As it's become increasingly clear to me over the years, I am a child of the video game age. I enjoyed pumping quarters into the old arcades in my hometown and working towards the next goal, playing a little bit better next time. One of the first games I remember like that was Castlevania. I never made it to Dracula in the original... so Simon Belmont never managed to take the blood sucking fiend down until I played Castlevania 2 on my home console years later.. Still there was something about Castlevania Harmony of Despair that makes me reminisce about those early days of playing. Probably because playing as the "Simon" style character, the single player game was super challenging. That's not a criticism.. just an observation, but this new game has something entirely new.... a multiplayer experience. Up to 6 people at a time whupping Draculas butt. That was fun, but only available if you buy the game... no opportunity to try out its single shining aspect in its demo mode.
It would have also been a much superior game if there were some more variation between the single and multiplayer systems of play. And finally... my primary criticism... NO local multiplayer? I don't get that. It'd be a ton of fun playing with 4 other people in the same room, but no you can only play with others over XBoxLive. It's the exact opposing flaw I found in the Scott Pilgrim vs. the world game. I guess it must be a real challenge to program both styles of multiplayer system into a single game. To sum up... while there are opportunities for fun in this one.. don't grab it unless you're a BIG Castlevania fan.