Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Monster monster, there's a screw in my neck

Glimpses of the real Castlevania

And so, paradoxically, it's the single-player mode that adds meat to the bones of this multiplayer cadaver. Going solo injects the game with much needed challenge, where grinding comes into its own to offer any hope of success. But while there are occasional glimpses of the real Castlevania, the popular Metroid-vania formula of adventuring and levelling-up is always sorely missed.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Chemical free weed killers

Verdict

The game's true harmony of despair comes not from Dracula's evil minions, but from the groans of players as they realise the dismal gameplay and paucity of content on offer.

True fans may find a morsel or two to tide them over until the October release of the much anticipated 3D re imagining Lord of the Shadows, but even they will find the full XBLA price of 1200 MS Points questionable, especially given last year's vastly superior Metroid-vania homage, Shadow Complex was released at the same price.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Every cloud has a purple lining

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Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

A experimental monster-mash of a game that fails to justify its premise or price. Available on Xbox Live only.
Price: £10 RRP