing Dracula just how weak he is? Well now you don’t have to. I also loved the fact they bring back characters from previous games rather than dream up a bunch of new ones. The whole game takes place in a book that has various versions of Castlevania, and the heroes that traversed it, imprinted into its pages so completely brand new characters would have been a little out of place.
For Castlevania veterans and newcomers alike, this is a pretty good deal. If you picked it up during the Deal of the Week, all the better. If not, it is still worth a buy, particularly if you have a few buddies who also pick it up.
Just remember while playing this game, it is completely alright to farm souls for Soma and gold to buy equipment. Also, the Puppet Master is a cheap bastard.
AMMIH Rating: 4/5