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Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Game Boy Advance)

Teen
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Not the best of the series, but still enjoyable Bregalad (917) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
Vampire killer NeoJ (428) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
Finally the world sees another proper Castlevania game Kate Jones (454) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Symphony of the Night fans, rejoice! 2D Castlevania rides again. Lucas Schippers (59) unrated

Our Users Say

Category Description MobyScore
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.1
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.8
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.8
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.9
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.7
Overall MobyScore (65 votes) 3.8


The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
100
Pocket Magazine / Pockett Videogames
La liberté de mouvement est totale car le château constitue le seul niveau de jeu. Vous resterez bloqué à certains endroits lors de votre premier passage. Pour pouvoir progresser, il vous faudra tout d’abord trouver puis battre un boss. Bonne surprise : les graphismes sont meilleurs que ceux des épisodes sur Super Nintendo. Les scrollings sur plusieurs plans font honneur aux capacités de la console et la jouabilité ne pose aucun problème. Certes, le héros mériterait un peu plus d’étapes d’animation mais c’est l’un des jeux les plus prenants de la machine.
100
Gaming Age
I really can't praise Konami enough for this awesome little package. Castlevania is back, and with the almost guaranteed success of this title, maybe it won't be too long before we'll see a true sequel to SotN. Now, wouldn't that be something? Until that time comes, do yourself a favour and pick up Circle of the Moon. This is easily one of the best games I've played in the past two years and is worthy of any true gamers attention. Buy it. Play it. Love it. The end.
100
GamesFirst!
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon has everything you liked from the series. They have taken the best of each and added it all into this tiny cartridge. With the classic story, haunting music, and gothic visuals, this game should not be missed. There have not been many action/adventure games out for this new system yet. So if you are looking for a little bloodletting, pick up this game and pray that you make it out alive. You will never be the same again.
100
UOL Jogos
Castlevania foi, de longe, o grande favorito do lançamento do Game Boy Advance aqui no UOL Jogos. Sim, ele não é incrivelmente revolucionário, e apresenta alguns probleminhas nos gráficos, mas compensa tudo isso com jogabilidade impecável e uma profundidade incomum nos portáteis.
100
GamePro (US)
Drac’s back thanks to the Game Boy Advance, and all’s well in the video game bloodsucker’s paradise known as Castlevania. The evil Count Dracula has been resurrected, and you, a member of the legendary, whip-wielding, vampire-hunting Belmont clan, are called into action to put him down for the um, count. Circle closely resembles the PlayStation’s famed Symphony of the Night with a non-linear game structure, a host of power-ups, potent weapons, a gigantic piece of real estate, and play time that’s guaranteed to suck the life from the Energizer bunny. Set against a myriad of beautifully rendered 2D environments, the detailed visuals convey a feeling of dread, and although perceptive Castlevania fans will notice several music pieces have been lifted from previous Vania titles, they’re no less effective here. Game Boy Advance owners should stake out a copy of this game before the next full moon.
98
Nintendojo
This title is certainly one of the must buy launch titles. Although there’s definitely room for improvement, you’ve got to keep in mind that this is an incredibly deep adventure for a launch title. I don’t usually advocate action titles as heavily as I am with Circle of the Moon, but damn, this is a great game. It’s certainly going to be used as a benchmark for the system both in terms of quality and depth.
96
GameSpot
When all is said and done, Circle of the Moon is a game that really picks up where Symphony of the Night left off and stands out as one of the best portable adventures ever created. Anyone craving an amazing 2D adventure--not just Symphony of the Night fans--would be absolutely foolish to pass on this one.
94
RPGFan
My recommendation for anyone who owns a GBA and enjoys action RPGs is to get this game. Also, if you liked Symphony of the Night, it would behoove you to get this title as it's more of the same great gameplay you loved from the PSX game, shrunk, simplified, and even added to a bit. Add to all that quite a bit of replay from a few secrets you find after you beat the game, and you've got a masterpiece on your hands. Just remember to have your play area well lit or you WILL go blind. Excellent job Konami.
91
The Next Level
Overall, Castle of the Moon is excellent, In my opinion, it's designed better than Symphony of the Night and my few detracting statements should be considered to be nothing more than a small bit of nitpicking. As a long-time fan of this series, not only can I recommend the latest edition, but now, I can finally feel clean after having played through the N64 incarnation. So if you'll excuse me *plugs in his GBA and goes to a well-lit corner* I've got to go teach some undead freak the meaning of the word "respect".
91
Netjak
Symphony of the Night it’s not. But Circle of the Moon, at the time of its release, was considered the best game available for the Game Boy Advance. These days, it only costs ten dollars to see why. I highly suggest you do so.
