User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 43
  2. Negative: 10 out of 43

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  1. Aug 16, 2010
    7
    An interesting idea for a game. I give it a 7 versus a lower score due to it being a relatively novel idea and working well in what it attempts to accomplish (i.e. being a multiplayer metroidvania style game). However, it can feel sluggish at times, and the feeling of exploration and discovery is noticeably absent once you've finished the paltry 6 levels. Granted, finding new items is always exciting, but it seems like there is too much grinding to be done. Overall, I find HoD to be a positive experience and worth a try, but perhaps only for those who are fans of the series. Playing a game like this really makes you thirst for a real Castlevania 2-D adventure on an HD console, though... Expand
  2. Aug 12, 2010
    6
    GameZone 55 The entire game can be completed in under an hour with an organized team, although a Hard difficulty will test the skills of the most devoted fans. Beyond that, there is nothing to keep players' interests past an initial run.
  3. Aug 13, 2010
    8
    I never knew that a platform game could work so well as a online multiplayer game. Other great game in the Castlevania series, some new fresh ideas. Although multiplayer could have been more fleshed out and drop in and drop out co-op would have been nice. It's starts of hard but after a while you soon have better equipment and it's still as much fun every time. For me this is one of those games that gets better over time as you soon figure out all the things you can do and what all the stats means. I have only played as the one charcter, so I still have many hours of gameplay left if I'm to try the other. This game is not for everyone's taste, but amongst all the FPS's every where it's nice to get a change and a b****y brilliant game. Expand
  4. Aug 27, 2010
    3
    Whoever decided to put an 8-bit graphics style game on XBLA is a bit out of touch. Now I'm not saying 8-bit is bad, but let's be honest. This game came out in the same month as LIMBO, a game that managed to look gorgeous with only two colors, and Lara Croft GoL, a combat platformer with very nice graphics. The game was unoriginal, offered a terrible navigation and menu setup, and looked like it was from the 1980s. Not worth the money. Expand
  5. Aug 14, 2010
    6
    Sacrifices were made to change castlevania into a multiplayer experience. Unfortunately the dissection of a large castle into many smaller ones reduces the need to explore past sections the way other castlevanias did. Then to increase longevity they made really amazing drops very rare. While these sacrifices do severely hamper the castlevania experience they do allow for multiplayer fun. On the other hand the single player experience is more of a crawl. If you find games fun where you are farming bosses for loot (like an mmorpg end game) and are a fan of good responsive 2d gameplay you will find this game enjoyable. Just don't go in thinking it will feel like castlevania. Expand
  6. ccc
    Sep 22, 2010
    9
    I will be honest about this, when this game first came out and I was on a drive to by all this years summer of arcade games I was really angry that this was one of them. I then gave up on the notion of Microsoft's offer to acquire 1500 msp for buying them all. Like many of you I found this game to be just awful. A few weeks after it's release though I decided to fire up Castlevania Symphony of the Night and I was reminded why I loved that game and the series so much.
    I then re-downloaded Harmony of Despair and saw a completely different game. One that was great with outstanding rpg elements massive character selection and items up the ying yang.
    This game is both a great single player experience and a multiplayer extravaganza. Graphically there is no denying that HOD is well advanced in visuals over any other 2d Castlevania game ever made. The Hd visuals are crisp and run very smooth. After playing it you can go back to SOTN and realize how aged the game really is.
    The sounds and the music in this game are top notch for the series with many tunes that you will just want to hear over and over again.
    The gameplay itself is amazing as a platformer and an action adventure game rewarding players with better skill and mastery over their characters with more of an advantage over someone that is a novice.
    The game has puzzles to be solved, some of which can only be done in co-op but nothing that would take away from a single player experience. The game itself offers 6 characters to choose from and an equal amount of castles to play, with dlc promising new characters and levels on the way. Ironically I found Castlevania HoD to be my favorite of all the summer of arcade games in the end and I urge everyone to give this game the chance it deserves as the reputation it currently has is an injustice to the makers of the game, the series and us the fans. Konami got it right people and their efforts should be rewarded not condemned.
    Collapse
  7. Nov 3, 2011
    10
    Castlevania Harmony of Despair is a good game with good gameplay and a good story. konami forced the door to the ps3. konami but do not stop with all the DLCs we want Trevor Belmont, Sypha belnundes, grant
    Albus, Hammer, John Morris, Eric Lecard, Christopher Belmont, Juste Belmont, Maxim and many others as well as maps new course.
  8. Nov 4, 2011
    10
    the game is very good. But where the Leon Belmont, Trevor Belmont, Sypha belnundes, grant, juste belmont, Maxim, Hector, John Morris, Eric lecard, albus, hammer
    We would have eleven characters and new maps. the game would be bigger and better please konami more DLCs. after all my note is also positive
  9. Feb 8, 2013
    10
    Oh my goodness, this game is genius! The character progression is brilliant. There's so much room for a player's personal style to be shown online. There's plenty of technical skills to be learned over the course of hundreds and hundreds of hours of gameplay.
  10. Aug 1, 2013
    8
    Since this is a long post, I'll give you the short version, then read on if you'd like.

