So Konami put out another Castlevania Collection and given that these are some I have not played before, I thought I’d give it a look and throw together some quick impressions.
It’s called the Advance Collection and it compiles four Castlevania titles: Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow, and Dracula X – all Gameboy Advance games with the exception of the last one, an SNES title.
If you’ve ever played a Castlevania game – you probably know what to expect here. Tough combat, plenty of platforming, and a ton of exploration to do. They’re not easy games, but they are fun ones – particularly Aria of Sorrow, which loses that “stiff” movement from previous Castlevania games and just feels good to play. Granted, the other ones are still solid, but I’d be lying if I said Dracula X wasn’t a bit of a struggle.
As for the port, they’re not really remastered, but rather given a slight facelift. The graphics are upscaled – and while still noticeably GBA and SNES games – they look fine at this increased resolution. There are options to customize the appearance too, like stretching to fullscreen, displaying in pixel perfect aspect ratio, and even the ability to add a background – all nice options to have.
I know in the previous Castlevania collection, people complained about input lag and poor audio, but that is not at all a problem here. Inputs are instant, the audio is a noticeable improvement over the compressed GBA versions, and the additional emulation features really streamline the experience – like fully customizable controls, the ability to save and load anywhere, and even the ability to outright rewind time a certain amount.
Yeah, it can remove a lot of the challenge, but you don’t have to use these features – they’re just some really solid extras to have and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t end up using rewind a bit. The Collection also comes with a music player, some art extras, and the ability to swap between the game regions for each title – again, all nice features to have even if I can’t personally see myself using them.
The only real problem I’ve had thus far is the lack of a fullscreen option. The game opens and displays as a 1080p window on my 1440p monitor and I had to use an external tool to force it to fullscreen. After I did – no further problems, but I shouldn’t need to do that to begin with.
And that’s pretty much all I got. It’s a solid collection of games that runs well, has a bunch of neat extras, and – ultimately – is just fun to play. Challenging for sure, but that’s just Castlevania in general and I’m looking forward to finishing up my playthrough of each. Maybe one day Konami will grace us with a PC version of Symphony of the Night, but for now – this will do.
Castlevania Advance Collection retails for $20 USD on Steam and is also available on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.