Parents' Guide to

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Extremely difficult action platformer shows plenty of blood.

Game Xbox 360 2010
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (1):

It's difficult to recommend this classic-style game to anyone save hardcore Castlevania fans. It assumes that the player has an existing knowledge of the franchise, including how to beat certain, very tricky enemies. What's more, the level of difficulty is all but masochistic. Even skilled players will find themselves restarting levels time and again. And the old-fashioned sprite-based visual design, while in keeping with older games in the franchise, isn't exactly eye candy for players weaned on modern graphics.

Harmony of Despair has moments of innovation that have potential to appeal to a broader audience -- like the ability to zoom out and view all of the rooms in the castle while continuing to play (your hero becomes a tiny speck, but he or she remains active) and cooperative play -- but it is by and large designed for the franchise's zealots. Rookies venture in at their own risk.

Online interaction: This game supports online competitive and cooperative play with open voice chat. This leaves the door open for players to share personal information and younger gamers to be exposed to inappropriate language and ideas from other players.

Game Details

  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release date: August 3, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T for Blood and Gore, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: August 30, 2016

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