Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow DS

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 171 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 171
Buy On

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Sep 24, 2016
    9
    This game is really fun. It's Castlevania with RPG elements. You can play it however you like, and explore the castle, but there is a story line to follow. If you like Castlevania you will definitely like this. This is one of the best Castlevania games of all time. There are a few problems with it, which is why I gave it a 9 rather than a 10, but overall it's pretty much a completeThis game is really fun. It's Castlevania with RPG elements. You can play it however you like, and explore the castle, but there is a story line to follow. If you like Castlevania you will definitely like this. This is one of the best Castlevania games of all time. There are a few problems with it, which is why I gave it a 9 rather than a 10, but overall it's pretty much a complete package. You won't get bored with this.

    The Good:

    - It's classic Castlevania but with RPG elements.

    - There are so many things to collect, but they really add to the experience. All the souls, weapons, crafting, etc, are really just a nice time waster.

    - Lots of exploration to be done, and mystery.

    - The story is basic but it motivates you onward.

    - Killing monsters is very satisfying. There are a ton of enemies. You'll never get bored with all the creatures.

    - The game is not too easy, and not too hard. It has the right level of difficulty.

    - The music is nice.

    - Despite console limitations the graphics are well done, other than the winter scenes, which just look washed out. The art is good.

    The Bad:

    - The game displays the action on the lower screen instead of the upper screen. It's a bizarre choice to make. Clearly, the menu, and map belong on the bottom. It would have been really handy if you could tap the screen, and look closer on the map (which is rather small).

    - There is one section of the game where you have to do some type of sliding puzzle. It was confusing. Not really fun if I have to say so myself.

    - The characters walks kind of slow. I would have liked it if he could walk a bit faster. But there is a method for fast travel, so this isn't a huge issue.

    - The teleport, and save areas really should be right beside each other. They are close to each other but not beside.

    - When you die you go back to the start up point of the game, like you resetted your console. Instead the game should ask you if you want to begin again from your save point. Yes or no? Simple, right?

    - A lot of grinding is required to get souls. It would be nice if acquiring souls was just little bit easier. I don't want it to be too easy, but sometimes it's frustrating. One character I killed literally a hundred plus times, and yet got no soul. I was just thinking, "C'mon now!"

    - I don't like those medusa heads! The ones that turn your into stone are just terrible.
    Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2015
    9
    Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow:
    What a Horrible Night to Love a Game/
    I hadn’t played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow before playing Dawn of Sorrow, but the game does a good job of catching one up to speed on what they need to know. There will be some light spoilers for Aria of Sorrow here. Set in the year 2036, one year after Aria of Sorrow, you play as Soma Cruz, the reincarnation of the
    Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow:
    What a Horrible Night to Love a Game/

