Quantcast
E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair


1:02 AM on 06.16.2010
E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair photo



So, you've seen Lords of Shadow but you're not convinced? Miserable that Konami has attempted another "fail" 3D Castlevania? Desperately seeking a 2D sidescroller instead? Well, my friends, you're in luck. I got to play Castlevania: Harmony of Despair at E3 today and I can confirm that this XBLA game is the old school adventure to salve your purist heart. 

It sidescrolls! It punishes! It Alucards! Read on for my hands-on impressions of Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is basically Konami making sure that retro fans shut and keep happy while it promotes Lords of Shadow. Those retro fans ought to be thoroughly satiated with this rather excellent throwback to the good old days of Castlevania, specifically the Symphony of the Night era. In fact, Harmony of Despair is very reminiscent of that classic PlayStation title, and not just because Alucard (along with a whole host of classic Castlevania characters) is playable. Many of the sprites look lifted straight from that game, and put to great use. 

The similarities to Symphony are quite striking, with the game feeling incredibly similar in terms of gameplay, sound and graphics. The music, too, sounds very faithful to the Symphony style, at least as much as I could hear over the din of the E3 showfloor. As someone who was close to getting a perfect game on SotN before his adorable stepson deleted the save file, this kinship with the PSOne classic is a complete and utter treat. 

As I played the game, many familiar enemies made their appearance. Old Armors, Fleamen, Skeletons, Ghosts, Zombies, Bone Pillars and (my favorite) Almaric Snipers were all seen in the demo I played, and all of them were deadly as ever. 

The game appears to put up a classic Castlevania challenge, but now you'll get help with six-player online co-op. Players will be able to choose any character they want, and multiple characters can choose an alternate color palette. With six color schemes to choose from, this basically means you can have six different colored Alucards, all kicking ass online. There will also be extra areas to reach in co-op mode. Or, you can compete against each other for points. 

Easily the greatest feature of Harmony of Despair is its "map" and I use quotations because it's not really a map. Instead, you zoom out of the ENTIRE game and see the whole castle in real-time. You can even keep playing while zoomed completely out, able to watch the entire map while you play inside it. You're able to zoom in and out at any time to check the surrounding areas, and it truly is a stupendous new addition. Who knew in-game maps could actually be fun?

Unfortunately there was no opportunity to check out the multiplayer, but the single player was fun enough. If you want your Castlevania exclusively 2D flavored, then this game may well be worth your time. Some players may feel it's a bit too "recycled" for their tastes, but I had a blast with it and was really pleased with the way the game played. The old school style, not to mention the inventive new map gimmick, really appeals to this Castlevania fan, and it should do for the rest of you as well. If it doesn't, well then you're probably just really hard to please.

Also, I only just got the idea that Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is abbreviated to Castlevania: HD. Clever girl...

E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair photo
E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair photo
E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair photo
E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair photo
E3 10: Hands-on with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair photo





Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.







Castlevania

6:10 PM on 03.21.2014
Symphony of the Night came together by ignoring past Castlevania games

Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji Igarashi just left Konami to become an independent developer. When Igarashi and the rest of his team began working on Symphony of the Night, they ha...more



12:00 PM on 03.21.2014
Alucard scowls a lot in this new Lords of Shadow 2 DLC trailer

Alucard is all set to star in an all new DLC campaign for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, and you can get a taste of his dual sword action in this new video. For the most part he kind of just stands there looking cool, but t...more



12:30 PM on 03.17.2014
Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow Mirror of Fate HD coming to Steam

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow -- Mirror of Fate HD has made its way to consoles, and now it's heading to Steam later this month, Konami has announced. No pricing scheme has been announced, but it'll probably be inline with the...more



View all Castlevania






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more