91
Gaming Target
There are not many features in Castlevania, just one really good one. It’s called Dual Setup System (DSS). There are 10 Action cards and 10 Attribute cards to be found in the notorious castle. By mixing and matching them you can unleash some really cool effects. For instance just combining with just the fire card can get you a flaming whip, a defensive shield of fire or increased strength. After hours of play I haven’t even found half of the cards yet. There tons of cool moves I have yet to see. The DSS option leaves so much room for each player to tackle the Lord of Darkness in their own way.
90
Playmag
De l'action à revendre, une durée de vie babylonienne, une évolution du perso excellente, un gameplay tutoyant la perfection, en résumé, Castlevania : Circle of the Moon est l'épisode 2D ultime, dernier de tous ceux déjà réalisés.
90
Rely on Horror
Graphically, Circle is brilliant. One thing about the Gameboy Advance is that it is basically a miniature Super Nintendo / N64 hybrid that is stronger than the SNES, but not quite as strong as the N64, which allows for a nice, colorful, detailed environment to be explored. While the game’s animations are not as fluid as those in Symphony, it does not hinder the pace or the fun experienced. It all wraps up nicely inside the shell of its soundtrack provided by Sotaro Tojima and Hiroshi Mitsuoka – an anthemic soundtrack, but still lacking the melodies and beauty of Michiru Yamane’s work. If you like Symphony, then you will undoubtedly enjoy this title. From the gameplay to the innovative combat systems to the ever familiar feeling of gradual exploration, this game is a nice ride and still plays like it did ten years ago –nice and smooth.
90
All Game Guide
In the end, this game is a must buy for vampire hunters. The game stands out as one of the most enjoyable Castlevania titles on the market. Best of all, the only thing it will suck the life out of are your batteries.
90
Super Play
Tack vare grafiken och ljudet hålls stämningen på topp, och serien känns återigen härligt Castlevania. Hur ska vi nu sammanfatta och avsluta det här? Kanske helt enkelt genom att säga att detta är ett mycket bra spel, det absolut första jag själv kommer att köpa till konsolen, och att missa det är definitivt ett stort misstag.
90
Game Informer Magazine
If the controls weren’t so stiff, this pocket-size vampire slayer would be just as irresistible as Symphony of the Night. Complete with RPG elements and stunning sprite graphics, this is the GBA title to get.
90
Game Critics
Other than that, there's not much to talk about with Circle Of The Moon. Solid and fun to play, but with both feet solidly planted in the past. Those who miss this style of play should definitely pick up the game, but those waiting for an innovative title to cross the handheld are forced to wait a little longer.
90
Eurogamer.net (UK)
The gameplay doesn't get much more advanced. In Castlevania though, every new turn is a potential upgrade to your armoury, and there are techniques to learn gradually from start to stop. In terms of replay value, we don't know yet, unlike every other launch title we still haven't finished Circle of the Moon. It's big, it's sprawling, and it gives you something new to play with every few minutes. That's textbook gaming, that. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon feels more like Super Metroid Advance than Castlevania Advance. The idea of "levels" is gone, replaced by a single, overpowering castle of epicurean proportions, and the execution (apart from some occasionally questionable graphics) is spot on. A fantastic game from the "just one more go" school of development. Kudos to Konami.
90
Kombo.com
Graphically, CCM is stunning. It shows off the GBA's capabilities and is nothing less than astounding on such a small scale. Granted, this is a gothic horror game, so it's extremely dark. Sometimes too dark, but the details make up for the lack of light. Equally stunning is the sound. The game begins with what sounds like Gregorian chanting. All this from such a small package. If you like old-school side-scrollers, you'll be happy to know that Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is, without a doubt, the first absolutely must-have title for the GBA.
90
NintendoWorldReport
The game should take you over 10 hours to beat, and even longer if you wish to completely explore the map. There are additional modes of play for you to explore after clearing the game as well. In conclusion, this is another excellent installment in the Castlevania franchise, and one of the best GBA launch titles. Unless you have an aversion to platformers, get this game.
90
IGN
We are fortunate to have Konami on our side -- sure, the company's got a ton of games in its library we'd love to see on the handheld, but the company's arguably most known for one specific series: Castlevania. And with the launch of the Game Boy Advance, we're getting one of the deepest, most satisfying titles in the Castlevania series. Though Castlevania: Circle of the Moon isn't entirely overwhelming graphically, its deep gameplay and extremely long quest more than make up for the standard imagery and graphic techniques. This is one must-have game for the new handheld.