    I hadn’t played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow before playing Dawn of Sorrow, but the game does a good job of catching one up to speed on what they need to know. There will be some light spoilers for Aria of Sorrow here. Set in the year 2036, one year after Aria of Sorrow, you play as Soma Cruz, the reincarnation of the dark lord, Dracula. While hanging out with the love interest, Mina (both of them insist that they’re just friends), Soma is suddenly attacked by a woman named Celia. Celia retreats after you receive aid from Genya Arikado, a government agent who also holds another significant identity in the Castlevania universe. Arikado explains to Soma that Celia is the leader of a religious movement that believes that in order for there to be a God, the perfect embodiment of light, there must be a dark lord, the perfect embodiment of darkness, so they are trying to resurrect the dark lord. With the help of his friend, Hammer, the shop keeper, Soma infiltrates Celia’s castle. Along the way, Soma also runs into his friends, Julius Belmont, descendant of the Belmont clan that fought Dracula for hundreds of years, and Yoko Belnades, partner to Julius. The plot is just an excuse to keep the game going, but it’s still pretty interesting and I’ve always loved a villain that is driven by some sort of religious belief. There are a few surprising twists and even multiple endings. While I did enjoy the game’s story, the way the game plays is really where it shines bright./
    The moment I started playing Dawn of Sorrow I fell in love with it. I loved exploring the castle with tight platforming, interesting and varied enemies, and snappy but satisfying combat. You will see as you play the game that there are areas that you won’t be able to access right away. You’ll have to come back later with new abilities in order to explore the enemy’s stronghold to the fullest. Speaking of abilities, there are so many abilities available to you to customize Soma with. Soma has what is called the Power of Dominance, which lets him sometimes absorb the soul of an enemy he has defeated, and almost every enemy has a soul he can absorb. These souls are abilities you earn from that specific enemy type that can then be equipped to Soma in order to give him new powers. These include throwing axes like in classic Castlevania games, turning into a bat to fly around the area, summoning a creature to assist you in battle, or a simple stat increase. Dawn of Sorrow is an RPG and the soul drops are random, so you may need to grind if you’re looking for a specific soul, but combat is fun enough that it is not too much of an inconvenience. Being an RPG, you can also improve Soma with by leveling up or by equipping him with different armor or weapons. There are many different weapon types that each feel different from each other and every weapon can be upgraded to become more powerful. Perhaps you will like the power given to you by the broadsword or maybe the range of a handgun. This, combined with the large amount of souls, provides you with an amount of options even larger than the castle that is such a joy to explore. Speaking of which, the world around you excels almost as much as the gameplay./
    The ambiance of Dawn of Sorrow is truly impressive. It is, as said before, a Metroidvania style game. With such a sense of exploration to the game, each area should be able to feel unique but still very much connected. The game’s Gothic environment does this quite well while inside the castle. You’ll find yourself going from a small village, to an elegant dance hall, to a mysterious lab, to a spike filled torture chamber while fighting your way through hoards of nefarious demons. Speaking of which, I love the character designs in this game. I’ve heard some people complain about the character portraits not being as stylized as the previous games, which doesn’t bother me since I didn’t play the previous game. The greatest designs go to the enemies, however. The enemy design mostly takes inspiration from classic horror figures and iconic creatures of lore. You’ll be coming up against Frankenstein’s monster, unsuspecting witches, howling werewolves, and giant suits of armor trying to hurl axes at you. Of course, there are some more creative enemies too, like one of the bosses being a giant, rotting, zombie dinosaur. While you run into the occasional goofy enemy, like a blue haired maid named Persephone, the enemies give the game a disturbing, horrific tint about it, which makes fighting them all the more fun. Not only do the enemies look good, but the soundtrack is exciting too. I enjoyed listening to every track in the game, including one or two Castlevania classics, like Bloody Tears. The art design and music were great to experience from beginning to end.
    Expand
  3. May 8, 2015
    10
    The GBA games were close to perfect. This tips it over into completely perfect. My favourite of all the metroidvania games this has a fun story, great graphics, tight controls and plenty to see and do.

    It's on the easy side compared to some of the series, but that doesn't harm it in my eyes.
  4. Oct 18, 2014
    8
    This game is awesome!!!!!
    I love every single TRUE Castlevania game, i mean the sidescroller titles! I don't like lord of shadows or that 3d's awful titles.
    Castlevania Dawn Of sorrow can be defined as one of the best Castlevania games ever made! Of Course it took the famous "Metroidvania" style. originated in Symphony of the night, but that's fine, because that style just fits very
    This game is awesome!!!!!
    I love every single TRUE Castlevania game, i mean the sidescroller titles! I don't like lord of shadows or that 3d's awful titles.
    Castlevania Dawn Of sorrow can be defined as one of the best Castlevania games ever made! Of Course it took the famous "Metroidvania" style. originated in Symphony of the night, but that's fine, because that style just fits very well in this kind of games. The music is a masterpiece, what a wonderful songs this game has. The argument and characters are simply great, very interesting things happens while you play, and that keeps you interested the whole game. Some enemies are new, there's some improved things, this game has much fun to offer, there's some puzzles also, like a door that you can open if the number match you gold, or if you buy a newspaper, it gives you some clues about certain creatures you can find. This game is really excellent, i am glad to be one of the gamers that LOVE CASTLEVANIA series. Sadly, this is one of the last Castlevania games that are actually good. hope in the near future we receive games like this one.

