Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

Game Overview

Considering the success of Aria of Sorrow among fans and reviewers alike it was a forgone conclusion that a sequel in the vein of that game was going to happen. What many fans didn't expect was that it would be a direct sequel picking up not too long after the events of the first game. While the Castlevania series has had direct sequels (all the way back at the start of the series with Castlevania and Castlevania II among various examples), most games were individual entries concerned with different members of the larges and sprawling Belmont clan.

Whatever their reasons for coming back to Soma, we pick up with him a year after the events of Aria. A new threat has arisen from the followers of Dracula, people that want to try and convince Soma to (spoilers) take up the mantle of the Dark Lord and become the evil ruler they want him to be (because, depp inside, Soma has the soul of Dracula, which is why he can do all his amazing things). Soma has to go to a reproduction of Dracula's castle (Euro-Dracula, if you like) and fight his way through to end their evil plans. This of course leads Soma to go back around, collecting a bunch of souls (many of while he might have collected in the first game but has lost, like Samus Aran or Mega Man, by the time of this second game).

While a retread, Dawn does add some new things into the mix to help liven the game. Souls can be collected in multiples (for more than just improving the Headhunter soul in the first game) and used for weapon crafting. The graphics were also given a new bit of spit and polish, ditching the old sprites for a cleaner, less anime-influenced style (although many fans were not a fan of this). Plus, an improved post-game mode was added in (one that was much discussed among fans of the series when then game came out).

Was it as good a game as the first? For many it was better. It may not have been as good as Symphony of the Night (which has long been held up on it's own pedestal), but it was a solid entry in the long and varied franchise.