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. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    100
    A fascinating multiplayer experiment, but also a really solid, streamlined single player 'vania. [Nov 2010, p.120]
  2. From the enhanced 2D glory that we have grown up with, the amazing customizable enhanced classic soundtrack, six player Co-Op, to the time tested proven gameplay, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is an amazing addition into a series already known for quality titles.
  3. Harmony of Despair is Castlevania's first attempt at a multiplayer Castlevania with the usual gameplay and it really delivers quite an experience for a hardcore Castlevania fan!
  4. Game Informer
    85
    Early levels are frustrating when going solo, but bringing a few friends along makes it a significantly more manageable and fun experience. [Sept 2010, p.92]
  5. The co-op and competitive modes make this game ripe for several playthroughs, and finding all of the game's items creates an additional challenge.
  6. Edge Magazine
    80
    It's certainly going out with a bang. [Sept 2010, p.97]
  7. 80
    A game centered on replay. With five characters and six chapters, the game counts on players to visit and revisit the castle to improve their scores and find new treasures. Dismaying as the rate of reward may be, I'm excited to tear this incarnation of Dracula's Castle wide open. Repeatedly.
  8. It's not a bad game, it's just not the Castlevania we wanted.
  9. Compared to other Castlevania games, Harmony of Despair's world feels like a bit of a patchwork. The thrill of discovery is gone, and in its place is the compulsive drive to acquire loot. Oddly enough, it works, and it can actually be a lot of fun with friends.
  10. While Castlevania: Harmony of Despair contains a good but not quite stellar multiplayer experience, and is fairly far from an enjoyable single player game, I must say can't wait to see what Konami pulls off with an improved follow-up.
  11. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is a valuable game, especially for its multiplayer co-op and survival modes. But if you're looking for a deep and fascinating single player experience, you'll be disappointed by the extremely high difficulty and complete lack of any plot.
  12. Is Despair an enjoyable game? Yes, but it's not the definitive co-op Castlevania game that fans were hoping for.
  13. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is a multiplayer game first and a single-player game second. This is a daring twist on a tried and true franchise, one that may split a lot of gamers. The good news is that this experiment mostly works, even if it comes at the expense of a proper single-player mode.
  14. It doesn't give a good first impression, but Harmony of Despair delivers new and exciting gameplay opportunities for an old series.
  15. If you have been waiting for another 2D Castlevania game with an epic quest to complete, sadly Castlevania: Harmony of Despair isn't the game for you. If, on the other hand, you've wanted a multiplayer cooperative action adventure game to play with your friends, then this one has quite a bit to offer.
  16. 75
    Only a modest success and there is definitely room for improvement. The focus on multiplayer came at the cost of the single-player experience. With so little of the game explained, some players may find themselves confused or, worse, frustrated.
  17. 75
    The single player game is all but useless here unless you love repeating the same things over and over again, but when you get a solid group of players together for a six-man castle romp, things really open up.
  18. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair may not quench the thirst of all vampire hunters out there, though it does provide hope for what could lead to a solid, traditional 2D adventure.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 48
  2. Negative: 10 out of 48
  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 itAn 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... Full Review »
  2. Aug 10, 2015
    10
    Although it may be hard to get into, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is a fun and extremely addicting game. The first level is sure to get anyAlthough it may be hard to get into, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is a fun and extremely addicting game. The first level is sure to get any one frustrated with its difficulty, but as the player gains powerful items it becomes much easier to get through. Because of this, many players will likely beat certain chapters over and over in the attempt to get a good item. With the addition of many different characters to play as and level up, the replay value is quite high. The online multiplayer proves to be very smooth and requires teamwork to beat a level. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is therefore a hidden gem in the cluster of old Xbox Live Arcade games with great gameplay, replay value, and multiplayer. Full Review »
  3. 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. ThisWhoever 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. Full Review »