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Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

aka: CV: HoD, Castlevania Byakuya no Concerto

[ All ] [ Game Boy Advance ] [ Wii U ]

Critic Reviews 83% add missing review

Level ( )

Complexitatea acestui joc (apropo, are dialoguri și un storyline bine structurat) m-a făcut să rămĂąn un pic surprins față de potențialul pe care Ăźl are acest GBA.

Dec 2002 · Game Boy Advance

Console Gold (92 out of 100)

Wow! This is a must have for any Gameboy Advance owner...if you are on the fence on this title, know that it more fun than Circle of the Moon, and worth every penny despite the thin story. This game can be had for $29.99 if you do a bit of hunting, I highly encourage you to pick it up!

2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Consoles Plus (92 out of 100)

Le premier épisode était bien, celui-ci l'est tout autant, voire plus ! Graphisme magnifique, durée de vie énorme... un must ! Attention à la difficulté, trÚs élevée.

Sep 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

IGN (9.2 out of 10)

It's almost a no-brainer to learn that a new 2D Castlevania ends up being one of the best games on the system, but hey, it has to be said: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is really great. The gameplay techniques, the graphics, the length of the quest, all top-notch. The music isn't quite as bad as importers have made it out to be, but yes...the tunes aren't nearly as nice as they have been in past Castlevania adventures.

Sep 16th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

RPGFan (92 out of 100)

Overall, the good outweigh the bad for this game. Even though the music is bad, it's the only major fault for this game. Everything else is nearly perfect. If you have a GBA and like the Castlevania series, absolutely, positively, get this game. You owe it to yourself to buy another great game in the Castlevania series, and this time, you won't have to squint to beat Dracula. Plus, the extra features will keep you replaying the game. Another excellent job, Konami!

Jul 22nd, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Game Over Online (92 out of 100)

The result is a very playable title and in spite of the questionable combination of Gothic terror and Japanese art style, the two seem to be a fait accompli. Totally alien in their respective rights, combined together, they synthesize the best traits from each other to create a gripping and engrossing game that few in the action category have approached in quality thus far. While it may be rather premature to make the following judgment, especially since the holiday season has yet to start, this is the one action platform game you'll want to pick up for Nintendo's handheld. Most people have the conception that Game Boy Advance titles are compromises, compared to buying a full-fledged title on a mainstream console. Dissonance, in its detail, execution and style truly transcends its platform and for now, it's the best seat in the house for a trip to eerie Castlevania.

Oct 2nd, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

The Video Game Critic (A-)

Subtle details like a floating eyeball lingering behind a curtain or a corpse hanging in the background are examples of the game's rich visuals. Each stage is a work of art, decorated with ornate architecture and huge sculptures. Initially I got lost in the endless corridors and stairways, but once I obtained the map, the gameplay improved dramatically. The more powers you amass, the more enjoyable Harmony of Dissonance becomes. This game is a winner, and it's one of three Castlevania games available for the Game Boy Advance.

Oct 25th, 2003 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Into Liquid Sky (A-)

While the game suffers from some flaws, the adventuring and improved graphics more than make up for the small rotten parts. The best game for the GameBoy Advance? Absolutely.

2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamesAreFun.com (GAF) (9 out of 10)

When all is said and done, This is the Castlevania sequel (prequel?) that everyone was waiting for after Symphony of the Night. If you have already been amazed at what your GBA can do, prepare to be amazed again.

Apr 13th, 2003 · Game Boy Advance · read review

64 Power / big.N / N Games (89 out of 100)

(Second review)
Grafisch hat das neue Castlevania gegenĂŒber dem VorgĂ€nger ordentlich zugelegt, vor allem die Animationen wurden grĂŒndlich ĂŒberarbeitet. Massig AbzĂŒge gibt es allerdings fĂŒr die Musik. Die eingĂ€ngigen Melodien mit Ohrwurmcharakter wurden gegen verwirrende Aneinanderreihungen von Tönen eingetauscht. Die Soundeffekte gehen aber in Ordnung, auch wenn man sie alle schon zigmal gehört hat. Insgesamt ist Harmony of Dissonance immer noch ein Spitzenspiel, aber im Gegensatz zum VorgĂ€nger nicht mehr der Überraschungsknaller.

