YMMV / Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

  • Awesome Music:
    • It's a Castlevania game, what did you expect? The soundtrack is composed entirely of remixes from the DS games, and there are more songs then there are stages. Go into Options and you can assign new songs to the stages and bosses you fight.
    • Chapter 10 includes the entire Castlevania soundtrack. The fandom celebrated yet again.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Most of the online players pick Soma due to the sheer number of souls from enemies to collect and the amount of versatility and brokenness of some of them. Most of the other characters just can't compete, which inevitably leads to Tier Induced Scrappies.
    • And on the other end? Don't expect to see much Maria unless you're on the 360 or Yoko unless you're playing Chapter 9.
    • As for Yoko users, they tend to use HOLY LIGHTNING a lot.
    • For equipment, you'll mostly be seeing luck and/or movement speed boosting boots, the raiments and super potions.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Hard mode is introduced to first-timers by more experienced players as "Ultra Hard Rape Mode" for good reason (and Normal Mode can get hair-pullingly difficult!)
    • Yatsucard, Blendercard, Blendmatic, Blender, and so on for Alucard players using dual Yasutsunas, due to this weapon's nature of slashing incredibly fast in front of the character, effectively creating a tornado of cutting death.
    • The soundtrack is usually noted for having "HD Guitar-Spam Symdrome", thanks to almost all of the DLC songs done by one of the main composers for Gitadora, Yasushi Asada.
    • Due to the high amount of Soma players and how game-breaking Soma can get, the name "Castlevania: Soma and Friends" has been thrown around.
  • First Installment Wins: Averted initially. Every playable character came from Rondo of Blood or later. Played straight later with Simon Belmont, who appears in his original 8-bit glory.
  • Game-Breaker: It's a Castlevania game, so of course it's going to have its fair share of these.
    • Charlotte has a heal spell. Prior to the Dec 20 update, with high spell levels and good intelligence bonuses, it could recover significantly more HP than it costed in MP, and was very quick to activate as well. The Astral Ring, when equipped, causes you to use HP instead of MP to use magic. This was eventually patched out so that the amount of healing gotten has been greatly reduced and the spell takes 50 MP now, meaning it's hard to break even with it. It also doesn't have any invincibility frames anymore when cast, meaning you can't use it to bypass stage hazards. This means if you are able to cast Heal for free, it's all you'll be doing.
    • Yatsu/Blendercard, if the player doing that doesn't forget to dodge stuff while mashing the two attack buttons, pretty much anything coming across his way is gonna die in seconds. Yes, even Dracula in Hard mode, especially if there are other Blenders in the team. Applies to Soma and 2 Valmanways as well. It's almost the same, a little bit weaker, but faster and with more range. And Soma can use the Succubus soul to regain health every time he hits an enemy. This kind of weapon allows you to strike more than 20 times per second or so. Do the math. Winged Boots and Berserker Mail work wonders in this set.
      • The update also decreased the damage output of the Yatsutsuna a great deal, making it a much less effective method of dealing damage, although to compensate, Muramasa received a massive damage increase. Amusingly enough, Chapter 11 adds both a Yasutsuna+1, which only has +2 attack over the normal version (compare +20 most other +1 gear gets, even Valmanway+1 gets +6) but hits just as fast as the original version used to, along with a Muramasa+1 which makes it the strongest katana in the game.
      • Combing the healer Charlotte with someone with an Astral Ring could originally lead to infinite spellcasting.
    • The DLC stages can be used to farm cash in increments of 2k, which will allow you (with a little farming) to get very expensive gear for your characters before you even beat the first stage (making said stage, and a few thereafter, pretty much cake).
    • The Valmanway (AKA the Crissaegrim) hits four times for each push of the attack button. Soma's Succubus soul recovers 1 HP every time he scores a hit (2 HP if you have nine of them). The HP you can recover with these two items piles up very fast, moreso if you have a second Valmanway. Combined with the Astral Ring, you get infinite magic attacks, and you can hover in place indefinitely with the Medusa Head soul, which breaks Legion entirely if you hover between its core and the spot where its tentacle laser appears. See why some people refer to this game as Somavania?
      • Also note that if the 2 HP per hit seems hardly worth mentioning, everyone starts with 300 HP and can only increase it with equipment, with the best gear for that purpose being barely able to push it to 400 HP, with the overall enemy damage being scaled appropriately.
    • A level-9 Buer soul on Soma surrounds him with a ring of fireballs. It doesn't do too much damage, but with it he can plow right through swarms of weaker enemies like bats, ghosts, imps, fleamen, and medusa heads effortlessly. It also handily dispatches certain projectiles like Death's scythes and Ryotsuki's fireballs. With enough MP-restoring equipment, you can keep it on for virtually the entire level.
    • Miser Rings increase your attack by 1 for every million gold you have, with a maximum effect of 10. Not your strength, your attack. Even the Vorpal Blade is dangerous with two of these, much less two Valmanway +1s. and if you're good with backdash canceling? You can say goodbye to the difficulty.