    Castlevania HD is extremely difficult to play strictly alone, but it is possible, even if you haven't beat the original or third game on the NES (THE ABSOLUTELY MOST DIFFICULT TWO). If you have XBL Gold, I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS GAME, AND THE DLC. Just keep in mind, most matches will be with
    international players who, even if they do have mics, you couldn't understand. If you don't have XBL Gold, you better have beaten the first 3 Castlevanias on the original NES. Emulators don't count.

    Before you read, I'd like to say that I am a seasoned gamer; I've played thousands of different games. I have invested hundreds of hours in this particular game, and understand where some people are coming from when they write reviews, but most only judge it by the demo. Let the Vet tell it like it is.
    P.S.- I will have spoilers at the very end. There will be a note telling you when they start.

    Castlevania is a monumental series that everybody must play a game of at LEAST once in their life. This game in particular is very different from the others, which is why it's reviews are not good; because it's different from the norm.

    On the original 3 Castlevania games, you had to defeat difficult enemies on near-impossible stages. There wasn't much of a story (minus the second) but it was a game that you couldn't be taken away from. Most Castlevania games following were adapted to feature some form of story for the character you're playing as. The gameplay progressed by how much you leveled up, and maintained a balance. Now this Castlevania, the only way you could know the story is if you played the other Castlevania games. You are guaranteed to die a minimum of your first 5 times if you were to play alone, because each level is AN ENTIRE GAME. You get new armor and weapons, and eventually, you will progress to the next chapter in the game. I'm pretty sure this was also the first Castlevania with online multiplayer, so one could only assume the developers put majority of their effort into the multiplayer mechanics, as unfortunate that may be.

    Aside from the story and difficulty, there was one problem that stood out for most players. I don't even mind the lack of story or difficulty, but I can't get over this: There were truly only 3 characters that had effort put into them, INCLUDING DLC. These characters; Soma, Charlotte, and Jonathan, each have an overwhelming capacity of weapons and spells they can use. Read the previous sentence again. Now, I'm going to explain something:
    Soma and Alucard were supposed equivalents
    Charlotte, Shanoa, Yoko, and Maria (The spellcasters) were supposed equivalents (even though there is a mass diversity with Charlotte)
    Jonathan, Richter, Julius, and Simon (The whip users) were supposed equivalents
    Fuma is off topic, with a near-equivalency of Simon.
    No matter how weird that sounds, just go with it for evaluation purposes.
    Now when I say overwhelming, DLC included, I mean that Jonathan has near 30 subweapons with 6 martial art techniques, Charlotte has near 50 spells, and Soma has near 125 TOTAL spells, with at least 40 total weapons. The other 3 whip-using characters have about 15 subweapons, Shanoa has 7 spells with 5 total weapons (I think), Alucard has only 5 (Maybe 6) spells (but can use almost any weapon Soma can, at least), the other 2 spellcasters have 3 and 4 total spells respectively, and Fuma has 4 spells. There is a huge difference between charcters in each class. Most people will strictly use Soma because (just judging by his arsenal) is the most OP character in the game, but that is also good, because you can play as him to be your "training wheels" so you get better used to the game.