Dec 2002 · Game Boy Advance

64 Power / big.N / N Games (89 out of 100)

Grafisch hat diese Castlevania-Episode (die in den USA Harmony of Dissonance heißen wird) noch einen Tick zugelegt. Vor allem die Animationen sind verbessert worden. Der Sound hingegen ist eine EnttĂ€uschung: Die Ohrwurm-Melodien des VorgĂ€ngers wurden durch nerviges Gedudel ersetzt das auch technisch nicht besonders gut klingt. Das neue Magiesystem mit dem Buch der ZaubersprĂŒche bietet nicht soviel Tiefe wie das DSS-Kartensystem aus Circle of the Moon. Der Schwierigkeitsgrad ist etwas niedriger und es gibt weniger Geheimnisse zu entdecken. Trotzdem ist Concerto of Midnight Sun ein erstklassiges Jump‘n‘Run, das jeder GBA-Besitzer haben sollte!

Aug 2002 · Game Boy Advance

GameSpy (87 out of 100)

Despite its unevenness, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is a quality adventure that represents the best attempt yet made at miniaturizing the brilliance of Symphony of the Night. That said, this is definitely Symphony-lite, with a much smaller explorable area and somewhat less compelling map design. I also began to notice the tell-tale signs of rehashing; if this series is to continue in a respectable fashion, Konami should stop trying to recreate a past hit and get back to innovating more in the gameplay. But hey, that's just me being a stodgy critic. Original or not, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is a great game. Go buy it.

Sep 18th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Gaming Target (8.6 out of 10)

The focus of the game is to collect the fragmented body parts of Dracula’s corpse in order to prevent his return to reincarnated un-life. Throughout this quest, you will collect a slew of other relics, which will expand your abilities and allow you to access otherwise impossible to reach sections of the castles. Unfortunately, we have all done this in the past, some of us multiple times over the course of multiple Castlevania games. There is nothing truly flawed in Harmony of Dissonance’s technical execution of these elements, the game is just lacking a certain freshness. Perhaps because Circle of the Moon was headed by a separate team, the game succeeded in creating a unique, difficult experience that was, at the time, unimaginable on a handheld system. Sure it drew some influence from Symphony, but its own legs to stand on. Harmony of Dissonance simply lacks the crucial element that made the previous game so rewarding to play.

Oct 4th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Pelit (85 out of 100)

Nintendon ikivanhalla NES-konsolilla alkanut Konamin Castlevania-toimintatasoloikka on löytÀnyt sopivan kodin Gameboy Advancesta, sillÀ edellinen Gameboy Advance -osa Circle of the Moon oli masiinan julkaisupelien parhaimmistoa. Harmonyn tarina sijoittuu aikaan ennen Circle of the Moonin tapahtumia, mutta juoni Draculan tappamisineen on edelleen sama.

Oct 2002 · Game Boy Advance

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20)

Véritable symbole de l'apogée de la série Castlevania depuis ses origines, Harmony of Dissonance reprend dignement le flambeau légué par l'excellent volet PSX, et compose à la perfection les qualités d'un jeu alliant une mise en scÚne époustouflante à un gameplay hors pair. Le challenge est moins difficile que celui proposé dans Circle of the Moon, mais le plaisir de jeu est une fois de plus inoubliable.

Sep 17th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Meristation (8.5 out of 10)

Sin duda, se estĂĄ hablando de uno de los mejores juegos en el catĂĄlogo de la consola, pues tiene elementos de sobra para demostrar este punto. Sobre si es mejor que Simphony of the Night, la respuesta es un rotundo no, pero se le acerca, pues el nivel grĂĄfico es muy alto y todo lo que rodea el juego a nivel de jugabilidad estĂĄ realmente conseguido.