    Positive(+):
    + Excellent storyline
    + Wonderful music
    + Very good and innovative gameplay mechanics, like touch the screen to break the ice.
    + The characters are very cool, each one has a very interesting personality.
    + A new mode in wich you can create your own list of enemies to defeat.
    + This game retains all the good elements that made the Castlevania series so great.
    + Some good puzzles and secrets to discover, this game rewards the exploration.
    + Wireless mode has been imrpoved

    Negative(-):

    - Some combat elements are exactly the same as the previous Castlevania games.
    - Some enemies are too easy to defeat.
    Expand
  5. Aug 4, 2013
    9
    The first game I bought for my DS besides Pokemon and FIFA.

    An amazing Platformer/ Adventure/ RPG/ Action game with an awesome level of weapon/ ability customization. It has great visuals and an awesome, humorous dialogue. On the downside it can get repetitive when exploring to find new things and ways to get to some places, and if you are unlucky you can end up just scanning
    The first game I bought for my DS besides Pokemon and FIFA.

    An amazing Platformer/ Adventure/ RPG/ Action game with an awesome level of weapon/ ability customization.

    It has great visuals and an awesome, humorous dialogue.

    On the downside it can get repetitive when exploring to find new things and ways to get to some places, and if you are unlucky you can end up just scanning through everything to find what you are looking for which gets a bit boring.
    Also there is an element of grinding that can get annoying as well.

    Still a great game which deserves a 9 out of 10.
    Expand
  6. May 31, 2013
    9
    Tight gameplay, compelling construction, and satisfying story aesthetic. I came into this as a first time Castlevania player, so I can not speak for long time fans, but I love this game. Scratches the same itch as Super Metroid.
  7. Jul 29, 2012
    9
    *REVIEW EDITED*
    Sequel to Aria of Sorrow which was on GBA, Dawn of Sorrow takes place a year later with the player getting to control Soma Cruz once again and to explore the entire castle, dominate monster souls, experience breathtaking boss fights, and to find a variety of weapons and armor. I must say I was really impressed with the storyline in Dawn of Sorrow. As well as the awesome
    *REVIEW EDITED*
    Sequel to Aria of Sorrow which was on GBA, Dawn of Sorrow takes place a year later with the player getting to control Soma Cruz once again and to explore the entire castle, dominate monster souls, experience breathtaking boss fights, and to find a variety of weapons and armor. I must say I was really impressed with the storyline in Dawn of Sorrow. As well as the awesome characters from Aria, there were some new interesting characters too, as well as some nice twists. The game is simply beautiful. The stages are designed exceptionally well, with lovely 3D views on the background, and the soundtrack is just mindblowing, perhaps even surpassing Aria's. The game's difficulty is also somewhat moderately high, but not frustrating like Circle of the Moon. Most of the game can be played without the need to level grind. Only near the end of the game, when going towards the good ending, some grinding is greatly beneficial. The only feature I sort of disliked in Dawn of Sorrow was the magic seal system. Although the idea is good, the punishment for failing to draw a magic seal correctly is too extreme, i.e. the boss you
    Expand
  8. Jul 10, 2011
    9
    Epic game. As almost every Castlevania ever released. The game is very fun to play through, and collecting souls is less boring than it sounds. The only issues are the dated graphics, which resemble too much it's prequel, and the somewhat boring and unbalanced alternative game mode. As that's gimmicky anyway and doesn't affect the basic gameplay, still a solid 9.
  9. Jan 26, 2011
    10
    I personally haven't played the old Castlevania games, dawn of sorrow was the second (due to rarity) Castlevania I've ever played and the best of the other Castlevania titles on the DS.