89
neXGam
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon ist ein abwechslungsreiches Spiel für Forschernaturen. Ganz klar eine Perle die in keiner GBA Sammlung fehlen sollte. Das DSS ist recht tiefgängig und die Jagd nach den Karten wird einige Zeit fesseln. Echten Hardcorespielern bietet das Schloss zudem einen besonders schweren Arealabschnitt als nette Dreingabe (nicht benötigt zum lösen des Spiels). Echte Castlevania-Fans werden wohl das eine oder andere typische Element vermissen: So bietet das Schloss z.B. keinen "Castlekeep" (Treppe zum Anbau des Hauptturms/Schauplatz für den Showdown) was aber nur marginal negativ anzurechnen ist. Der Clocktower oder Eternal Korridor haben genug Wiedererkennungswert. So ist Castlevania: Circle of the Moon wirklich jedem Fan uneingeschränkt ans Herz zulegen!
89
Gamezone (Germany)
Nur wenige Spiele auf einer Konsole sind absolute "Must-have-games" und damit auch ein Kaufgrund für die Konsole selbst. Castlevania - Circle of the Moon ist so ein Spiel.
88
Power Unlimited
Castlevania bevat slechts een paar minpuntjes. De aktie kan her en der wat frustrerend zijn; zo moet je regelmatig helemaal het level teruglopen. Daarnaast zijn de beelden af en toe wat erg donker en dat werkt niet bepaald handig op het toch al niet al te lichte scherm van de GBA.
88
Game Informer Magazine
In my opinion, Circle of the Moon is the best title amongst the Game Boy Advance launch library. Sadly, the cart doesn't have any features to lengthen its life once completed, but the trip to the end of the game will be a memorable one indeed.
87
Gamezilla
I think Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is a great game. I wish I could be sure, but I missed so much of the game, because of the dark colors, that I have to cut my rating a little short. For being a fun, portable, extension of Symphony of the Night, while still adding new features, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon earns an 87.
85
NintendoWorldReport
In the end, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is an impressive handheld entry to this classic series. I found that the difficulty started to outweigh the fun towards the end of the game, but perhaps I’m just impatient. ;-) One thing’s for sure: this game really is designed for hardcore gamers, and casual players might be turned off by the sometimes extreme difficulty. CotM often asks you to repeat a battle several times until you pull off a victory, and many people just aren’t interested in that kind of gameplay these days. But, if you crave a challenging experience and aren’t bothered by the dark screen, CotM will certainly keep you busy for a while.
84
Just RPG
While I personally thought Circle of the Moon could have used a stronger story, the game is still an excellent purchase for handheld owners, and possibly even worth looking into a Game Boy if you don't have one.
84
Mygamer.com
Overall, Circle of the Moon is an immensely entertaining game. For those gamers who crave classic side-scrolling action it provides a more than adequate fix. The sporadic control hiccups aren't distracting enough to detract from the playing experience, and the RPG elements add much to the classic adventure series. Circle of the Moon certainly helps the Castlevania series further along a great road that has thus far culminated in another solid game: Aria of Sorrow. Hopefully, we have not yet witnessed the end of the world's battle against the inhumanly resilient Count Dracula.
82
GameSpy
For Castlevania fans, platform fans, or just people looking for a good horror game for their GBA, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon more than lives up to it's promise and reputation and even expands on what we should expect from a game like this. Portable, deep, and engrossing, it is without flaw. After all, the lighting problem is really Nintendo's fault, and besides, it's a horror game about Dracula, don't you want ample light around you anyway?
80
Gamereactor (Sweden)
Att det är det bästa bärbara Castlevania hittills känns närmast onödigt att påpeka, de gamla monokrona spelen i serien till den äldsta varianten av Gameboy gjorde inte serien rättvisa. Men då detta är en rak efterföljare till mästerverket Symphony of the Night så har det en hel del att leva upp till. Och Circle of the Moon når väl inte riktigt ända fram. Några små missar samt en betydligt tråkigare huvudperson än halvvampyren Alucard gör att det inte blir samma mästerverk. Fortfarande så är det dock ett väldigt bra spel som hör hemma i alla seriösa spelsamlingar. Castlevania är nämligen på topp igen efter några misslyckade sejourer i 3D.
80
Gamekult
Un peu gâché par des graphismes sombres qui, s'ils ajoutent à l'ambiance, obligent le joueur à se positionner sous une bonne et forte source lumineuse, Castlevania : Circle of the moon est un vrai petit bijou : un vrai Castlevania en 2D comme on les aime, avec tout ce que cela sous-entend d'ergonomie, de gestion d'armes et d'expérience "à la jeu de rôles", et de niveaux labyrinthiques angoissants. Les amateurs de plates-formes vont se laisser happer par ce jeu riche et captivant, doté en outre d'un environnement sonore remarquable, qui plonge plus encore le joueur dans le folklore gothique indissociable de la série.
80
Jeuxvideo.com
Un incontournable de la GBA qui mérite de figurer au premier plan dans votre ludothèque, à côté de F-Zero. Le retour d'une légende du jeu d'action qui retrouve enfin ses lettres de noblesse. Un Castlevania auquel il ne manque rien, tout simplement.
