Game Boy Advance Sees final Castlevania Entry – Today in History – May 6th, 2003

Believe it or not, but back in the day, Konami knew how to make good games. Not just Pachinko machines using their popular franchises. Actual honest to goodness, good games. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the final entry on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance hand held. Coincidentally the GBA is the last entry in the Game Boy brand. If you are a fan of Castlevania, you already know about Aria of Sorrow.

Set in the year 2035, but featuring medieval weapons, Konami’s third GBA Castlevania game is set in Dracula’s castle. This is not one level after another Drac’s castle though, nope, Konami dropped that business model with Symphony of the Night on the PlayStation One console.

Aria of Sorrow continues the “Metroidvania” level design. This means levels are interlocking and require a lot of back tracking to get to every nook and cranny.

This is accomplished by picking up powers and abilities later in the game and coming back to earlier levels to finish objectives. Aria of Sorrow introduced the Tactical Soul ability system.

Tactical Soul means you absorb the soul of an enemy and take on their abilities and skills. This is integral to completing later parts of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Souls are broken up into four categories – Bullet, Guardian, Enchant, and Ability. You can have one of each enabled at a time.

What is cool about this Tactical Soul system is if you have a friend that has Aria of Sorrow as well, you can trade souls between each other.

2D Castlevania games have evolved over the years, since the original came to North America on the Nintendo Entertainment System (that game is tough as nails for the uninitiated). While it is possible that Konami will show a Castlevania collection at E3 2018, it is not exactly high on expectations list.

Castlevania has hit plenty of platforms so check eBay or hit Amazon for a copy of your favorite game and platform.