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User Reviews

anime boy with white hair steals souls and kills nude demon women sinisterhippo (48) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
A must have for anyone who owns a DS Bregalad (967) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
Evil, I stab at thee Sam Vicchrilli (17) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 4.2
Graphics The visual quality of the game 4.1
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 4.2
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.1
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.8
Overall User Score (51 votes) 4.1

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Realm of Gaming (Oct 15, 2013)
Dawn of Sorrow is likely the closest portable games will ever get to aping Symphony of the Night. Franchise chapters before and after didn't quite have the same level of grandeur as this one, though they do come close. Mostly, the game looks, sounds, plays like any 'Metroidvania' game ought to, and in possibly the best way. I get the feeling that this was the kind of game that the GBA iterations strove to be, and finally Konami nailed it.
Le Geek (Nov, 2006)
While Symphony is more stylish, this is the best Castlevania game made in the last ten years. Will Portrait of Ruin top it? Only time will tell…
The Video Game Critic (Nov 20, 2005)
The graphics are slightly upgraded from the Gameboy Advance, but I had to hold them up next to each other to see a difference. There are a few eye-catching effects, including slashed zombies that cleanly split in half, and mirrors that reflect the walls you're looking through. Also included is a two-player mode that involves racing through custom-made castle rooms. Dawn of Sorrow is as enjoyable as any Castlevania game I've ever played, and it will probably clock more time on my DS than any other title.
Portable Review (Oct 30, 2005)
As all fans of the series have come to expect, DoS has more than one ending. In fact, once you beat the game, you can go through it with Julius Belmont, Yoko Belnades, and Alucard. This new mode, aptly named Julius Mode, has a very nostalgic feel for any who played through Castlevania 3. The only cast member missing is a descendant of Grant de Naste. Adding more to the replay is the ever-so-popular Boss Rush Mode and the traditional hard mode. There are also secret boss fights hidden within the “castle”. All in all, fans of the series will be pleasantly rewarded with some of the most fulfilling gameplay Castlevania has ever offered. DS owners looking for a something different will undoubtedly find this enjoyable and engaging.
Jive Magazine (Oct 27, 2005)
Overall, Dawn of Sorrow is not only one of the best DS games available, it's also one of the best Castlevania titles ever, which is certainly high praise for such an illustrious series. It does pretty much everything right. Seasoned players might blow through the game a little fast, but it shouldn't be judged by the hours you play, but the experience they had during that time.
GamerDad (Nov 07, 2005)
Castlevania is an excellent game in every respect. While it could be argued that the gameplay has not evolved enough from Aria of Sorrow or that the 2-dimensional, side-scrolling type of game has lived out its time, the bottom line is that Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is extremely fun and engaging from the time you power on your system until you are finished. It looks and feels thoroughly modern, and provides a depth and excitement of gameplay that will keep you focused and immersed throughout. It is a reminder that handheld games need not make excuses. Castlevania isn't great ムfor a handheld game', it is a truly great game that just happens to run on a handheld system.
We can say without hesitation that Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is the best game on the Nintendo DS. In many ways, it's the best Castlevania game ever, improving on the previous reigning champ with better visuals, tons of new powers and more replay value than ever. If you're a fan of adventure games, RPGs, or hack and slash action games, you'll no doubt find something to love in Dawn of Sorrow.
UOL Jogos (Oct 19, 2005)
Talvez, a série já tenha atingido a sua forma final, não havendo muitos espaços para revoluções. As novas funcionalidades do Nintendo DS trazem praticidade em alguns quesitos, mas pouco adicionam na experiência. Pode-se levar em conta que o portátil ainda tem menos de um ano de vida e, quem sabe, numa próxima oportunidade, a Konami possa usar melhor as funcionalidades do aparelho.
100 (Oct 19, 2005)
From great graphics and sound to the classic 2D game play and the upgraded soul system, there is nothing about this game not to love. There is nothing negative to say about Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrows. There is plenty of extras and replay value, and a VS mode that didn’t have to be put in, but was added to enhance the game play experience. The story is great and written well and the effort the staff put in is apparent from the size of the castle to the variety of monsters and bosses. This is surely the best handheld Castlevania game to date and improves on Aria of Sorrow’s minor faults.
Game Shark (Dec 07, 2005)
All and all, I love the music, the graphics, and the gameplay. If you did not have enough reasons to buy a Nintendo DS, this would be it. Either playing the game as Soma, or replaying it with Julius and gang, is well worth the price of admission. All and all, Captain Gordon gives this game an A.
