Quick Review : Castlevania – Aria Of Sorrow (Game Boy Advance)

As soon as I finished SotN I wanted to play it through again. I wanted to explore, to find things I hadn’t in my first playthrough. Aria of Sorrow is SotN’s rightful successor, capturing its essence without being a mere replica. For one, the storyline is more complicated and compelling. Although the visuals can’t hold a candle the SotN (thanks to the GBA’s limitations), they are still vibrant, colourful and oozing with style. Exploring the caslte here is just as involving, if not more so, than SotN. While the map is smaller, it seems the developers packed a whole lot more into it.

aria of sorrow underground reservoir
When are we going to get re-releases of all the GBA Castlevania titles>


Combat is improved as well, thanks to the ‘Soul Set,’ a system where you capture the souls of defeated enemies. These souls give you attacks, abilities and more, enabling greater flexibility in combat.

Is this better than SotN? Another playthrough of both is necessary to decide that. But Aria of Sorrow is a much more compact package…

Hammy’s Rating: 5/5

Click here for my Quick Review of Bloodstained : Ritual of the Night

Click here for my Quick Review of Bloodstained : Curse of the Moon

Click here for my Quick Review of Castlevania (NES)

Click here for my Quick Review of Castlevania III – Dracula’s Curse (NES)

Click here for my Quick Review of Castlevania – Symphony of the Night (Playstation)

Quick Review : Axiom Verge (Wii U)

How do you turn a homage into something that can stand on its own two feet? Axiom Verge doesn’t quite manage to answer that question, but fails with panache. Almost as soon as I started to play it, I fell in love with it. From the synth-heavy soundtrack, to the 8-Bit era graphics, it’s a nostalgic callback to the Metroid sub-genre. It even subverts expectations with innovative weapons and abilities (a drone to squeeze through narrow spaces, rather than a Morph Ball, for example). I adored how the map opens out as you upgrade your inventory. That’s how to do the Metroid sub-genre right.axiom verge boss

However, just like the original Metroid, areas and environments fail to stand out. When it came to backtracking, I found myself unable to recall where a particular ability was needed thanks to these similarities. Axiom Verge also shudders and stumbles towards the end, leading to an ending where you wonder if it was worth all the effort…

Still, an enviable effort to exploit those nostalgia glands!

Hammy’s Rating: 3/5