80
Christ Centered Game Reviews
This is a very fun game that I enjoyed highly, and yet it has its flaws. The dark setting may be very off-putting for some, and they should avoid this game outright. Others who are comfortable with the contents may want to look at this game, as it is a lot of fun, despite its flaws. If you have a Game Boy Advance (non-SP) without a good light, you may want to pass this up for another game that looks better on your platform. All in all, it's a good game that I enjoyed, and you probably will, too - but it's not without issues.
80
Game Critics
In the end, there werent many moments in Circle Of The Moon that really blew me away. Some of the new additions to the gameplay were interesting, but not entirely fascinating either. There are virtually no missteps overall, but thats not surprising when the game isnt exactly stretching its gameplay boundaries. I will say that there was enough here to refresh the Castlevania formula to the degree that it reigned in my attention and kept me playing for weeks on end. The game was solid, addictive, and incredibly likable. However, in the greater scheme of things, Circle Of The Moon is a small step for the Game Boy Advance, and nowhere near a giant leap for videogames.
76
4Players.de
Ein großer Name mit recht wenig Neuerungen. Fans der Serie werden sicherlich nicht enttäuscht sein, doch wenn man sich z.B. die SNES-Fassung anschaut, drängt sich der Verdacht auf, dass grafisch sicherlich mehr möglich gewesen wäre. Auch das manchmal ziellose Rumlaufen und eher enttäuschend umgesetzte „Dual Setup System“ dürften bei dem einen oder anderen zu kleinen Frustmomenten führen. Doch die klassische Castlevania-Atmosphäre wird auch auf dem Game Boy Advance hervorragend eingefangen. Unter dem Strich eine solide, wenn auch verbesserungswürdige Umsetzung.
70
Realm of Gaming
Truly, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is a respectable addition to the franchise. My only real complaint is that it's a bit "grindy," but if you're able to stomach repeated whipping like you've got Devo's hit song on an endless loop, then you should enjoy Circle of the Moon. Just don't expect it to fully measure up to its predecessor.
70
Legendra
Circle of the Moon est l'opus de la série le plus méconnu. Pourtant, il fait parti des meilleurs Castlevania de la période plates-formes. Aujourd'hui, le jeu est trouvable facilement à un prix très modeste. Donc plus question de ne pas l'essayer!
70
RPGamer
The combination of old school gameplay and fresh ideas makes Castlevania: Circle of the Moon a nice breath of fresh air in a year where everyone else is simply rereleasing old classics. It may be rather difficult, and it may be a tad short, but all in all, it's a very satisfying experience.
70
GamesAreFun.com (GAF)
So, regardless of your opinion on the Nintendo 64 Castlevania games (if you've even played them), there's something for everyone with this new version for the Gameboy Advance. Kobe managed to prove two things with Circle of the Moon: one, they're capable of making a decent Castlevania, and two, there's nothing quite like a 2D romp through Drac's mansion. Even when you consider CotM's shortcomings, it still stands up very well against, not just portable games but, videogames in general. While I don't think Circle of the Moon is as good as others may have you believe, it's still a very good game that deserves a serious look from anyone.
70
Gamestyle
There you go- a nicely done, fairly varied and increasingly deep adventure game. Not exactly ground-breaking, but satisfying in a traditional, modest sort of a way.
60
Thunderbolt Games
Castlevania means well, providing marvellous visuals and setting a superb atmosphere. But it suffers from hideous amounts of revisiting. Running around rooms constantly having your health chipped away as you whip down enemies is annoying, especially if you’ve only trying to get to another destination. The DSS card combining is useful but isn’t so obvious in how it works, let alone where to find the cards. But the main problem with Castlevania lies from its unbalanced difficulty and takes away from its entertainment value, although some hardcore gamers wanting the completion buzz may disagree. When the going is good, Castlevania is an enjoyable game. The difficulty builds up nicely in open-play, but bosses stall the action too much. What really happens to Nathan and Hugh? What became of Morris? Unless you can endure quite a bit of frustration, you’re probably best not playing it to find out. Go unseal Dracula in another game.
33
The Video Game Critic
The gameplay mechanics are standard Castlevania, except now you can collect "cards" and combine them for various effects. In terms of presentation, Circle of Moon is high quality as you might expect. A gorgeous full moon shines through the windows of the castle and outstanding organ music plays a haunting refrain. Sometimes when you look out the windows you can get a glimpse of a boss you'll eventually encounter. Circle of the Moon should have been a slam-dunk, but it's unbalanced, lousy stage designs suck the enjoyment right out of it. Fortunately its shortcomings were addressed in the two subsequent Castlevania games for the Gameboy Advance.