  • Goddamned Boss: Menace. He is actually very easy to dodge, but the problem is how damn long it takes for him to open himself up, leading to a long, drawn out chase around his stage to get the switches in place, climb up if he knocks you off a ledge, and so on. However, there are ways to trigger him to wake up early (mostly by using some long ranged attacks that go through walls, the game only checks if you're on the same horizontal level as he is and allows such attacks to hit him where they shouldn't), but it still takes an eternity for him to lumber his way to the left side of the stage where he's meant to be fought. Once he does get there, it doesn't take long to kill off his weak points and consecutively the rest of him.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Oh so many:
    • The acceleration glitch. Mainly, if a character is going fast enough, they will have to wait a few frames to land safely and get up. However, if you do this to the edge of a platform, you'll accelerate forward quickly. Depending on how you trigger the glitch and who you're using, you can possibly go through walls and floors.
    • If a ledge is just a few pixels too high, a drop kick might get you on the ledge due to awkward hitboxes. This is most abusable with Shanoa and Julius.
    • Pre-patch, Charlotte's Heal spell also granted invisibility frames, allowing her to bypass flame jets and use what were supposed to be multiplayer shortcuts all by herself.
    • The elevators in Chapters 1 and 5 can be used without assistance so long as you can slide far enough.
    • A multiplayer shortcut in Chapter 2 with the 2 gates can be easily used alone by backdashing the same time you trigger the switch.
    • The Medusa Head soul and the retro variant will reset your aerial speed, so rapidly tapping RB/R1 will level out your fall, making some jumps easier to make.
    • Same with Alucard's Mist Form, but it also slightly moves, allowing Alucard to better pull off the "drop kick-ledge" trick above.
    • Chapter 10 is filled with these. When you get to the elevator, you'll most likely see a Soma player on the elevator, throwing a puppet off the wall, then teleporting into the opposite wall and flying into what is supposed to be Stage 6 of the original Castlevania. If you're lucky, however, you'll see a really good Soma player do the same thing...but at the start of the level.
    • The green chests in Chapter 8 Normal don't have generic loot pools to draw from, allowing you to get a handful of Johnathan's subweapons and a good chunk of the Martial Arts very easily.
    • The Feather Gear forces knockback on you when taking damage. If however you're crouching and can't stand up, the game will force you through walls until you can get knocked back.
  • Growing the Beard: Arguably. Many that hated the game or thought it was So Okay, It's Average when it came out have been drawn to it thanks to all of the DLC and the update which fixed several issues about the game.
  • Internet Backdraft: The moment information about it was released to the public, Sony fans scurried to the internet and started complaining that it's going to be an Xbox 360 exclusive. A year later, it isn't.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The Puppet Master's "YOU, TOO, SHALL BE MY PUPPET!". It can become very irritating due to Puppet Master's boss status, and the quote is played every time you start that scenario. Noticeable in that he's the only boss with an intro like that.
    • Maria's voice if whoever plays as her spams it, which is mainly why people play as her to being with.
  • Polished Port: The PS3 version comes with offline multiplayer and a fixed drop table so rare drops actually drop more than once in a blue moon. Unfortunately, it comes with an unpatched version of Maria...
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Normally the camera is has three variable levels of zoom, depending on whether you want to focus on yourself or the stage around you. This works perfectly fine in the singleplayer or online modes. But if you play the local co-op on the PS3 version? Camera Screw doesn't even begin to describe the absolute mess the game becomes on a dime from trying to make sure all the players stay on screen at the same time as it constantly zooms in and out; teleports and transferring across the stage force everyone to stand still or lose track of themselves as but specks on the screen. Combine that with anyone being able to shift the camera at any moment and a single Troll can turn everything into a nauseating mess. Since the HUD is already relatively small in terms of screen estate, a clever usage of splitscreen could've fixed a lot of the problem.
  • That One Attack: Legion is flat out pathetic in his first form... And then he pulls out his flame jets which are an absolute pain to dodge. Same with 8 Bit Dracula's Second Form fireballs, which become a Bullet Hell-esque spread.
  • That One Boss:
    • The number of hits each one of the Puppet Master's puppets takes goes up to a ridiculous degree on Hard with several players, and with some character setups, it's literally impossible to destroy them before he manages to place one in an iron maiden, and on Hard, it's an instant kill. And in the group it's three or four hits to kill a puppet, per character. That's anywhere from 18 to 24 hits needed to prevent instant death, and you'll find that some people eschew tactics in favor of spamming the boss with expensive and sometimes not very effective attacks... Ugh.
    • Ryukotsuki and his goddamn screen-filling knives and fireballs.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Everyone who enjoys the game was probably once complaining about the lack of experience, story, or a large castle to explore. Only to become addicted to the game.
    • Predictably, the reaction to those who abused the previously mentioned healing trick with Charlotte once it was no longer possible. According to them, though, it enabled Charlotte to be just as effective as Soma or Alucard in the right hands, so its removal just centers the game even further around those two. Fortunately the patch boosted the damage of the rest of her spells, lowered their MP costs and the DLC spells are all rather useful.
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