Sep 30th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Netjak (8.5 out of 10)

The new CastleVania game is still a great game with the same addictive gameplay that we all know and love but it's not perfect and some may actually prefer the older Circle of the Moon to the newer Harmony of Dissonance. I miss all the cool secret stuff like randomly hitting a wall and finding some hiding goodies, that's not really in this game for some reason. I also miss the mystery of the Card system from before and there are very little surprises in this magic system which is kinda disappointing as well. Despite some minor problems it's still a very good game for the Gameboy Advance and it's definitely one of the better GBA games to arrive in awhile.

Oct 23rd, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Game Chronicles (8.4 out of 10)

If you love the Castlevania series or just want to play a great action game with some RPG elements and a nice variety of spell and weapon attacks then Harmony of Dissonance is a must have title for every GBA owner. The unique “Spell Fusion” system is a refreshing nuance to an established gameplay model, and the overall game length and post-game bonuses make this title a great value and a perfect addition to your GBA library.

Oct 16th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

neXGam (8.3 out of 10)

Trotz allen Negativpunkten stellt auch dieser Teil einen Ausnahmetitel auf dem GameBoy Advance dar. Das ineinandergreifen der Spielelement klappt auch diesmal vorzĂŒglich, wobei nun ein grĂ¶ĂŸerer Fokus auf Action gelegt wird.Als Castlevania Spiel nun muss man Harmony of Dissonance ganz klar einige VorwĂŒrfe machen. Musikuntermalung war und ist einfach ein wichtiger Punkt fĂŒr das typische Castlevania Flair. Ebenso vermisse ich die typischen GeheimgĂ€nge schmerzlich, da helfen auch die Tonnen an "Eastereggs" und Gags herzlich wenig. Harmony of Dissonance bietet einfach weniger an Extra und Mehrwert als das durchschnittliche Castlevania. Wobei ich mir das Spellfusion- und Dodge-System gerne in einem weiteren Teil vorstellen könnte. Schade um die wirklich guten StoryansĂ€tze in diesem doch eher unterdurchschnittlichem Ableger der Serie. Fans werden sicherlich etwas enttĂ€uscht sein. Neueinsteiger werden die Negativpunkte aber kaum wahrnehmen.

2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GameSpot (8.2 out of 10)

Harmony of Dissonance is in some ways a simpler game than last year's Castlevania. Juste mostly relies on his whip to deal with his enemies, and though you can upgrade it, the whip's attack itself remains basically the same throughout the game--you don't have access to other main weapons like you did in Circle of the Moon. That game also featured a surprisingly robust magic system that allowed you to combine pairs of special cards for dozens of different effects. It was strange that seemingly so much effort went into the system, many of whose effects were either too subtle or more interesting than useful. Harmony of Dissonance streamlines things by giving you the chance to discover just a handful of different not-so-secret elemental magic books that imbue your secondary weapons with their powers.

Sep 18th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Le Geek (4 out of 5)

Overall this is a solid Castlevania with some interesting variations on the formula established by Symphony of the Night. While the game is easy and a little uneven in many areas, the castle is more fun to explore than the one in Circle of the Moon, and the game held my interest until the end.

Jul 2006 · Game Boy Advance · read review

NintendoWorldReport (8 out of 10)

Overall, Harmony of Dissonance is, for the most part, a nice little sequel to Symphony of the Night. Its game design and style are much more in tune with that PSX classic than last year’s Circle of the Moon, though it’s arguable as to whether that makes HoD the superior handheld Castlevania. Regardless, this is a very fun game that should provide a great fix for Castlevania junkies or a pleasant introduction for anyone new to the series. Symphony of the Night still reigns supreme in my book, but Harmony of Dissonance is money well spent.