    Though the story was a little edgy here and there, the combat is excellent!
  10. Sep 16, 2010
    9
    If you love Castlevania, you'll love Dawn of Sorrow. Not a whole lot has changed since the switch to 'Metroidvania' in Symphony of the Night- but how is that a bad thing? Dracula's castle is as exciting as ever, with some impressive DS visuals presenting players with a wide variety of different areas to explore. It's possible to level up and equip a wide array of different weaponry andIf you love Castlevania, you'll love Dawn of Sorrow. Not a whole lot has changed since the switch to 'Metroidvania' in Symphony of the Night- but how is that a bad thing? Dracula's castle is as exciting as ever, with some impressive DS visuals presenting players with a wide variety of different areas to explore. It's possible to level up and equip a wide array of different weaponry and armour, giving players a perfect amount of customisation for their character. The classic Castlevania formula works flawlessly on DS and will be sure to have you coming back for more. Expand
  11. AnonymousMC
    Aug 15, 2009
    8
    I had a lot of fun with this game, which was my second Castlevania game ever (the first was Order of Ecclesia). The gameplay is really superior in this game, and the level design is brilliant. Some of the monsters are also really, really cool. And the different endings are nice. I have two objections to this game, though. The first is the boss fights, which are *way* too easy. All but twoI had a lot of fun with this game, which was my second Castlevania game ever (the first was Order of Ecclesia). The gameplay is really superior in this game, and the level design is brilliant. Some of the monsters are also really, really cool. And the different endings are nice. I have two objections to this game, though. The first is the boss fights, which are *way* too easy. All but two or three can be won by basically standing near the monster and hitting with a good weapon while using healing potions and food. I had to retry two fights in the entire game, and I'm a noob who rarely uses slide, back off or even the powerful attack features. That's really bad. The two last fights were much better though. My second issue is the story, which is very poor if you haven't played Aria of Sorrow (it might be poor even if you did play that game -- I wouldn't know). I know story isn't important here, but how hard can it be to actually put a good one instead of a tame one in the game? Anyway: I had great fun, and I'm looking forward to playing Portrait of Ruin once I get hold of it. Expand
  12. PlixikW.
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    Amazing game. anyone that likes anything in existence should get this game. Pure castlevania goodness.
  13. NateB.
    Jun 15, 2006
    10
    A must have DS title. The main mission is the best out of a castlevania since Symphony of the Night and has a decent amount of challenge to it to make it exciting. There is also an incredible amount of depth in collecting the souls, upgrading weapons and unlocking bonus features. Hard Mode and Boss Rush mode are back and still fantastic (and difficult). But, what takes the game from being A must have DS title. The main mission is the best out of a castlevania since Symphony of the Night and has a decent amount of challenge to it to make it exciting. There is also an incredible amount of depth in collecting the souls, upgrading weapons and unlocking bonus features. Hard Mode and Boss Rush mode are back and still fantastic (and difficult). But, what takes the game from being an 8 or 9 to a 10 is Julius mode. After spending around 10 hours on the main mission (I also goofed around a lot trying to find secrets) you are treated to a mode where you can play as Julius through the main mission and then get additional characters to use including Yoko and Alucard (!!!) and are able to swap between them like in Castlevania 3. Aria had Julius mode, but it was too short and just not the same. This one is amazing and could be its own game. While the premise of the Metroid style Castelvanias is something that has been used for 5 straight games, it's done to such a high quality that it is difficult to give this game anything less than a 9 or 10. Expand
  14. JohnnyD.