    I am big on story mode in games, but I don't think it's necessary if you got a friend or two (or five) to play with. This is my all-time favorite sidescroller co-op game (yes, I like it better than Terraria and Trine (although I don't think Trine actually has co-op, but anyway)) and I recommend it to anybody looking for a challenge, or that just wants to have fun with friends.

    That's that, so the spoilers and tips are about to start-

    Soma should be your first character, trust me.
    You can boost certain characters' subweapons' levels by playing Survival on Hard online with a friend. All you have to do is take turns spamming subweapons. You can die an infinite ammount of times, so I recommend taking all armor off so that you don't deal too much damage (subweapons level up per hit), but you should wear an Astral ring (Found on Chapters 6-8; Makes you waste health instead of mana while casting spells) and a Master Ring (in the Shop; makes you level up faster).
    Worst to best characters: damage w/ whips (maxed out):
    Jonathan (ironically)-Richter-Julius (but has a fun special move)-Simon
    ALWAYS HAVE A PUPPET MASTER AND YORICK SPELL EQUIPPED WHEN FOUND (Soma)
    Expand
  11. ccc
    Sep 22, 2010
    0
    I will be honest about this, when this game first came out and I was on a drive to by all this years summer of arcade games I was really angry that this was one of them. I then gave up on the notion of Microsoft's offer to acquire 1500 msp for buying them all. Like many of you I found this game to be just awful. A few weeks after it's release though I decided to fire up Castlevania Symphony of the Night and I was reminded why I loved that game and the series so much.
    I then re-downloaded Harmony of Despair and saw a completely different game. One that was great with outstanding rpg elements massive character selection and items up the ying yang.
    This game is both a great single player experience and a multiplayer extravaganza. Graphically there is no denying that HOD is well advanced in visuals over any other 2d Castlevania game ever made. The Hd visuals are crisp and run very smooth. After playing it you can go back to SOTN and realize how aged the game really is.
    The sounds and the music in this game are top notch for the series with many tunes that you will just want to hear over and over again.
    The gameplay itself is amazing as a platformer and an action adventure game rewarding players with better skill and mastery over their characters with more of an advantage over someone that is a novice.
    The game has puzzles to be solved, some of which can only be done in co-op but nothing that would take away from a single player experience. The game itself offers 6 characters to choose from and an equal amount of castles to play, with dlc promising new characters and levels on the way. Ironically I found Castlevania HoD to be my favorite of all the summer of arcade games in the end and I urge everyone to give this game the chance it deserves as the reputation it currently has is an injustice to the makers of the game, the series and us the fans. Konami got it right people and their efforts should be rewarded not condemned.
    Collapse
Metascore
67

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 62
  2. Negative: 6 out of 62
  1. The entire game can be completed in under an hour with an organized team, although a Hard difficulty will test the skills of the most devoted fans. Beyond that, there is nothing to keep players' interests past an initial run.
  2. If you aren't familiar with the difficulty of the Castlevania games previous to SotN you will probably see Castlevania HD as nothing but an exercise in frustration. If you want to get into Castlevania you can pick up the excellent Symphony of the Night from the Xbox Live Marketplace - and while it doesn't have multiplayer you're much more likely to have a good time.
  3. Once you've clocked enough playthroughs to upgrade your character's stats and worked out each enemy's attack patterns, the game starts to open up and you'll find yourself enjoying the run-throughs.