100 (GAF) (Sep 17, 2005)
I really can't recommend Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow enough. It's the finest in the handheld line of Castlevania games. While not as grand as Symphony; with the space it has, it does it's job well as a great piece to an outstanding franchise. When the English version comes out, I'll also be there to pick it up and do it all over again. It is that good.
Gaming Age (Oct, 2005)
No matter what you think of what has become of the Castlevania series on the consoles, you should not miss Dawn of Sorrow - it is one of the best in the series. With other great DS titles on the horizon, this title should push you over the edge to purchase a DS.
AceGamez (Apr, 2006)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is certainly a must-have title for the DS. Not only did it bring back memories of the fun I had playing the original Castlevania games on my NES, but the inclusion of so much extra content past the game's story mode really makes this one of the stronger titles available. Though more touch screen functionality would have been preferable, or maybe even a bit of microphone-influenced play, at least there are options to connect to other players wirelessly for some trading or versus play. Konami has done a fantastic job on Dawn of Sorrow and hopefully it isn't the last Castlevania outing we'll see on the DS.
G4 TV: X-Play (Oct 25, 2005)
When you add it all up, Dawn of Sorrow has everything that makes the Castlevania series great: excellent platforming, exquisite level and puzzle design, gorgeous 2D graphics, and fantastic sound. When you add in the Nintendo DS features and the weapon forging, this is arguably the deepest Castlevania game ever released. What’s inarguable is how great this game is.
Nintendo Spin (Oct 27, 2005)
This game doesn’t have really have any obvious negative aspect to it. It does everything other games before it had done right and adds new elements specific to the DS hardware. It offers a lot of challenge to any gamer and lots of unlockables to keep you coming back for more. Friends can also join in on the fun as the game offers a multiplayer mode! Really, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t get it. If you own a DS, this game is a must buy.
Go Fanboy (Oct 15, 2005)
The whole game kind of echoes that sentiment, actually. While this is a fine, worthy installment in the series, it doesn't do a whole lot differently that hasn't already been done. The boss seals are a nice start, but don't really seem like the best use of the DS's hardware for this series. Maybe more development time could have resolved that, and I'm sure if it could have, we?ll see that remedied in a future installment. As it stands, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a great buy for fans of Symphony of the Night's action, and long-time fans who haven't grown weary of the MetroidVania formula.
Dawn of Sorrows continues the unique new gameplay style introduced in Aria of Sorrow and takes it one step further. With its combination of engaging gameplay, classic mechanics, and top notch art and music, Dawn of Sorrows gives Symphony of the Night a run for its money as the best Castlevania game of all time.
Lawrence (Oct 19, 2005)
While it doesn't utilize the touch screen much (other than magic seals, summons, and an ability that allows you to break ice blocks), it doesn't really matter. I'm glad the game didn't rely too heavily on touch gimmicks just because it's on the DS. The best use of the hardware is the fact that the map is constantly displayed on the top screen, which is extremely useful. It may be fairly short, but every single second is highly enjoyable. In order to fully 100% the game, you must explore every single room and collect every last soul, so there's plenty to keep you busy. If you own a Nintendo DS, you absolutely must buy Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
Mobile Tech Review (Aug, 2005)
It's almost a forgone conclusion that most Castlevania fans are going to embrace this game right off. Not only does it take some of the better aspects of the Game Boy Advance series of Castlevania games, but it also manages to expand upon those ideas with several unique touch screen functions that add even more originality to an already established formula. While some developers of Konami still struggle to bring the Castlevania experience into the world of 3D gaming, other members of their development teams have just created the product that once again illustrates just how well the game can still be executed in a 2D format. If you've been looking for a reason or excuse to buy a Nintendo DS system, you've just found it.
Take a simple gameplay concept and add a shot of addiction, sprinkle in a great story, and coat it in graphics and music that are sweeter than cake icing and you have Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, which is one of the best DS games of the year and one of my favorite handheld games. It doesn't really use the DS' functions but it's a great game all on its own and belongs in your DS library.
PGNx Media (Oct 26, 2005)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow doesn’t revolutionize the series but it is a very solid evolution from the Gameboy Advance games. The modernized graphics, outstanding sound package, solid gameplay, and cute use of the Nintendo DS makes for a very compelling game. One of the best the Nintendo DS has to offer.