Oct 28th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamerDad ( )

Minor issues not withstanding, Harmony is another great Castlevania effort. It sticks with a familiar formula, not straying far from the beaten path, and walks it in sure-footed fashion. Absolutely recommended for Belmonts in spirit, and a great first entry for those looking to finally learn what all the Castlevania hype is about.

Mar 30th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

NintendoWorldReport (7.5 out of 10)

While Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is far from a terrible game, it lacks the touches that made the rest of the series instant classics. It is a shame that a game which has all the hallmarks of being the spiritual sequel to one of the most beloved adventure games, Symphony of the Night, falls short of its goal.

Oct 29th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Legendra ( )

Pour finir, ce jeu est trĂšs bon, superbe mĂȘme. Le conseiller est, je pense, une bonne chose mĂȘme si ce jeu est trop facile. Ceci dit, cela peut ĂȘtre une qualitĂ©. Donc beau, bougeant bien et ayant des musiques correctes, encore un bon Castlevania sur GBA... encore un bon jeu sur GBA tout court.

Oct 22nd, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Level 7 (7 out of 10)

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance Àr ett riktigt bra spel, men de som inte gillade Castlevania-seriens upplÀgg tidigare kommer inte Àndra uppfattning nu. Det kör nÀmligen pÄ en inslagen vÀg och sticker inte ut med mÄnga nyheter, men varför Àndra ett vinnande koncept? Om man inte har spelet Castlevania tidigare sÄ rekommenderas det till dem som gillar plattform och Àventyrsspel.

Nov 3rd, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Thunderbolt Games (7 out of 10)

Is Harmony of Dissonance a bad game? No, not necessarily. Could it have been better? Absolutely. This game had the potential to be something truly great, like its other Castlevania brethren on the GBA. It has the massive map and explorative elements of the other current installments in the series, and it has a few new takes on old items to put on the facade of something new and fresh. Yet there’s something missing here. Maybe it’s the stale gameplay, or the lack of difficulty. Or maybe it’s the possibility that the minds behind this game wanted to show off the GBA’s capabilities, thus sacrificing the usually high gameplay standards in favor of something a bit more flashy and appealing to the eyes. In the end, Harmony of Dissonance falters where others have persevered, the weak link in the trio that make up the Castlevania GBA series.

Dec 15th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Realm of Gaming (7 out of 10)

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is by no means a terrible game. It's solidly built and a pleasure to explore, and it's quite engaging. For instance, there were a few times where I had to consider where to go next, which required me to examine the map and see which route possibly led to events that furthered the campaign. I especially had to study it for unexplored gaps that might aid me to that end. The only unfortunate misstep this game makes is that it isn't as memorable as its brothers. Sadly, Harmony is the middle child that will be remembered only by those who cherish it. The rest of us, especially those who like the game, will have to replay it several times throughout our lives to remind ourselves why we considered it such a solid title in the first place.

Oct 13th, 2013 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Gamestyle (7 out of 10)

HOD is one of the better games on the GBA. Some touches in the game will make you smile, like the skeletons in mirrors that mimic your actions and the incredible use of enemies in some of the puzzles. It's just a shame that this great open structured adventure has taken some steps backwards for the series rather than ahead.

2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamePro (US) (3.5 out of 5)

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is an original title in the series that follows the charming 2D style of Circle of the Moon, the last GBA game. With nothing but a whip and some frilly clothing by his side, Juste is charged with exploring Dracula’s revitalized manor with his friend Maxim to track down Lydie, a female acquaintance who was abducted earlier.

Sep 17th, 2002 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Nintendo Insanity (5.8 out of 10)

Basically, Harmony of Dissonance is a pretty far step down from Circle of the Moon, and ends up feeling like a rushed effort. Konami really put too much effort into “improving” the graphics engine (and ruined it in the process) while ignoring the other, possibly more important aspects of the game. There’s a sort-of fun boss rush mode once you beat the game, and you can play as Maxim (and even Simon Belmont—check the internet) but these are all hollow experiences that fail to improve the overall game. Of all the Castlevania games, this one is probably the one you can ignore.

