Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

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Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
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Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Release date(s) May 6, 2003 (NA)
May 8, 2003 (JP)
May 9, 2003 (EU)
Genre Action adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: Teen (T)
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is a video game that is a part of the Castlevania video game series. It was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, and it closely follows the new franchise gameplay and features established in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Its Japanese title is Castlevania: Minuet of Dawn (キャッスルヴァニア暁月の円舞曲 Castlevania: Akatsuki no Enbukyoku).

Plot

The game takes place in the year 2035 and stars Soma Cruz, a high school exchange student in Japan. While visiting the Hakuba Shrine with his friend Mina Hakuba, Soma is transported into Castlevania (Dracula's castle) along with her. There he meets Genya Arikado, who defeats a group of attacking enemies and explains Soma's ability to absorb monsters souls.

Aria of Sorrow has several possible endings, depending on the course taken by the player.

Gameplay

Aria follows the model established by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, that of an action-RPG. The player collects new equipment and skills by exploring the game's castle setting and fighting increasingly powerful enemies and bosses, leading up to a climactic encounter with the castle's master. The player primary attacks at close quarters using variety of weapons.

As with previous titles in the series, Aria introduces a new magic system. Each of 110 enemies in the game may provide a unique soul upon their defeat, depending on the player's luck. Once collected, souls may be equipped, granting new abilities.

The souls come in four main types:

  • Guardian souls - these provide mainly defensive abilites such as summoning Familiars, temporary invulnerability, or shapeshifting. They are activated or toggled with the R button.
  • Bullet souls - these provide subweapon-like functionality such as fireballs and other attacks. They are activated with the UP+B button combination.
  • Enchanted souls - these work to give Soma new latent abilities such as walking on water or increasing statistics.
  • Ability souls - these provide always-on abilities such as a double-jump and slide move. These are generally obtained from bosses and used to mediate level design in the same manner as in the Metroid games.
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Screenshot from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Souls can be traded with the use of two GBAs, two cartridges and a link cable.

Unlockable modes include playing as a Belmont (Soma Cruz is not a Belmont) and Boss Rush mode, where unique items are awarded for defeating the Boss creatures in sequence in a set amount of time.

After finishing the game, a new game can be started in Normal or Hard mode, with the option of keeping all items and souls (except souls that are necessary to keep the game storyline in order).

External links


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