NintendoWorldReport (Sep 18, 2005)
There's no denying that Dawn of Sorrow is more of the same. It plays almost exactly like Aria of Sorrow, since most of the new features are pretty minor. But Konami's newest Castlevania is nonetheless a slightly more satisfying, challenging sequel to an already near-perfect game design. It has more replay value, and the production values have skyrocketed. Whether you got the best ending in Aria of Sorrow or this is your first "Metroidvania", Dawn of Sorrow is an impeccable adventure game that every DS owner should own and cherish.
GameZone (Oct 17, 2005)
Bigger, tougher, meaner, and more next-gen. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow fills every part of the Nintendo DS's two-inch screen with new bosses, levels, and dozens of backdrops that are drop-dead gorgeous. The top screen is reserved for your map and for battle statistics. Having statistics readily available wasn't a must, but you'll be surprised how much easier it is to look up at the map than it is to press a button every time you want to see it (as in every other action title, including console games).
Deeko (Oct 24, 2005)
Without a doubt, this is easily the best Castlevania title to date. I know some people feel this titles is still in the hands of the Playstation classic Symphony of the Night, the simple fact remains that Dawn of Sorrow seems to one up it every chance it gets. An incredible attention to presentation, a glorious musical score and some truly incredible game play additions really make Dawn of Sorrow stand out from other games in the series. If you buy ONE action/adventure title for your DS this year, this is the game it should be. It may not be perfect and the touch screen may only be a flighty novelty, but it is still a fantastic game whose design is near perfect in most every other way.
Gamer 2.0 (Oct 10, 2005)
All in all, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow offers the same classic style of previous Castlevania titles, replete with the outrageous bosses, fitting game areas, puzzle solving and platforming aspects which are perfectly harmonious with the new soul-gathering and returning level-gaining aspects of the series. The game stays true to its 2-D roots, taking an already rock-solid game style as a base, and moving forward in variations of themes. The makers’ only flaw is that they did not take any risks with the series, instead moving it into safe new directions. This is not to say this game is flawed, to be sure. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow combines the most solid and polished controls and gameplay yet seen in a DS adventure title with a storyline and mythos appropriate to the franchise. Add in the addition of bonus playable characters after the first run through, and this is a must-have game for any DS owner.
Konami TYO lo ha vuelto a conseguir, elevando cada día más la popularidad y prestigio de esta franquicia, al menos en sus entregas 2D, por lo que os aconsejamos que no esperéis demasiado para haceros con vuestra copia, no sea que se agote, como ocurrió en el pasado con otras versiones que a día de hoy requieren de desembolsos astronómicos para hacerse con ellas.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is easily one of the greatest the series has to offer, building on the excellence of the GBA outings while maintaining the level of quality expected since the series' first debut 20 years ago. It is unfortunate the game is far too short for its own good, however, but offers a decent level of replay value thanks to its multiplayer values, soul collecting and branching pathways.
Just RPG (Jan 13, 2006)
I have never been at all a fan of gore, but the Castlevania series has always been one exception I'm willing to make. As zombie-killers go, Castlevania stays relatively tame and easy to stomach, just slightly more hardcore than any given episode of Inuyasha. And though some of the enemies (particularly bosses) are freaky, bizarre amalgamations of flesh and bone, you don't lose sleep or your lunch over them. To my surprise, Dawn of Sorrow struck all the right chords and never hit a sour note. It's deep, it's gorgeous, but most of all, it's a fun excuse to smack the tar out of stuff. I'm not ready to call this game an absolute must-have for the DS, but it's tight enough that if you're a DS owner and an RPG fan, you just can't go wrong with Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
IGN (Oct 04, 2005)
Dawn of Sorrow doesn't take the Castlevania series to enormous new heights on the Nintendo DS, but that's what makes it so fantastic -- the development team has taken what worked on the GBA and built off that foundation, solidifying what worked and what could be improved, all the while offering a modest assortment of new elements specific to the Nintendo DS platform. The final product is what is clearly one of the best Castlevania games in the series, and an absolutely top-notch, beautiful, and most importantly, fun DS game that doesn't try to push a lot of unnecessary touch-screen "gimmicks."
In a genre that has been iterated on for the better part of two decades, Dawn of Sorrow manages to feel fresh and new. It's not perfect - it could be longer, the story still fails to impress, and some horribly imbalanced combos (go get a Skelerang soul and a Throwing Sickle, and you'll understand) are around - but there's not a DS owner I wouldn't recommend this title to.