2006 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamesAreFun.com (GAF) (5 out of 10)

Even though Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance suffers from some flaws, it's still more playable than a majority of the portable software currently on the market and worth a look for gamers starving for an action/RPG that'll provide around 10 hours of gameplay. People looking for the second coming of Alucard, though, will be in for a disappointment.

Apr 23rd, 2003 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Bordersdown N/A

In conclusion, Castlevania: White Night Concerto is a massive disappointment. It feels as if the series has taken a huge step back in terms of playability and design. Fans are likely to gain some enjoyment from the game, but this is only due to its familiarity. Anyone not an ardent Castlevania fan is advised to think hard before purchasing this game.

Apr 3rd, 2022 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Player Reviews

An enjoyable, but merely average entry to the series.
by The Cliffe (1707)

The Good
If you've ever played Castlevania before, specifically Symphony of the Night, you'll get what's going on here very quickly. Harmony of Dissonance sticks very much to the formula that its predecessors laid out for it, and that's mostly a good thing. You play the role of Juste Belmont, who's taken on the family responsibility of keeping the vampires in check. In this particular adventure, you and your friend Maxim are charged with exploring a mysterious castle that has (yep, you guessed it) appeared out of the mist.

...I wonder if Dracula's involved?

Okay, recycled storyline aside, the game play of HOD is pretty solid. The castle is laid out on one gigantic map much like prior Castlevania games, and within it you'll find plenty of items including sub weapons like axes and daggers, equippable gear like armor and boots, and, of course, monsters. Lots of monsters.

The variety of creatures you face off with during the course of the game is pretty impressive. There's also a healthy number of boss battles to be fought, and all the critters, big and small, are quite pleasing to the eye. A lot of artistic direction went into the graphics that represent your enemies, and it helps keep the game interesting.

For people who enjoy unlocking things, HOD offers a few decent Easter eggs. A boss battle mode becomes available once you finish the game for the first time, and there's a bestiary which keeps track of the monsters you've killed, along with descriptions and potential weaknesses. The weirdest diversion this game has to offer is the collectibles, which are random items of furniture and interior design that are dispersed around the castle, which, when collected, help to decorate a particular empty room in the castle. Every time you visit that room, any collectibles that you've attained since your last visit will be placed accordingly. Interesting, but kinda strange...especially for a Castlevania game.

The Bad
It's not hard to see that Konami wanted to capture the same feel for this game that they had for Symphony of the Night. Unfortunately, by comparison, Harmony of Dissonance feels distinctly average. Even though the platforming jumping, puzzles, and combat live up to the Castevania name, I just could shake the feeling that I've done all of this before, and there wasn't anything particularly new here.

I also cry foul to the design chosen for your main character, Juste Belmont, who, for no apparent reason, looks more like a vampire than anything else you encounter during the entire game. The grayish skin, white hair, and over-the-top Victorian outfit just don't seem to be the stylings of a vampire hunter. If I could hazard a guess, I would say that Juste's look is heavily inspired by Alucard from Symphony of the Night, but why, Konami, why would you make a character look exactly like an existing character from the same series?

The bosses of HOD, although nice to look at, fail to pose much of a challenge to you through the course of the game. For most of them, you can prime up your most powerful spell or sub weapon and blast away until the creature is toast. Though the easily frustrated among us will certainly appreciate not having to spend hours trying to figure out how to beat a certain enemy, most of us (specifically Castlevania fans, who are used to some pretty stiff competition) will feel unsatisfied from the challenge this game has to offer.

One final, quick note: the music in this game is positively horrible. Keep the volume low.

The Bottom Line
While the core design of Harmony of Dissonance shows a lot of potential to make a truly memorable Castlevania, the final product, with the flaws that it has, bumps this title down to a simply passable platform adventure game. Nothing is so wrong with it that it's completely unplayable, but Castlevania fans are used to a higher standard of game than what's presented here. Some casual gamers might enjoy Harmony of Dissonance, but most will probably want something more substantial to sink their teeth into.

