The GBA Games

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#1 Posted by Epidehl (716 posts) -

What with Koji Igarashi's Kickstarter, and just wanting to play another of this kind of game, it seemed like now might be a good time to try and play the GBA Castlevania's which people seem to speak pretty highly of.

My questions are: Are all 3 of them generally considered "good"? At risk of burning out, is there one I should play above the other two? There's no real reason to play them in order, right?

Also, I'm going to be playing the Wii U Virtual Console versions of them, unless people have heard anything particularly bad about them.

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#2 Edited by ThunderSlash (2605 posts) -

Aria of Sorrow is generally the one I would recommend to people if they want to play one of the GBA ones. It leads straight into Dawn of Sorrow. Circle of the Moon is probably the most difficult one and Harmony of Dissonance has bad music (time to run before I get lynched for that!).

And yeah, there's no real reason to play them in order.

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#3 Posted by The_Ruiner (1776 posts) -

Aria of Sorrow. That's the best of the lot.

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#4 Posted by jacksukeru (6782 posts) -

I just played through Aria of Sorrow on the WiiU VC and that game still seems the same quality as the DS games, or just about. I've also downloaded Circle of the Moon which I have just barely played before, and while I'm looking forward to playing it I can't vouch for its quality relative to Aria just yet. I think it might be rougher.

As for Harmony of Dissonance I've played it long ago and mostly remember getting stuck for a long time and never finishing it as well as only having a whip as a main weapon (the player character being a Belmont and all) as the main points I didn't enjoy about it. It should be pretty cool still but don't expect the gameplay of Symphony of the Night or the DS games.

I think of the 3, Aria of Sorrow is the most like you'd expect these games to be and also probably the best one. Start with that.

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#5 Posted by GearSol (83 posts) -

I barely played Harmony of Dissonance, and never even played Circle of the Moon, so I can't really say anything about those, but I did love Aria of Sorrow. It might just be that I'm biased towards the non-Belmont games though, since I liked the Sorrows, Curse of Darkness and Order of Ecclesia the most (but never did get around to playing Portrait of Ruin...)

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#6 Edited by Justin258 (15661 posts) -

Basically, everyone's going to tell you to play Aria of Sorrow first, so might as well just play that and then move on to the other two if you find yourself liking it a lot.

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#7 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (1180 posts) -

Circle of The Moon was really good for the time, but I'd say it's aged the most out of the GBA games...so yeah go with Aria. If you get into the DS games I HIGHLY suggest Order of Ecclesia...it's probably my favorite. It's really unique and addictive and this newest IGA games seems to take a lot of its cues from Order.

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#8 Posted by Jeust (11739 posts) -

I recomend Aria of Sorrow first, and then Circle of the Moon. They are both awesome games, but I feel Aria of Sorrow is the better one.

About Harmony of Dissonance, I've heard that it's not as good as the other two.

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#9 Posted by kcin (1004 posts) -

I've never played Circle of the Moon, but I played every other GBA Castlevania game and I think the only reason I liked Aria of Sorrow the most was because the main character looked neat. Play them all, they're all rad.

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#10 Posted by csl316 (14968 posts) -

Though about going back to those, since the DS ones were so good (minus that Dawn of Sorrow sign drawing crap). Are the GBA ones at a similar quality bar? Or should I just beat Ecclesia again?

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#11 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Though about going back to those, since the DS ones were so good (minus that Dawn of Sorrow sign drawing crap). Are the GBA ones at a similar quality bar? Or should I just beat Ecclesia again?

To me they are as good, if not better at spots than Order of Ecclesia.

Aria of Sorrow is for example better than Dawn of Sorrow. In the story department, only having smaller sprites.

Circle of the Moon was the first of the GBA Castlevania titles, a little dark graphically, but with a very cool card system, and also interesting new game plus modes. Also it's hard to do 100% in it. It has a special dungeon, that is very hard and rewarding.

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#12 Posted by kcin (1004 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Though about going back to those, since the DS ones were so good (minus that Dawn of Sorrow sign drawing crap). Are the GBA ones at a similar quality bar? Or should I just beat Ecclesia again?

The GBA ones are good. I was compelled to beat them all. I didn't think any of them was bad and they all gave me exactly what I wanted from a Castlevania game. If you want a Castlevania game, you'll enjoy them.

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#13 Posted by Epidehl (716 posts) -

Aria of Sorrow it is then, thanks guys!

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#14 Posted by Belegorm (1848 posts) -

I do recommend Aria of Sorrow, but mostly as I don't know what your prior experience is with Castlevania, and how much you like hard games. Aria is ridiculously easy, but then Circle of the Moon is ridiculously hard. Aria of Sorrow also drops the oldschool horror tropey style of classic Castlevania, and the gothic horror of Symphony of the Night, for WB Kids style.

I think Circle of the Moon is probably the better game though. It's darker, style more like Symphony of the Night and the earlier games. It's kind of a follow-up to Bloodlines, which is very highly regarded (though hard as hell). The music is probably the best of the GBA games, several remixes of oldschool tunes that you don't see in the other new ones. You're limited to just your whip, but it does still use the classic heart and subweapon system that they got rid of with Aria. In Circle of the Moon though the magic system is very unique, with this weird card system. You won't find them all on your own but depending on the spells you choose you can change the way the game plays completely.

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