GamersMark (Oct 11, 2005)
No matter which way you slice it, this is one vampire you should slay, even with my minor complaints. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow proves that it isn’t just one of the best games in the Castlevania series; it also proves it’s maybe the best game yet on the DS. This is just the start of what fans have to look forward to on the dual-screened wonder, and is definitely a title no DS owner should be without.
Worth Playing (Oct 30, 2005)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is the most complete 2D Castlevania game to date. Gorgeous graphics and compelling music combine with exciting exploration and combat to form a great action experience on the Nintendo DS. If you've played any of the Castlevania games that have come before, you'll definitely want to experience this one. If you're a fan of vampires and Dracula, you'll want to play this game. And even if you've never played Castlevania and have never heard of Dracula, there's never been a better time to get initiated. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a fantastic game that no one should miss.
Nintendo Life (Sep 03, 2006)
Most people who consider themselves ‘game fans’ constantly demand innovation from developers, but what for? Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow suffers in its attempt to utilize the new technology at hand, resorting to the gimmicky use of the touchscreen that Nintendo have so far done an excellent job in avoiding, but it truly shines when it’s classic heritage shows through – great games such as Symphony of the Night, Harmony of Dissonance and even Super Metroid.
Meristation (Sep 21, 2005)
Está muy claro que Dawn of Sorrow no decepcionará a los más jugones de la saga. Este nuevo título hereda lo mejor de los juegos de Game Boy Advance, y no sólo eso, añade nuevas funciones muy útiles y divertidas gracias al hardware de la DS. Mientras algunos equipos de producción de Konami se han desvivido en trasladar a las tres dimensiones la saga, otros han trabajado en volver a crear un título en dos dimensiones, siendo fieles al espíritu de la saga, y consiguiendo un resultado realmente bueno.
Gamereactor (Sweden) (Sep 18, 2005)
Efter att ha väntat i åtta år på en värdig uppföljare till mitt favoritspel började jag nästan förlora hoppet. Men Dawn of Sorrow har uppfyllt mina vansinnigt höga förväntningar. De enda bristerna jag kan komma på är att äventyret känns för kort och det ibland kan vara lite bökigt att besegra bossar. Annars är Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow helt fantastiskt. Äger du inte en Nintendo DS är det dags att köpa en nu, även om det bara är för det här spelet.
90 (UK) (Oct 13, 2005)
Dawn of Sorrow, like its predecessors and the Metroid series to some extent, is one of those games that initially seems to contradict accepted wisdom about mechanics becoming tedious when you can see through them, because while on the surface it's about roaming round a castle collecting weapons and triumphing over evil, that's not what its hooks are snagging you with. At one point, you're faced with a sliding puzzle that controls the rooms - this is far more of a microcosm for whole game. It's not that it relies on a healthy suspension of disbelief to overcome its contrived elements; it's about bringing order to foggy chaos. This, it does with aplomb.
RPGamer (2005)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is not the most innovative game for the DS, and nor does it contain the most epic story. But the game proves that innovation isn't always necessary when it comes to refining a classic format, and Dawn of Sorrow is easily the equal of its distant ancestor, Symphony of the Night. What the game does is provide intuitive, challenging, and fun combat that never gets tiring, while allowing enjoyable exploration in a beautiful, intriguing setting. The game is wonderfully suited to the portable nature of the DS, as it can easily be picked up, played for a bit, and then shut off, and its replayability and challenge both mean it will rarely grow tiresome. This is one game that no DS owner and lover of RPGs should be without.
The pre-release buzz on this title was quite favorable, and I'm pleased to say that the buzz was quite well-deserved. Definitely purchase this game.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is as close to perfection as the series has come in a long while. New hardware brought with it improved graphics, sound, and functionality, including the map display on the top screen. Beyond that, the new art style is a new turn for the series, and one that I found worked well for the game. While problem areas included the lack of serious DS functionality and too few hidden rooms, other features that were created specifically for Dawn of Sorrow, such as the weapon synthesis system and the wi-fi capability add a whole new dimension to a genre that boasts heavy roots in tradition and does not seem to change too often. This is definitely the best game I have played on the DS and one of my fondest Castlevania memories since Symphony of the Night.
N-Europe (Oct 04, 2005)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a classic game. Entering a big castle, defeating monsters, and killing giant bosses. We did it all before, but it rarely was as fun as in this game. If you think you’re up for an adventure on your DS which you can’t put down, buy Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. You won’t be sorry. And, the DS is well lit so no more old GBA tilting towards the light problems, yey!