    Apr 20, 2006
    9
    freakin fantastic the monsters are cool the magics the combats, everything works. i wish their was also a rockets lawncher.
  15. IsaacS.
    Feb 4, 2006
    10
    The game is brilliant. It has a very good stating movie with very good graphics for a DS. The interseting storyline and gamplay is very adictive you wont want to put it down. The magic seal system is an ingenius idea that makes the game more exciting. The power to upgrade weapons with the souls you have collected via Yoko's power is fantastic. A thoroughly good game.
  16. ReviewerRev
    Dec 12, 2005
    9
    One of the DS's greatest games! Id recomend this game to any DS owner.
  17. JayG.
    Dec 8, 2005
    9
    This is what the DS was waiting for. A perfect side-scroller with huge environments,lots of weapons, and amazing bosses. I'd recomend this game to any DS owner.
  18. JFP.
    Nov 23, 2005
    9
    Amazing. supreme gameplay. no exagerating touch screen gimmicks. Great sound, nice soundtrack, great graphics. The bosses are nice to fight against. a must have for any lover of the series. Have FUN!
  19. MarkS.
    Nov 19, 2005
    8
    As far as the 2D castlevania games go, I always like to think of Symphony of the Night as the L.A. Lakers, whenever the Lakers were dominating, and the gameboy castlevanias as either the Sacramento Kings or Dallas Mavericks. Worthy contenders, always pounding away with the flashy offense but never quite able to achieve the pinnacle of greatness needed to dethone the mighty champion. This As far as the 2D castlevania games go, I always like to think of Symphony of the Night as the L.A. Lakers, whenever the Lakers were dominating, and the gameboy castlevanias as either the Sacramento Kings or Dallas Mavericks. Worthy contenders, always pounding away with the flashy offense but never quite able to achieve the pinnacle of greatness needed to dethone the mighty champion. This latest Castlevania, "Dawn of Sorrow," has perhaps come the closest, however like the great Sacramento Kings of 2002 when they took the Lakers to the brink of game 7 in overtime, this castlevania comes up barely short of Symphony's greatness. Comes really really close, but doesn't quite have the stuff to be number one. Perhaps with their next try, they should trade in Soma for either Vlade Divac or Chris Webber. Or maybe a tall german vampire hunter like Dirk Nowitzki. At least something where you can tell for sure if it's a girl or a guy, this weird effeminate look doesn't quite do it for me. Expand
  20. Uwepoll
    Nov 11, 2005
    8
    A great game in it's own right, but I'm getting a little tired of the collect'em'up nature of the Castlevania games. There's too much backtracking. Still, I think anyone who haven't played Symphony of the Night or any of the GBA Castlevanias should get this.
  21. Menace
    Oct 29, 2005
    10
    Practicly the best game out for the DS, this and Trauma Center.
  22. IdonH.
    Oct 25, 2005
    10
    Amazing, simply amazing.
  23. TonyG.
    Oct 24, 2005
    10
    Loved sotn, aria, and circle ... if you do to then run out now and get this game .... 1 thing i would go crazy for and would be a game come true, is if konami released a castlevania game in the same 2.5d graphics as contra shattered soldiers for the ps2. it would be amazing production. just imagine playing as alucard or soma cruz in 2.5 d style it would definitly be a dream come true!!!Loved sotn, aria, and circle ... if you do to then run out now and get this game .... 1 thing i would go crazy for and would be a game come true, is if konami released a castlevania game in the same 2.5d graphics as contra shattered soldiers for the ps2. it would be amazing production. just imagine playing as alucard or soma cruz in 2.5 d style it would definitly be a dream come true!!! and im not the only one dreaming that. anyway dawn of sorrow is amazing all around 10!!! Expand
  24. KaitlynA.
    Oct 19, 2005
    10
    Greatest game iv ppalyed in a long time, seriously. This game rules, who cares if it started as a GBA game, does that really matter? NO! this game is great, awesome graphics, sound, and EXTREME replayability! Portable game of the year, without a doubt.
  25. KevinB.
    Oct 18, 2005
    10
