Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is the second Game Boy Advance title and one that follows the Metroidvania format once again. Improving here and there on Circle of the Moon’s minor setbacks, Harmony of Dissonance proves that lightning can strike three times. Although, this time around, the overall package might come off as underwhelming.
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance follows Symphony of the Night more closely
Taking one look at the box art, and one can see Konami used a similar art style to the PSOne classic. Starring Juste Belmont (Author’s Note: Who kind of looks like Alucard?) as the latest Belmont to take on the Vampire Lord. Dracula has kidnapped Juste’s childhood friend Liddy, but in typical shonen anime, his best friend/rival/shipping-partner-in-many-a-fan-fiction, Maxim Kishine, wants to save her first.
Gameplay-wise, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance utilizes the whip seen in most Castlevanias. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a missed opportunity to do something different with the combat. The new Spell Fusion system is similar to Castlevania Legends’ sub-weapon system but offers more variety. For example, Juste can combine the ice with the dagger weapon to shoot multiple targets at once. It’s a nice touch, but it doesn’t have a lot of customization, which is a downer.
Luckily, Konami piled on the RPG-elements with an overabundance of armor and sub-weapons to collect throughout the game. When you beat the game, you can play as Maxim, who has shurikens and can double jump. It doesn’t change a whole lot, but it does make the game much easier playing as him.
Music is fine, and the graphics have been improved over Circle of the Moon. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is one of the better-looking games on the GBA.
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is a good, 4/5 game
Overall, there is nothing truly horrible about Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. However, it doesn’t do too much different that sets it apart from the other Metroidvanias. The castle is overall pretty plain, and while there are some good platforming elements, it just has a very “been there, done that” vibe. However, it’s simple nature and the genuine decrease in difficulty make Harmony of Dissonance a great “beginner’s entry” to the Metroidvania-genre.
Regardless, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is worth playing, whether you are a hardcore fan or a newcomer to fighting Dracula.