Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

released on May 06, 2003

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

released on May 06, 2003

The year is 2035 and Soma Cruz is about to witness the first solar eclipse of the 21st century when he suddenly blacks out -- only to awaken inside a mysterious castle. As Soma, you must navigate the castle's labyrinths while confronting perilous monsters at every turn. But beware, you must escape before the evil consumes you!


Also in series

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Castlevania Chronicles
Castlevania Chronicles

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Reviews View More

A short and sweet "Igavania" with very satisfying combat and a great variety of different abilities to chose from, 100%ing it does require the mandatory grind of at least 3 souls, one of which the game does not tell you about, and for that alone it gets bumped down from a 4.0 to a 3,5.

Wow. Just wow. What a phenomenal video game.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is a worthy successor to Symphony of the Night that easily rivals it in quality. Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance were both good games, but they had plenty of issues that kept them from living up to the high bar that Symphony set in 1997. Circle of the Moon had a well-designed castle, an intriguing card system, and a suitably bopping soundtrack, but it was a little too difficult, relied far too much on luck for its RPG mechanics, and controlled like ass. Harmony of Dissonance had much better controls and smoother progression, but suffered from a confusing, repetitive map, and the music sounded like ass. Aria of Sorrow combines both of their strengths while casting out their weaknesses.

The map design, first and foremost, is phenomenal. It feels far more unique and varied than any castle before it, with a wide array of different biomes and set pieces to differentiate it. There’s also, thankfully, only one castle (well, technically there’s sorta a second one at the very end, but that’s more like a final level than a full second map), so it doesn’t fall into the same repetition that plagued Harmony of Dissonance. And, of course, there’s plenty of new abilities that allow you to unlock new areas, keeping that ultra-satisfying Metroidvania gameplay perfectly intact.

The visuals have received a massive upgrade from the previous two games. Aria of Sorrow is still pretty bright, but it balances that out by featuring more muted colors, befitting the gothic horror tone of this particular entry. The backgrounds are positively beautiful and eerie, especially the outdoor areas, where you get a full view of the solar eclipse that is reawakening Dracula’s lost powers. And of course, it’s all tied together by Ayami Kojima’s strikingly gorgeous art style and character designs.

The music is awesome, especially compared to the dogshit from Harmony. The theme for the opening area is especially catchy. Take a listen.

As far as combat goes, it’s fun as hell. We see the return of multiple weapons from Symphony of the Night, meaning that Soma, like Alucard, is able to slash and bash his way through enemies with a variety of different tools. Leveling up is also incredibly smooth and occurs at a reasonable pace, so no grinding necessary (unless you want to, of course).

Then there’s the Tactical Soul System, which is this game’s version of the DSS from Circle of the Moon, only it’s better in every way. It’s still somewhat dependent on RNG, but said RNG is way more lenient in the player’s favor, thus all but guaranteeing that you’ll get all of the Souls you need by the end. The Souls in question allow you to pick 3 different powers and combine them in whatever way you wish. It’s a far better RPG system than what the previous 2 games offered, while still allowing for robust customization options and combat advantages.

The story is okay. It’s still nothing special, but it’s by far the most interesting one since Symphony and carries a lot of lore revelations. It all builds up a pretty epic finale with three final bosses and all of Soma’s friends cheering him on.

The bosses are cool as fuck, too. Death randomly shows up and he’s as hard as you’d expect, there’s this weird creature that wears different heads and assumes different forms, and the final bosses are all epic, with the one against Graham being downright cathartic due to how much of a delusional, self-absorbed asshole he’d proven himself to be.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is just SO good. I can’t recommend it enough. If you haven’t played this game, then what the fuck are you still doing here??? Go play it! It’s amazing!

Played it on the Deck.
What can i say top of the line castlevania for the GBA.
It doesn't take too long even tho i say it still took me 8 hours which felt like 3 hours i usually feel fatigued after playing a search-action game but not whit this one.
This game is what i like to present to my friends that usually say that they get burned out on symphony of the night because its just that game but with all fat sheered off.
I like the soul expect of the game it adds a lot to it, i guess the grinding expect is the only problem with the game.
The one i thing i don't like is that there are some monsters that are really annoying to get looking at you flying fish.
I am not too big on achievements but retro achievements has added a bit of fresh air into some of these games especially if you have played these games a billion of times.
ANYWAY Do not miss out on this game.

This was great I can't decide if it was better than symphony of the night or not it was great though definitely the the best out of the game boy advance castlevania games.

Not as good as SoTN, but darn close. Soma is just such a fun protagonist to play as, love the powers, souls, (most) bosses, and the consistent growth.

Está bien, preferiría tener solamente un arma en vez de tener que ir intercambiando.