Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

Game Overview

If Symphony of the Night established what the Castlevania series could do, and Circle of the Moon showed that the formula could be repeated to great effect, Harmony of Dissonance esbalished that, yes, this is where the series would be going for the forseeable future. The games, as far as Konami was concerned, were going to be varying shades of the Castleroid formula, for better or worse.

In the case of Harmony of Dissonance the "better" part is arguable. Taking place in the span of years after Simon Belmont's multiple kills against Dracula, Dissonance follows the exploits of Juste Belmont, heir to the clan and grandson of Simon. When the feared, dark castle appears in the moors, Juste goes to investigate, but what he finds there could lead to one of the biggest Castlevania adventures yet.

Much like Circle, Dissonance is lead by a whip-wielder (so all the Alucard fans were, once again, left in the cold). However, Juste played like a weird hybrid of the two styles of the previous games. His moves and general style seemed more like Alucard (including the glowing after-effects whenever he moved) even while he used the traditional whip and item combos (much like Nathan). In many ways, it felt like Dissonance was a direct response to fans showing that the Game Boy adventures could be more like their consol brother (and less like Circle.

Not everyone was a fan of Dissonance, though. For some, it already felt like the game had been played before (in Symphony and Circle) and there wasn't enough to differentiate Dissonance from what came before. Plus, the graphics, while more Symphony-like in style, relied on brighter colors, making it feel like the game took place in a pastel, day-glow version of Dracula's castle.

Still, as a follow up to the series, Dissonance had its charms and does rate as one of the better entries in the venerable series.