Nintendo Spin (Dec 04, 2005)
The whole presentation is just awesome and has very good replay value. There isn’t too much that would be considered repetitive, as there are so many different areas of the castle to go to. The save points and teleportation portals (taken from AoS) are spread out nice and evenly, so regenerating yourself when you desperately need it probably won’t be the most difficult thing to do. Some areas are a pain in terms of the number of enemies yes, but generally you’ll be doing all the kicking butt and taking names. You are Soma Cruz, and while your adventure may not really be a cruise, the fun you get from taking on his role may very well seem like it.
Video Games Daily (Oct 08, 2005)
While Dawn of Sorrow is technically a better game than its predecessor, it lacks the inspiration and innovation, both story- and gameplay-wise, that made Aria of Sorrow such a fantastic experience. In spite of this, though, it is still a wonderful title that may be the first true must-own DS game. Now get out of that chair and get to the buying already!
But while the colors can be a bit monotonous, the graphics as a whole are still very well detailed, and it's easy to forgive the slight drabness when everything else about the game is so good. It's surprisingly difficult in all the right ways, and Aria's strong points are back in full force for this second tale of fashion queen king Soma Cruz; exploring the mazelike castle locales is a blast, vying for each and every enemy's soul is as all-consuming as it was before, and with three unlockable characters to play as once the main quest is over, you'll be scrunched over your handheld playing Dawn of Sorrow until your shoulders pop. Who knows, it might even convince me to buy a DS...
90 (Oct 20, 2005)
If you like Castlevania, they you need Dawn of Sorrow. If you own a DS, you need Dawn of Sorrow. If you don’t own a DS, go out and buy it with Dawn of Sorrow. This game represents 2D gaming at its finest and shouldn’t missed by anyone. Yes, the touch screen implementation kind of hinders gameplay, but Dawn of Sorrow is still one of best, if not the best, Castlevania game to date. The graphics, gameplay, music, replay value, story line, and variety mix together to make one sweet package. Go out and buy this game now right now.
The Next Level (Oct 28, 2005)
Given the series' pedigree status, that's part for the course -- it's not at all suprising that Dawn of Sorrow is an excellent game. With the tremendous gameplay that is the franchise's hallmark, beautiful graphics and animation, a fantastic soundtrack, and the kind of replay value that makes the phrase "bang for your buck" even more cliché than it already is, it's not even a stretch to consider it one of, if not the best game overall for the Nintendo DS. The real surprise, in fact, is how it ended up on the DS. You don't need a ton of gameplay gimmicks shoehorned into a title to make it stand out - and Dawn of Sorrow proves it in spades.
If you like Castlevania, you will love Dawn of Sorrow. If you love Metroid, you will love Dawn of Sorrow. If you love 2D, you will love Dawn of Sorrow. If you love a good soundtrack, you will love Dawn of Sorrow. Simply put, there is a lot to love in this game. The presentation is top notch, aside from the questionable move to anime styled art, and the touch screen implementation isn't exactly necessary. It is, however, an excellent piece of craftsmanship and comes most highly reccomended.
For every monster and conundrum that is thrown your way, however, Dawn's soul system and array of arms (I'm a sucker for weapons forging) are more than up to the task. The "DS" in Nintendo DS doesn't stand for dual screen; it now stands for "Dawn of Sorrow" 'cause this game owns.
MAN!AC (Sep 30, 2005)
Danke, Konami. Endlich wieder ein "Castlevania" so, wie sich das gehört. 2D nämlich, und ansehnlich noch dazu. Animationen, Charakter- und Monsterdesign, Farbgebung - atmosphärisch stimmt hier einfach alles. Auch beim Soundtrack wurde genau die richtige Mischung zwischen Rock und sphärischem Gedudel gefunden, perfekte Untermalung für ausgedehnte Forschungsreisen im Schloss des Bösen. Charakter aufpowern, Seelen suchen und vor allem die vielen verschiedenen Abspänne freispielen macht riesigen Spaß. Zumal das Abenteuer dann noch lange nicht vorbei ist, schließlich könnt Ihr später noch als Julius Belmont das gesamte Schloss auf traditionelle Art mit Peitsche und Weihwasser durchwandern.
JustPressPlay (Jul 20, 2007)
Dawn Of Sorrow is a great game for DS owners, I highly recommend it. It's got a lot of extras, it's a bit challenging but it won't turn off those who aren't that good at games, and it has an interesting story line, and it even has a nice little multiplayer mode that might entertain one of your friends for an hour or so. It would have been nice if they had added some new revolutionary things to the game engine itself though, maybe even something to do with the touch screen that's more then just drawing a seal. I did think writing your name in the beginning to mark your file was a nice touch though.
