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Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (NDS)

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow NDS, CV: DoS
Genre: Action, Role-Playing (RPG)
Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Gameplay: Metroidvania, Platform, Puzzle elements, Shooter
Setting: Europe, Fantasy
Narrative: Horror
Published by: Konami Digital Entertainment
Developed by: Konami TYO
Released: 2005
Platform: Nintendo DS (NDS)

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is the first game of our favorite series on the Nintendo DS. The action takes place one year after the events of Aria of Sorrow. The protagonist, still, Soma Cruz, who has the ability to absorb and use the souls of enemies. One morning, walking with Mina, unexpectedly he is attacked by a mysterious woman named Celia. As it turned out, she is the leader of some mysterious cult, eager for the resurrection of Dracula. In time, Genya came up, helped Soma make Celia hurry away. After this incident, Soma decides to go to the den of the cult to find out everything, and there to put an end to it.

The whole game takes place inside the lair of this cult, which is a copy of Dracula's castle. You begin, of course, a very weak character, having in your arsenal only a penknife and some rags with a hint of armor. Well, then explore the castle, fight monsters, solve puzzles, find new types of weapons, armor and gradually approach the solution to the main mystery of the game.

And, of course, during the game you will collect numerous souls of enemies. Equipped with them, Soma gains new abilities. There are four types of showers in the game. Bullet Souls are used to execute an attacking spell. Guardian Souls contain spells that constantly consume magic. There are two types of spells: 1) act as long as you hold the "R" button 2) turn on / off when pressing the "R" button. Enchant Souls begin to operate from the moment of equipment. They do not require magical power - just equip them. Their main goal is to support the status, not the attack of enemies. And, finally, Ability Souls begin to act from the moment they are received, do not require magical power and equipment. Most of them add to your arsenal of new movements, such as a double jump.

In the game over a hundred different types of enemies, so the combinations of souls are innumerable. But not all monsters will just give you their soul. Some of you again have to kill VERY many times.

Also, souls play an important role in improving weapons. Throughout the game you will find all new swords, spears, axes and pistols. Almost every weapon can be fused with the soul to get even more powerful weapons. It is worth noting a very interesting find of developers - Doppelganger. This soul opens the possibility to switch between two sets of equipment, when you press the "X" button. They are labeled "A" and "B" and are displayed below the magic line. It is rather useful to make one set predominantly for the battle, and another for moving around the castle. This will not save you from having to look at the inventory, but, nevertheless, minimize all delays in action.

The castle itself is divided into several areas, each of which adheres to a certain theme. For example, you will have to explore the clock tower, the garden, the chapel, the underground caves, etc. It is very convenient that the map is now displayed constantly - on the upper screen.

You are probably interested in the question of how to use the touch screen (touch screen - touch sensitive screen). It is used to break up blocks made of ice that block the passageways in some rooms. Even with its help, you can order familiars to attack enemies (not a very useful feature in the game, but nevertheless).

The most important role of the touch screen is to draw magic seals. You will find them during the game, and they will allow you to open the locked doors and finish off the bosses. This happens in the following way: when you bring the HP boss to zero, a magic circle appears, in which you will need to draw a seal. If you do it successfully - the boss will finally die, otherwise he will restore some of HP and you will have to repeat the process of killing him. In drawing magical seals, you can practice in a specially designated for this menu.

The main advantage of Castlevania on DS, in comparison with the parts on Game Boy Advance, is a graphic and sound design. Magnificent backgrounds, perfectly detailed, with overlay of several layers and very interesting pseudo 3D effects. Sprites of characters range from tiny to huge, and some monsters take up almost the entire screen. As already mentioned, there are over a hundred kinds of enemies in the game, most of which are taken from previous games, but there are also new faces. The enemies you know from other Castlevania look now more beautiful and "alive." Well, the animation at all on top! Great attention was paid to the details by the developers. For example, when Soma runs through the streets of a snowy village, steam from the mouth is visible, and in the mirrors the walls of the rooms, etc. are reflected. All this is very pleasing.

The sound in Dawn of Sorrow is higher than in GBA games. The soundtrack is not far behind the graphics - it was created by a team of two famous composers - Masahiko Kimura and Michiru Yamane. And each area of ​​the castle has its own unique musical theme. There are many beautiful piano and string compositions in the game. In general, the melodies are bright and memorable. Sound effects are also good, although there are very few spoken dialogs - but they probably just did not fit into the cartridge.

The complexity of Dawn of Sorrow is similar to Aria of Sorrow. Some bosses will make you pretty sweat. But all the same, the main difficulty here is the gathering of all souls. Of course, you can run the whole game in less than 6 hours (if you know what to do and where to go), but you will not get the full pleasure. Where it is more interesting to perform all the sub quests and collect all the souls. And even after you go through the game, there will be a lot of bonuses, the main ones of which are Julius Mode and Boss Rush Mode.

In Julius Mode, you play Julius Belmonte, who is sent to destroy Soma, who became Dracula. In this mode, you also earn experience points and raise your level. However, the difficulty here is an order of magnitude higher, therefore in the murder of Soma, you will help Yoko and ... Alucard! Yes, yes, in this game you will again get the chance to play Alucard, which looks exactly like in SotN. Characters can be switched directly during the game - which is very useful, because each of them has his own unique attacks and abilities, for example Julius beats the whip at a great distance, Yoko can restore HP and use magic, and Alucard is able to turn into a bat and beat the sword with teleportation.

In Boss Rush Mode you must defeat all the bosses of the game for a certain time. And depending on your results, you will receive different bonus items, for example, a hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher, a nunciak, etc.

Even in the game there is a mode in which you can arrange previously defeated enemies in the room, and then, using Wi-Fi, give it to your friend (also a happy DS owner). Well, of course, you can exchange via Wi-Fi showers.

As you probably already guessed Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a great game. This is further development of AoS ideas, excellent graphics and sound, fascinating gameplay, the convenience of two screens, the original system of magical seals and responsive management.