Review: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

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Review: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Harmony of Despair is an interesting twist on the Castlevania formula, but is also an acquired taste.

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Ah, well, I thought the game looked a little wacky when I saw the videos of it on XBL. This clears up a lot of things for me.

I probably won't be getting it, even though one of my XBL friends has been playing it non-stop for the last week. I'll be waiting for the new Tomb Raider co-op... which a truly hope is good.

Everything looked decent up until the fricken time limit. A Time limit? geez that just ruins it all. I would love to explore a HUGE castle with friends because the hit detection can make the game a blast. Avoiding deadly blades and traps that come within inches of you is what made SOTN a lot of fun, so while this shares the same notion, the time limit really screws you over and makes you rush.

meganmeave:
Ah, well, I thought the game looked a little wacky when I saw the videos of it on XBL. This clears up a lot of things for me.

I probably won't be getting it, even though one of my XBL friends has been playing it non-stop for the last week. I'll be waiting for the new Tomb Raider co-op... which a truly hope is good.

That's me, isn't it?

OT:

I'm loving it. Playing as Shanoa is a blast, but this game DEFINITELY requires you to have played Castlevania before, for newcomers, just get Symphony of the Night on the arcade, or the DS games.

But really, just get the DS games.

Especially Order of Ecclesia. I've seen far too many online players who've played Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, SOTN...but have NOT played OoE.

That said, the time limit is barely an issue. I've never run out of time, as I'm usually long dead by then.

One quick note, whenever a "dead" skeleton player dies, the time goes down 3-5 minutes, to prevent people from exploiting it as a form of infinite life, since when the skeleton dies, you just respawn.

Kinda disappointing that they didn't try to adapt the formula for multiplayer rather than simply stripping components and restructuring levels. Ah well.

So what I'm hearing is, if you're not going to play multiplayer, stick with Shadow Complex. Got it, time for another run.

IRON MAIDEN!!

Onyx Oblivion:

meganmeave:
Ah, well, I thought the game looked a little wacky when I saw the videos of it on XBL. This clears up a lot of things for me.

I probably won't be getting it, even though one of my XBL friends has been playing it non-stop for the last week. I'll be waiting for the new Tomb Raider co-op... which a truly hope is good.

That's me, isn't it?

Perhaps... <.<

You do seem to be enjoying it. I was tempted to buy it only because I knew any time I got on I could try the multiplayer madness because you would be playing it.

Maybe it's just me and my backseat gaming nature...

But looking at a video of someone playing on Youtube... I swear, just about five seconds in the full zoom-out, I could make a clear cut path to the boss and pretty much made right-on guesses as to what switch would open what doors for the stages I saw (the first three)

Most everything else felt relatively instinctive by the visuals alone.... Now to wait until it gets ported to PSN..... Maybe..

meganmeave:

Onyx Oblivion:

meganmeave:
Ah, well, I thought the game looked a little wacky when I saw the videos of it on XBL. This clears up a lot of things for me.

I probably won't be getting it, even though one of my XBL friends has been playing it non-stop for the last week. I'll be waiting for the new Tomb Raider co-op... which a truly hope is good.

That's me, isn't it?

Perhaps... <.<

You do seem to be enjoying it. I was tempted to buy it only because I knew any time I got on I could try the multiplayer madness because you would be playing it.

I can promise you this...I'll teach you the levels, and then the time limit will NEVER trouble you. Not even the first time. If you want me to slay everything for you so you can get PHAT LOOT, I'll do it. If you want me to back off, so that you can do stuff on your own, I'll do it. I've got 40 hours with this game...That's just with one characters. I plan to master all 5 in the end...So, I pretty much enjoy this game no matter what I'm doing.

obviously i'm into the castelvania series. SOTN is my favorite, so i was glad to hear that alucard was in the game. I had my doubts about the game from the trailers, and the time limit is seriously bugging me, but i still plan on buying it. Someone tell me if this is a huge mistake.

