Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Game Info
GameBoy Advance
Official Website
ESRB Rating
The Good

• Great classic gameplay
• DSS provides lots of customization
• Excellent challenge

The Bad

• Screen is too dark


The Castlevania series has always been wildly popular and for a good reason. Each of the 2D action/platformers have provided wonderful challenge and a satisfying adventure which leaves fans begging for more. And then there were the 3D N64 games... I won't go there. In Circle of the Moon, you play as Nathan Graves, who must fight his way through the monster infested castle with the aid of your partner, Hugh Baldwin, to rescue Morris Baldwin, your master, and put Dracula down once again. The story itself is fairly basic, but then again, if you wanted a deep story, you weren't looking for Castlevania in the first place.

Where Castlevania is strongest is the action. You have a large castle to explore with multiple paths and hidden areas to find. All the while, you're whipping your way through legions of beast, including bats, skeletons, mummies and many more. Circle of the Moon is classic Castlevania gameplay at it's best, with numerous subweapons, like the dagger and holy water. To add a depth to the gameplay and action, a DSS (Dual Set-up System) has been added to the game, which allows you to equip two cards you find in the castle in combination for special attacks or improvements on your own skills. Each card has their own specialty, but when you equip certain cards in tandem, you can unlock a variety of special skills and magic.

Graphically, Circle of the Moon looks pretty good. While it may not be the most detailed or visually impressive title for the GBA, it does what it needs to do - present you with the dark corridors that you need to work your way through. The soundtrack is nicely done and the sound effects, while fairly standard in presentation, work well for the game.

The only real flaw in the game is how dark it is. Considering how difficult it is to see games well on the GBA screen anyway, this may make some gamers squint way too hard to get in a good gaming session.

Circle of the Moon provides an excellent challenge that most games nowadays seem to lack. If you're a Castlevania fan, you already own this game. If not, but you enjoy a good game, check it out. Just make sure that you have a really good light source by which to play the game by.

- - Kinderfeld

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