On the DS Konami has taken the Castlevania experience and streamlined it to make it feel better paced and much more convenient as well as bring us nicely improved visuals and some of the greatest music on the DS. If you are a fan of action platformers and own a DS, this game is a must buy. If you are a fan of Castlevania, Konami is now commanding you to purchase a DS.
GamePro (US) (Apr 27, 2006)
It's hard to complain too vehemently about such clumsiness when everything else comes together so cleanly, though. The Nintendo DS badly needs top-drawer must-own titles, and Dawn of Sorrow certainly fits that bill.
Thunderbolt Games (Oct 11, 2005)
It’s about time. I’ve been waiting for this game with hungry eyes, eagerly watching for it to be released. I was wondering how the transition from the GBA series would affect it. Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. Castlevania DS is yet another outstanding handheld game, living up to the standards that its predecessors left for it. It reintroduces us to an antihero on a quest for personal salvation, a cast of memorable characters, massive levels, remarkable gameplay, and one of the best presentations that the DS has to offer. It’s that kind of combination that makes for a truly excellent experience. Thus the Castlevania series continues, with yet another awesome title to add to its legacy. Being Dracula isn’t easy, but it can be fun.
90 (Sep 26, 2005)
C'est avec ce genre de titres qu'on reconnaît les grandes séries. Ce premier épisode Nintendo DS rend parfaitement hommage au mythe Castlevania en conservant et en optimisant le système de jeu des précédents volets. Les spécificités de la DS sont mises à contribution dans une moindre mesure pour ne pas rompre trop brutalement avec le gameplay traditionnel de la série. Pas besoin d'être fan de Castlevania pour comprendre que l'on a affaire à un titre culte.
Dawn of Sorrow is a feature packed title that is enhanced over previous installments due to the new implementations of the two screens and the touch capability of the DS. If you've been sitting on the fence in your decision to drop the cash on a DS - provided you've played Aria or other Castlevania games and enjoyed them - this game is extremely easy to recommend as the game to christen a new system with.
Whether or not this achieves the greatness set by Symphony of the Night will depend on how highly regarded that entry is personally. There's a strong case for Dawn of Sorrow and the Playstation/Saturn title. Both are engrossing, unforgettable, and impossible to stop playing once started. This will be a classic for the DS.
1UP (Oct 03, 2005)
Let's get this out of the way right off: Yes, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is the fourth portable Castlevania title shaped in the mold of 1997's incredible Symphony of the Night. Yes, this is a furrow that Konami (and producer Koji "IGA" Igarashi) have been tilling a little too vigorously. Yes, Dawn of Sorrow is an awful lot like its predecessor, Aria of Sorrow. And yes, we're all familiar with the law of diminishing returns.
GameSpy (Oct 04, 2005)
I like the lay of Dawn of Sorrow's land, and the soul mechanic is great; however, with the inferior character design and ho-hum touch-screen features, this isn't the be-all end-all of portable Castlevania. Regardless, it is a must-have for all action fans, and kicks the ever-loving crap out of any other action/platformer on the DS or (especially the) PSP. Konami and IGA still rule the 2D roost. And, with Metroid going FPS on DS, only the next Mario Bros. stands a chance of dethroning Castlevania.
GameSpot (Oct 05, 2005)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is the latest iteration of Konami's decades-old franchise and the first to appear on the Nintendo DS. Don't let the title fool you; this really isn't the dawn of anything, except maybe a bunch more Castlevania games on the DS. And the subtitle here is simply a workable way to include the letters D and S in the title of the game, as seems to be the requirement for the platform at this point. Dawn of Sorrow actually takes place a year after the events in Aria of Sorrow, which came out in 2003 on the Game Boy Advance. If you've played that game--or if you've played just about any recent Castlevania game actually--you'll be right at home with Dawn of Sorrow, because it's basically the same game repackaged to fit the DS. That isn't a bad thing though, because the Castlevania games have long carried the torch for good, old-fashioned 2D side-scrolling gameplay, and Dawn of Sorrow keeps that flame burning as bright as ever.