I think the developers forgot one important thing when making this game: bosses in Castlevania are going to kill you... a lot... before you can memorize their attack patterns and kill them. Making players restart the level every time a boss kills them is a completely unnecessary annoyance. Call me old-fashioned, but I like playing fighting from save point to save point, just like I always have.

Mass B:
obviously i'm into the castelvania series. SOTN is my favorite, so i was glad to hear that alucard was in the game. I had my doubts about the game from the trailers, and the time limit is seriously bugging me, but i still plan on buying it. Someone tell me if this is a huge mistake.

It won't. It really won't. Just use your map, and remember, SWITCHES ALWAYS NEED TO FACE RIGHT.

If the switch is facing left, it...NEEDS TO FACE RIGHT.

Onyx Oblivion:

meganmeave:

Onyx Oblivion:

meganmeave:
Ah, well, I thought the game looked a little wacky when I saw the videos of it on XBL. This clears up a lot of things for me.

I probably won't be getting it, even though one of my XBL friends has been playing it non-stop for the last week. I'll be waiting for the new Tomb Raider co-op... which a truly hope is good.

That's me, isn't it?

Perhaps... <.<

You do seem to be enjoying it. I was tempted to buy it only because I knew any time I got on I could try the multiplayer madness because you would be playing it.

I can promise you this...I'll teach you the levels, and then the time limit will NEVER trouble you. Not even the first time. If you want me to slay everything for you so you can get PHAT LOOT, I'll do it. If you want me to back off, so that you can do stuff on your own, I'll do it. I've got 40 hours with this game...That's just with one characters. I plan to master all 5 in the end...So, I pretty much enjoy this game no matter what I'm doing.

What is it with you and game pushing? First Limbo now this... I think maybe you are getting a cut.

You better play with me if I buy this, because I don't know anyone else who has it, and I don't want to be like Susan, standing in front of a wall that doesn't move because I don't have a partner.

Well, I'm sold. Nothing tempts me like saying that a game is very hard. Maybe I'll put it on my list after Demon's Souls.

Time limit + NO OFFLINE CO-OP = No Sale. And I love the Castlevania series, I hope Konami pull their act together and release a real 2D Castlevania game (hopefully with some redrawn sprites).

Ooooh owwww man I thought it was going to be better. The demo I played looked like "man we should get some guys together and play this" but if it's still lack luster? daaaamn

Time Limit


II


Deal Breaker

Harmony of Despair lets you and up to five friends play as one of six iconic Castlevania characters, like Alucard, Soma Cruz, or Jonathan Morris

After this, I couldn't take a single word you said seriously.

If local co-op=0,
purchase HoD=0.
Simple as that.

ONE: HAving to know about castlevania isn't remotely a flaw. I mean seriously. "You have to know about castlevania wHeh". ... and?

TWO: the time limit isnt that bad every, go play the pre-SOTN CV games. see? time limit ain't that bad.

EDIT: yeah sorry, but still I think the review sounded whiny. basically It sounds like a mix of classic and new-classic CV games, Only with Co-Op.

Also: Harmony of Despair...

Oh what the fuck? you mean they are STILL using the lame titles?

HarmanSmith:
I think the developers forgot one important thing when making this game: bosses in Castlevania are going to kill you... a lot... before you can memorize their attack patterns and kill them. Making players restart the level every time a boss kills them is a completely unnecessary annoyance. Call me old-fashioned, but I like playing fighting from save point to save point, just like I always have.

"Old Fashioned"?

So I take it you've never played Castlevania, and had to restart from the beginning of the game when you were Bat-ed off a ledge, climbing to Drac, eh?

"Old Fashioned" indeed. :/

Z(ombie)fan:
Also: Harmony of Despair...

Oh what the fuck? you mean they are STILL using the lame titles?

Yeah, why don't they just say "Castlevania 29", seriously, what the hell?

...not to be taken seriously, thanks.