    Simply the greatest Castlevania game ever. If you disagree, then you are wrong. plain and simple. Once you get into it, theres no stoping. You will be addicted to this like CRACK! So, get this game, now!
  26. Simon
    Oct 14, 2005
    9
    To the person calling it "another rehash from Nintendo", well done for being an idiot as the game is from Konami, Nintendo have nothing to do with it, its simply on a Nintendo system.
  27. PFG9000
    Oct 14, 2005
    10
    Simply the best sidescrolling platformer I've ever played. While it isn't altogether innovative, it does everything perfectly. Also the most balanced of the free-roaming Castlevanias.
  28. AnonymousMC
    Oct 13, 2005
    9
    Who cares if it was planned as a GBA game? It's an outstanding CASTLEVANIA on the DS! ...it began as a GBA game, and they just enhanced the graphics, made the sound more accurate, the castle bigger, designed more various foes and threw in some gimmicky touchscreen things to make people think it's a DS game, it's worked on me I guess.
  29. BobX
    Oct 13, 2005
    10
    Don't let the kids that sank 400 bucks into the psp lower the vote too much, the game is great :) lots of replayability and the graphics are very very nice. The aria of sorrow game play has been updated and refined enough to classify as more than just new levels. But ultimately the 2d castlevania series has been perfected via game play, It's really hard to imagine any kind of Don't let the kids that sank 400 bucks into the psp lower the vote too much, the game is great :) lots of replayability and the graphics are very very nice. The aria of sorrow game play has been updated and refined enough to classify as more than just new levels. But ultimately the 2d castlevania series has been perfected via game play, It's really hard to imagine any kind of improvement they can make that does not involve sound scope and graphics. With that said, the castle area is larger than it has ever been and the sounds and graphics are the best in the series yet. The animation is extremely smooth as well. Psp owners are just jealous that all of the good apps are on the DS and not the psp. Expand
  30. [Anonymous]
    Oct 11, 2005
    10
    David S. gave it a0: It's a GBA game. That's all. Uhh, no it isn't. It's a DS game, moron.
  31. MahebruH.
    Oct 9, 2005
    10
    Yes. a "10". it's that good.
  32. MattL.
    Oct 9, 2005
    10
    This game has devoured my soul.
  33. ROBBMAC
    Oct 7, 2005
    9
    9.5 is my score... I think this game is pretty good, I actually like the fact that they didn't go over board putting gimmicky touch screen features in this game. I would have given it a 10 had they left the touch screen parts out all together, but they usage they chose IS fitting.
  34. MaximianoZ.
    Oct 7, 2005
    10
    This is a very good game:2d graphics and a very good use in the tactil screen.
  35. TGage
    Oct 6, 2005
    10
    Hey, "Edge" Magazine! "Innovatory" isn't a word, idiot.
  36. HattoriH.
    Oct 6, 2005
    10
    Whoever said this was a GBA game has obviously never played it.
  37. BobbyH.
    Oct 5, 2005
    10
    I haven't been this engrossed since SOTN
  38. JayN
    Oct 4, 2005
    10
    One of the best Castlevania games since SotN. A must have for Metroidvania fans.
  39. KevinT.
    Sep 28, 2005
    10
    I bought this game last week (Import) and I am in love with it. The graphics and gameplay are amazing. I havn't played Symphony of the Night but now I am hooked on the series. This is the first Castlevania I have played since Simon's Quest. They have come a long way.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
#2 Most Shared DS Game of 2005
Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. It is clear that Dawn of Sorrow originally started out as a GBA title. It plays more like an advanced GBA game instead of a full fledged DS title.
  2. Dawn of Sorrow matches and in some cases exceeds the quality of "Symphony of the Night" in almost every way. Yet the two games have their own styles and features, so the newest addition to the series is in no way redundant with its legendary forebear. [JPN Import]
  3. Nintendo Power
    90
    If the graphics and sound aren't engrossing enough to draw you in, the intriguing story and exhilarating action should be. [Nov 2005, p.104]