Should you play Castlevania: Magic Book of Souls?

A few weeks ago, I heard that Apple Arcade launched a new Castlevania game, which surprised me, but I don’t think I should be like that. Apple Arcade has always wisely incorporated the required assets into its portfolio to increase the value of its subscription services, and Castlevania is a good choice. The Book of Souls was previously released as a mobile game in Canada, but this newer Apple Arcade incarnation provides American gamers with the opportunity to try again to defeat Dracula and his minions. The redesigned mobile game also maintains Apple Arcade’s promise that there are no microtransactions and other predatory behaviors.

This is a powerful tone, and it caught my attention. As a fan of Castlevania, I haven’t enjoyed a new franchise for many years. Apple Arcade is becoming my first choice for playing games on my mobile phone; the guarantee that I won’t have to deal with MTX nonsense is a powerful attraction.

The Soul Magic Book left a strong first impression. The beautiful parchment/charcoal-style art helps tell the story of the latest threats to mankind, as well as Dracula’s constant return of nature and the threats he represents. Familiar music from previous entries swells throughout the opening sequence and continues throughout the various game stages; this is a great choice for you to put on headphones and listen to those memorable melodies. The visual effects of horizontal scrolling shape the appearance of the Castlevania game, and the deliberate but time-based focus of battle, full of rapid weapon strikes and dodges.

The plot concept is a bit old, but managed to bring together a group of well-known heroes in the history of the series. Evil has begun to seep from the great books about the history of Dracula and his castle, and you must enter the books to stop the spread of darkness. Thanks to the protagonists in these books, characters who have previously fought with Dracula join your battle, including many of the greatest heroes such as Shanoah, Simon Belmont, and Alukad. Each hero has its own weapons and powers to improve and upgrade, and bring a unique fighting style. Players can freely jump back and forth between their favorite characters.

The journey in the book takes the form of linear and relatively small stages, usually with some reward goals to chase additional rewards. Structurally, this reminds me of the early games in the series, rather than the grand dynamics of “Symphony of the Night” with an emphasis on exploration. You can also use dynamic modifiers to adjust the difficulty of a given stage-think about no MP regeneration, or if you die and you can’t continue-these will add extra rewards. Fight level by level, defeat the boss at the end of each magic book (consisting of many small levels) to stabilize the tide of evil.

The level you fight is well done in recalling the early scenes of the series, and there are all kinds of enemies. However, I was not impressed by the level design. From a structural point of view, many of the designs are wasteful. Even in the linear Castlevania game, I hope to see more secrets, interesting platforms and discoveries in the process. In fact, most levels exist as residences for several battles. On the other hand, as the game continues, these battles begin to arouse people’s interest, challenging players to pay close attention to the enemy’s attack patterns and which enemy to deal with first.

The biggest problem with “Soul Grimoire” comes from the legacy of this game before Apple Arcade appeared. Although I have never played that earlier version, when I played the Apple Arcade version, it was obvious that few changes were made to take advantage of the new MTX-free formula. You still collect seemingly endless amounts of currency, and sometimes have to deal with daily or weekly rewards designed to encourage repeated games. The upgrade system is almost deliberately confusing, so many gashapon-style free games are fine.

Even if you don’t actually have to pay, you are still forced to enter a time-wasting process system to improve equipment, buy new weapons, or upgrade your character. After playing for a few hours, I still don’t fully understand some of the systems pushed to me; in free games that try to trigger additional microtransactions, this is a common strategy that gets you lost in various upgrades and currencies, so you slip And finally buy what you need. This is exactly the kind of nonsense I want to get rid of when playing games on Apple Arcade, so it quickly frustrated me.

Even if I don’t like the progress and sharpening of materials and currencies, I am impressed with the reliable control. Mobile action games often struggle to provide decent on-screen control, but Grimoire of Souls feels okay. The optional auto attack option will swing your basic attack when the enemy enters range, while jump and special attacks have dedicated buttons at the bottom of the screen. Like many mobile games of this style, your best choice is a dedicated gamepad, but if not, you will be able to pass the level well.

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls looks, sounds, and feels like a real game in the franchise, and long-term fans will love this demo, not to mention the legend that the character often mentions throughout the dialogue. I am very happy to see the new entry for the franchise of Apple’s premium subscription service.

Having said that, Konami did not choose to do more work to adapt the game to the micro-transaction mode, and remove some of the systems used to trigger purchases that were obvious in the early version, which is really too bad. Although the side-scrolling action formula is acceptable, the real success story will be a truly new gear gate exploration game on Apple Arcade, with a style similar to “Symphony of the Night”, “Aria of Sadness” or “Portrait of Ruins”. In addition to this revelation, “The Grimoire of Souls” partially touched the player’s desire for the new Castlevania game. You will love that it is a mobile Castlevania game without free pranks, but you will undoubtedly feel their lingering in its many interlocking upgrade systems.