Jun 19th, 2009 · Game Boy Advance

Worse than Circle of the Moon
by NeoJ (454)

The Good
Harmony of Dissonance is the second game of the Castlevania series for the Game Boy Advance system. It has many new features, bigger sprites, a new magic spell system based on spell books instead of the DSS system seen in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon and two castles (which are the same one with a different look).

Bigger sprites usually means better graphics in a game like that, and there are many castle details. Each room is different from the others, and the enemies are tough. That's an important new feature, here you can face some enemies so big that they look like big bosses, but they aren't. Beside that, there are many bosses during the game, and you can find one of them every five or six rooms. Here you have much big bosses than in the previous game, in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon you faced a boss who's guarding some specific object/power to progress in the game, here you will face bosses only to get pass, and nothing more.

A new control system uses the L-R buttons to dash. It will take some time to get used to that, but when you've mastered it you'll realize that it was a good choice. It makes the game faster and spectacular.

Circle of the Moon has a good music, it used some epic songs of the series, on the other side, Harmony of Dissonance hasn't such as good songs, but there are all new. So, you decide what you prefer. FX's good too.

The best thing of the game is the fact that it's Castlevania. You play that and you don't have to know the name of the game because it has the essence of the series. It's not easy to keep that essence in all the games, but it looks that they have the way. That mixture of action, RPG, and exploring the whole castle makes the game really funny, and you'll play it a long time because it's not short. Also, you have a Boss Rush mode when you've finished the game to make the game much longer.

The Bad
The androgynous main character Juste Belmont suits with the essence of the game, but the story is a bit stupid. Dracula's presence is only available if you do some specific tasks, if you don't you won't see him, facing a final big boss a bit disappointing. Anyway, Dracula as the final boss is disappointing too, far from the evil boss of the other games of the series.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is a better game than this one. It has many interesting new features but the previous one was better. In Circle of the Moon you can modify the direction of your jump in the air, here you can't, and don't tell me that "it makes the game more realistic" because you can still make special power jumps as you were flying, which is not something realistic...

To collect the furniture is good, but it gives you nothing special. Something similar happens with the endings. There are three different endings available, but there are no important differences between them, who survives is the only change.

If you're trying to complete your monster encyclopedia you'll need to be really patience. The encyclopedia tells you which objects drop the enemies when they die once you've picked them, and if you want to complete your monster book you'll need to kill the same enemy a lot of times, because they won't drop the object that you want once you've killed him. Sometimes you need a few minutes, but there are many others that needs a lot of time with a ratio of 1/50 or so. It's really boring to achieve that objective and you've got nothing special if you do.

To finish with.. where are the breakable walls?! That's a classic! Instead of that we have invisible walls. Prepare to look like a stupid rubbing with all the walls in every room...

The Bottom Line
Castlevania's second game for the Game Boy Advance is a good game, but not better than the previous one. You'll enjoy exploring an enormous castle, taking all the relics and collectibles of the game and all the things that you usually do in a game like this. Don't expect too much or you'll be disappointed (specially if you've played Castlevania: Circle of the Moon). Take away Dracula's ambition... again.

Aug 1st, 2009 · Game Boy Advance

Excellent game, but a bit short and lack challenge.
by Bregalad (967)

The Good
Castlevania : Harmony of Dissonance is the 2nd game of the series to have been released on the Game Boy Advance. The 1st, Circle of the Moon, was successful, but the game had bad graphics and very little sprites, and the game felt overall inconsistent. Harmony of Dissonance fixes all that was wrong with Circle of the Moon and go back close to what Symphony of the Night was.