WHAT were they thinking with a time limit?! god the stupidity of game designers. What baffles me is that all the designers woudl have had to approve this at some point, and it gone through levels of decisions where everyone agreed it would be an excellent idea

Speaking as someone who has completed it on hard (you have to complete it on normal first before you unlock the difficulty), the time limit isn't an issue, you can happily clear the entire level, and get all the loot in about 15 mins.

Also, I have over 10 friends to play this with online. 6 player co-op is a blast.

RvLeshrac:

HarmanSmith:
I think the developers forgot one important thing when making this game: bosses in Castlevania are going to kill you... a lot... before you can memorize their attack patterns and kill them. Making players restart the level every time a boss kills them is a completely unnecessary annoyance. Call me old-fashioned, but I like playing fighting from save point to save point, just like I always have.

"Old Fashioned"?

So I take it you've never played Castlevania, and had to restart from the beginning of the game when you were Bat-ed off a ledge, climbing to Drac, eh?

"Old Fashioned" indeed. :/

Ok, you caught me, I only started playing Castlevania when they came out for the GBA and only had started playing SotN when I cracked the disk (it was not good). To make amends, I will go buy SotN on XBLA. Regardless, that's how I remember Castlevania from my childhood. Leave my nostalgia alone!

No offline co-op/singleplayer? cash grab. no thanks, konami.

Time...limit? HUH!? Seems like a really..>REALLY stupid idea to me...

oranger:
No offline co-op/singleplayer? cash grab. no thanks, konami.

Agreed!

Blue-State:

Time Limit


II


Deal Breaker

This.

Yeah, I know Super Mario Bros also had a time limit and so did a lot of games. but games have outgrown arbitrary time limits like that since we stopped playing games in video arcade and failure meant inserting another quarter.

Z(ombie)fan:
ONE: HAving to know about castlevania isn't remotely a flaw. I mean seriously. "You have to know about castlevania wHeh". ... and?

TWO: the time limit isnt that bad every, go play the pre-SOTN CV games. see? time limit ain't that bad.

EDIT: yeah sorry, but still I think the review sounded whiny. basically It sounds like a mix of classic and new-classic CV games, Only with Co-Op.

Also: Harmony of Despair...

Oh what the fuck? you mean they are STILL using the lame titles?

Actually, having to know Castlevania is a flaw when it degrades the experience for anyone unfamiliar with the franchise lore. If the game did a better job of telling you what's what, then fine, but it doesn't. It doesn't make the game unplayable by any stretch, but it does make it a far more shallow and confusing experience.

I was definitively on board of this until I heard about the time limit, which seems just like extra baggage. That said, I was still considering it until I heard it doesn't have any offline co-op and it's not very good single-player.

Ugh.

YukoValis:
Everything looked decent up until the fricken time limit. A Time limit? geez that just ruins it all. I would love to explore a HUGE castle with friends because the hit detection can make the game a blast. Avoiding deadly blades and traps that come within inches of you is what made SOTN a lot of fun, so while this shares the same notion, the time limit really screws you over and makes you rush.

Just what I was thinking. They could at least have made it an option for the speedfreaks out there.
And then there is the entire lack of help for new players. Quite the way to limit sales, dontcha think?

I have never found that 30 minute timer to be a problem and I have already racked up about 40 hours on it already. Also, I am awesome at it. :D

RvLeshrac:

HarmanSmith:
I think the developers forgot one important thing when making this game: bosses in Castlevania are going to kill you... a lot... before you can memorize their attack patterns and kill them. Making players restart the level every time a boss kills them is a completely unnecessary annoyance. Call me old-fashioned, but I like playing fighting from save point to save point, just like I always have.

"Old Fashioned"?

So I take it you've never played Castlevania, and had to restart from the beginning of the game when you were Bat-ed off a ledge, climbing to Drac, eh?

"Old Fashioned" indeed. :/

My brother raged when he saw what you wrote lol he played Simon's Quest on an emulator. those damn bats and medusa heads got us every time

I'm so glad it's not been dumbed down for non gamers. Quite honestly I couldnt give a damn about the business side of gaming. I would rather play quality games that arent nerfed down to the lowest common denominator.

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