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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 06/7/09

Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow Review

Publisher: Glu Mobile :: Developer: Konami


Game Features


Huge huge game
Nice graphics and great sound


More of the same as Castlevania Aria of Sorrow
Controls can be a bit fiddly

See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Sony-Ericsson K800i
Time Played 1.5 hours
Game Progress 23% complete, level 11

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 06/7/09

It's huge.

Castlevania games have been around on console for a while. In fact they are usually a sure fire hit combining action, a bit of RPG and some exploring as well. As far as we know, they came to mobile about a year ago, with the enjoyable Castlevania Aria of Sorrow. We liked it and we reviewed it, which you can read here.

Well, it's been a year and so we have another Castlevania game, only this time it's the Dawn of Sorrow. So more sorrow then. When is the lead character, Soma, going to take a break? Last time it was Code Monkeys who did the game and Konami published it, this time it's the Mighty Troglodytes and it's published by Glu.

So what has changed? Well, for a start the graphics and sound are a lot slicker. They are still 2D but the animation is really nice and smooth and the detail is quite decent. The trailing effect when Soma runs around is pretty cool. And the sound is very funky with a different track for each level of the castle you are in.

The abilities have changed somewhat, you can equip weapons and items as before, but now some of the soul stealing you do also leads to abilities which can be equipped. Essentially these are varying forms of magic attacks or actual physical abilities like turning into a bat. Which is pretty useful for getting to those hard to reach places. Oh, you can slide now too as well as the diagonal jumps. Plus there are magical seals now which you have to get to unlock certain areas. The seals all have a number element to them, you have to press the numbers in the right order to get the magic on the seal to work. Follow the initial diagram, and it really isn't too hard.

To be honest not much more has changed. There is an interesting plot (again), running around a castle (again), collecting stuff (again) and doing battle with all manner of beasts and demons. Once you clock the game, you will unlock a boss mode which allows you to just battle all the bosses. But this will take you some time as the game is darn right huge. That's right, I used the word darn without any remorse.

Not counting the times I died, I played it for about an hour or so and I'm only 23% done. Plus the areas are getting bigger. Gone is the ability to save while you sleep and now you only have the save points. So you had better find some and quick if you are running around and low on health. You can always kill some baddies for more (they drop burgers, coffee, milk...wth?), but I still never figured out what collecting the hearts do. As far as I could see, it certainly doesn't change your health at all.

Anyway, I had fun playing the game up to now. The sheer size of it has meant that the developers have introduced warp points where you can teleport from one area of the castle to another. Each setion has one, which means you don't have to go running back through all the areas in order to get back to a level you were at before (most likely because you have a new ability to enable you to get to places or things you couldn't before).

It's a good game for mobile and if you like these action RPG types you will be engrossed for a while. There can be some instances where you think you are stuck, but if you go back and examine each area you may find a doorway you never noticed before. Of course the map helps and some areas you can't get to until later in the game.

I guess my main concern is the game, while being very solid, doesn't exactly breathe new life into the genre. If Metal Gear Solid 4 played the same as 1, or Tekken 6 played the same as Tekken 1 or GTA 4 played the same as GTA 1 would you feel short changed? Maybe not if the game was only a fiver as it is here, but I certainly would have wanted the developers to strive just that little bit more. Still, it's not a bad effort.