You take the role of Juste Belmont (yeah! is has been a while since a Castlevania actually had a Belmont as the main character), which is the grandson of Simon from the original Castlevania, and Castlevania II - Simon's Quest. Your goal is to rescue your childhood friend Lydie that has been captured in a Castle. As with all modern Castelvania titles, it has RPGs elements where you should upgrade your main character in order to be able to go to new areas and explore the Castle.

The really unique feature to Harmony of Dissonance is to be able to combine your subweapons with spellbooks to make spells. For example if you use ice book with holy water you will be able to use a spell, but if you combine it with axe you will cast another ice spell, and so on. This feature is absolutely amazing, and make it really fun to play the game, as there is a grand total of 6 subweapons x 5 elements = 30 spells to cast ! Note that you also can (should in case of mana shortage) use raw subweapon, without a spell on them. This game also have another unique feature I'm not going to say as it would be a spoiler.

Now people will say this is nothing compared to the 100 DSS possible combinations in Circle of the Moon, but this is not true, as a good half of them had absolutely no effect (the combination was not used), a good part of the combinations which were used were not useful during gameplay. In the end you'd end up using the same half-dozen of DSS all the time and never use the others. Here you can really use all your spells and access to most of them are easy, the only exception being the last element book which allows you to use summons, but is hard to find.

The game has very good graphics for GBA standards, the animation of the main character is very fluid (in contrast with Circle of the Moon). Many transparency effects, etc... Some people will complain about the blue outline around the main character but the game was designed to be played with an original GBA or a GBASP, which had washed out colors. If you play it on a DS, it will look a bit weird but it's not such an issue. Remember that there was huge complains about the dark graphics of Circle of the Moon which were made even darker with the washed out Game Boy screen and made the game playable only in optimal lighting conditions (thanks god it is now playable in all conditions with a DS).

The Bad
The only bad point about this game is the lack of challenge. The game is hard at the beginning of the as you start underleveled, but after some point it becomes way easier than other Castlevania games for some reason. Most bosses are a cakewalk, too. A reason for this is probably the spells which are so powerful.

Another not-so-good point is the music. Not that it's bad, but as the title says, it's dissonant (I guess intentionally). In addition to being dissonant, the music in this game is made exclusively of 8-bit style chip tunes. It ended good for a few songs, but most of them are average, and this particular style of music of music might not being to everyone's taste. But at least it uses mostly original compositions (as opposed to Circle of the Moon which used almost exclusively remixes of previous CV games), and it really have an unique style of music. But as the Castlevania series is really reputed for its music, they could have come up with something way better, even while limiting them to dissonant chip tunes.

Finally I have some complain that, while the controls are way better than in Circle of the Moon, there is still a problem when you whip while jumping, you can't control your jump anymore (like in the NES games), while when you jump without whipping you can. This has tricked me a few times to jump into enemies.

While the game features dialogues and minimal character development, the storyline is incredibly simple and will not give any emotions to the player, despite the fact Konami tried to develop personalities of their characters.

The final thing I have to say, is not a bad point of the game but just... This game features a "decoration" room where you can gather furniture. I mean WTF ? What is the point ? This is one of the most nonsense I have ever seen in a videogame.

The Bottom Line
Castlevania : Harmony of Dissonance is a good game, and fun to play. It fixes all that was wrong in Circle of the Moon, and has definitely aged better (considering it was released only one year later, it feels much smoother), but unfortunately it is also easier and shorter, so don't expect a huge challenge with this game. Eventually, Konami has released their third and final GBA Castlevania : Aria of Sorrow, which will be way better than both, but that's another story.

So I recommend this game if you like Castlevania games of course, but also if you're new to the series and want to play one game that is not too hard for a start. Also the magical spells makes a good reason to play this instead of some other random Castlevania game.

Aug 30th, 2011 · Game Boy Advance

Plus 53 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Giu's Brain, Alaka, Alsy, nyccrg, Jeanne, Big John WV, Wizo, Patrick Bregger, Daedolon, NeoJ, Riemann80, RhYnoECfnW, lights out party.