CASTLEVANIA: HARMONY OF DESPAIR
PS3/PSN (also on
When invites go out for the annual ’80s videogame character piss-up,
you can guarantee Simon Belmont’s on the list. If you’re thinking
WTF (with a ‘Who’ instead of a ‘What’), he’s the dude from the
original NES Castlevania game. Got it now? Erm, unless you
never played it – or don’t give a shit - in which case we’ve just
wasted a paragraph.
Anyway, our point is that Castlevania has pedigree. As
Simon’s now traded his sword for a pipe, slippers, Horlicks and
crotchitiness combo, eight other characters from various
incarnations (yep, that's two more than came standard with 2010’s
XBLA version) are called up for this tale, which follows the later
Castlevania-does-Metroid style of RPG-tinged collect-’em-up
Billed as being ‘Full HD’, they ain’t kidding. On commencement, what
looks like a level map is actually the play screen, with your
infinitesimal character about as easy to follow as a Polish cartoon.
Mercifully though, the screen can be zoomed in for a more classic
view – complete with authentic pixelmafacation. Then it’s the usual
kill lotsa undead stuff (go oxymoron, go!) in a castle-bound quest
to get from A to B without carking it. Even though you will cark it…
However, there’s a twist. This puppy’s been designed with
multiplayer in mind – and in what may sound like another bagging of
the XBLA incarnation, this time there's four-player local co-op on
top of six-player online. Trust us, rent some companions if you have
to, ’cos you’ve sweet FA chance of getting through on your lonesome
without more grinding than Tony Hawk in a meat-mincing factory that
moonlights as a dance club...
...which just may be the venue for this year’s piss-up. Simon’s a
bit of a dud after downing a few, but wait until Ms Pacman gets
going. Wukka indeed!