Ansonsten blieb größtenteils alles beim Alten: Superbes 2D-Leveldesign, fantastischer Soundtrack und liebevoll gezeichnete Grafik - genau so wollen wir des haben! Zweifelhaft ist die Ausnutzung der DS-Features. Dass auf dem oberen Screen die Karte oder diverse Statusanzeigen erscheinen, ist komfortabel, aber nicht überraschend. Mit dem Touchpen müsst ihr zum Öffnen von Türen oder zum endgültigen Besiegen von Endgegnern vorgegebene Symbole nachzeichnen. Nette Idee, aber der schnelle und spontane Wechsel von “normaler“ Steuerung auf Touchpen klappt nicht immer so reibungslos, wie die Spielsituation es erfordern würde.
Nintendojo (2005)
Despite the harsh words above, 2D gaming fans of all sorts will enjoy Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow immensely. Unlockables, such as a Julius Mode, and a plus game mode increase the replay value and add a significant nostalgia factor. It exudes polish enough to cover the trivial additions and weaknesses carried over from its predecessor. Dawn of Sorrow stands as proof that not all DS games need to have a wacky control scheme to be fun.
88 (Oct 10, 2005)
Eines Tages kam ihm ein kleiner Zauberkasten in die Finger. Er klappte ihn auf, drückte stirnrunzelnd ein paar Knöpfe und meckerte über die Story und die kitschigen Porträts. Aber plötzlich zogen ihn die zwei magischen Spiegel zurück in die verfluchte Burg seiner Kindheit. Da stand er wieder in längst verdrängter Sprite-Gestalt, schwang die Axt und brutzelte sich zwischen fliegenden Rüstungen und zischenden Dämonen vorwärts. Zwar meckerte er noch über den unglücklichen Touchscreen-Gebrauch und die nicht dargestellte Ausrüstung, doch dann ergab er sich. Kämpfen, kaufen, aufrüsten. Zaubern, verkaufen, aufrüsten. Und wenn er nicht gestorben ist, dann schlitzt er sich noch heute durch das verflucht faszinierende, fast perfekte Castlevania DS.
FOK!games (Nov 12, 2005)
Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow is herkenbaar voor iedereen die al eens een Castlevania-spel heeft gespeeld en is weer een erg sterk spel geworden. Het bevat naast de geweldige gameplay die we gewend zijn van de GBA-games genoeg nieuwe elementen om interessant te blijven. Naast ouderwetse hack'n'slash bevat het ook een flinke portie puzzels en een aardig verhaal. De specifieke features van de Nintendo DS worden niet volledig benut, het tekenen van Magic Seals en het wegkrassen van ijsblokjes is op zich leuk bedacht maar te weinig uitgewerkt om echt een bijdrage te leveren aan het gevoel dat het puur een DS-game is. Al met al is het toch een van de beste games die momenteel voor de DS verkrijgbaar zijn.
N-Zone (Oct 19, 2005)
Konami lässt nichts anbrennen und setzt auf bewährte Zutaten: eine düstere Story, liebevoll gezeichnete Hintergründe, grandiose Spielbarkeit und ein perfekt abgestimmter Soundtrack. Ein geschickter Einsatz des Touchscreens, bessere Nutzung der beiden Bildschirme und häufigere Anwendung der 3D-Fähigkeiten des DS hätten aber zu einer noch besseren Wertung geführt.
GameLemon (Dec 03, 2005)
All in all, if you have an unholy longing for old-school action games and Castlevania games in particular, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow will satisfy your twisted 2-D lust like few things can. Just make sure to wear something that covers your neck. And pants. Always wear pants.
85 (Oct 14, 2005)
Upon finishing Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, I was fully prepared to rag on it hardcore in my review. Seeing as how the DS is a much more powerful machine than the Game Boy Advance, I was expecting the game to be leaps and bounds better looking and sounding than Aria of Sorrow was. I was half expecting it to be nearly on par with my all-time favorite, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, for Sony’s original Playstation. Throughout the entire game, I felt like Konami dropped the ball with Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. I kept thinking to myself “This looks and sounds exactly like a GBA Castlevania.” Since I consider the DS to be at least as powerful as the PSOne, I felt totally cheated.
RPGFan (Oct 16, 2005)
In the final analysis, is this game "classic" or "boring?" Personally, you could throw me the same game with different areas, enemies, weapons, and souls, and I'd still buy it, play it, and enjoy it. The unlockable Julius mode also adds to the replay and gives a bit of a challenge and a nice homage to the third game in the series. However, that's just me, and I fully respect other people's right to find the gameplay monotonous and uninspired. And with the direction the series has been going lately, I seriously wonder how much Konami is willing to experiment, at least on the handheld front. If you liked Aria of Sorrow, pick up DoS. If not, steer clear.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is simply one of the best platformers around at this current time. Any discerning DS owner ought to seriously consider this title. But since some of the better DS offerings have yet to make it to these shores, this decision should be a no-brainer.
Game Revolution (Oct 15, 2005)
While this vampire slayer doesn't really take advantage of his newfound abilities and is mostly unchanged from his past iterations, you have to hand it to Konami for taking care of their baby. This is another fun, solid entry in what's quickly becoming the most dependable series in handheld gaming. To truly become an unstoppable power, however, it will also have to become the most daring.
RPG Kingdom (May 02, 2006)
A l'arrivée que penser de ce jeu ? Et bien, ma foi, c'est un très bon passe-temps, avec quelques petits défauts, mais rien de bien rédhibitoire non plus. Cela n'est pas non plus le jeu de l'année pour autant. Sa durée de vie est relativement courte, environ une dizaine d'heures. Mais les développeurs ont ajouté une foultitude de modes supplémentaires (Julius Mode, Boss Rush Mode) qui rallongent donc la durée de vie, pour peu que vous ayez aimé le jeu...
Pocket Gamer UK (Sep 09, 2005)
Whether you're already a fan of the series or a newbie, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is an excellent adventure with loads of depth.
Yahoo! Games (Oct 04, 2005)
All in all, Dawn of Sorrow is a great experience, although it suffers from a lack of innovation. Gameplay is all too familiar, and the new additions feel quite superficial. Having the best part hidden away as an unlockable doesn't help matters. Despite its flaws, the game is sure to please. It may not be an evolution of the series, but it's still a tasty treat.
Game Critics (Nov 16, 2005)
It may not be very original or innovative when compared to the rest of the games in the series, but Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow succeeds in bringing a similar level of polish and quality to the Nintendo DS, and I can't think of too many things that make the hours pass by as smoothly as a good Castlevania can.
EL33TONLINE (Sep 22, 2006)
All in all, I say “Konami, please don’t change too much in the next Castlevania.” Here’s hoping Castlevania will always be Castlevania and not try to be existential, or art, or cinematic or whatever else is the next big thing.
Cubed3 (Dec 25, 2005)
Nintendo may be the King in its field, but Konami sure does know how to crack out the perfect platform style adventure. Castlevania may retain its age-old gameplay mechanic for its main formula, but with the flair it is pulled off with, plus the clever little extras a perfect refinements, Dawn of Sorrow excels itself to become one of, if not the best DS title since the system’s release.
Gamestyle (Oct 02, 2005)
In spite of its castles, there's no question that this is the best handheld version of the series yet (and arguably the best of the non-linear games - yes, even better than Symphony). The concept as a whole may be heading ever closer to the clichéd but once you actually start playing, it is nigh on impossible to not feel the Castlevania magic taking you over.
Modojo (Oct 10, 2005)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is another reason why you own or should own a Nintendo DS. It's a delightful trip through a macabre fun house full of blood and assorted horrors that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys playing games, that is, unless you're just sick of 2D Castlevania. Then I suppose this one isn't for you. If that's the case, don't purchase this game. And don't be my friend, either.
Bordersdown (Oct, 2005)
In summary, Dawn of Sorrow serves as another worthy addition to the rapidly expanding Castlevania universe. As an exercise in updating the series to revolutionary new hardware, its success is limited. However there's still more than enough enjoyable old-fashioned gameplay here. This is about as close to SotN as Konami are likely to get, and Igarashi has already expressed his doubts about making another 2D Castlevania so it may be Konami’s last try at replicating the 32-bit classic. Perhaps it is time for the series to evolve again rather than looking inward, just as it did nearly a decade ago when SotN was unleashed on an unsuspecting world.
Game Critics (Jan 25, 2006)
Don't get me wrong: taken on its own, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a very high-quality title, and I would encourage anyone to play it. The Julius mode is worth the price of admission alone. (In fact, that's probably the way they should have made the game: with Julius mode being the primary drive behind the game, and Soma being the bonus quest.) But one can't just look at a single Castlevania title without looking at where it came from. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow looks a little too much in the mirror.
This is a truly excellently well made game that is a blast to play, and yet it has serious flaws. The dark setting may be very off-putting for some, and they should avoid this game outright. Others who are comfortable with the dark setting should still think twice about this as the content really pushes the envelope, and then some. Though the ESRB has rated it Teen, I really think it is more appropriate for Mature adults who have thought through whether or not the content will cause them to stumble. If not, the game play is excellent.