Castlevania: Harmony of Despair Review
Harmony of Despair allows a player to take control of one of five characters from past Castlevania games - Soma Cruz (Aria/Dawn of Sorrow), Alucard (Symphony of the Night), Jonathan Morris (Portrait of Ruin), Shanoa (Order of Ecclesia), Charlotte Aulin (Portrait of Ruin). All characters have unique abilities, attacks, and weapons making them all feel different in their own way.
Characters do not truly gain levels in Harmony of Despair. Stats are raised through food items that are spread throughout each stage. Equipment has always been important in the handheld Castlevanias, but in Harmony of Despair, it truly makes a character from the beginning. Since character stats will be low from the beginning, equipment to raise those stats will help out greatly. Some characters can actually use the same weapons as others. A low stat Soma can borrow Alucard's weapons and take off more damage from the beginning of the game than usual.
Soma Cruz is one of the harder characters to play. He can use a whole variety of weapons and is the most versatile weapon user of all characters. Soma can fight with two-handed axes, swords, firearms, samurai swords and a whole variety of other weapons. He can absorb the souls of his enemies and gain new abilities from collecting each soul.
Some of Soma's abilities are used for attacks and some are used for enhancements. Souls are all random and based on luck from defeating each enemy, so Soma requires quite a bit of repetition to fully maximize his character. His abilities gain levels through soul absorption, so I'm sure you can imagine just how patient a player must be in order to gain the most from him. Soma can easily be one of the ultimate characters in Harmony of Despair with his many abilities and variety of weapons with the right amount of patience however.
Alucard is basically the exact same as he was in Symphony of the Night. His abilities are gained throughout each stage from random drops. All of his abilities can be leveled up through their usage. His spirit summoning ability will summon more spirits as it levels up. His mist form is now used for a quick dodge or extended airtime during a jump. He can no longer stay as mist for extended periods. Alucard is easily one of the best characters with his quick weapon attacks and an overall easy character to start with.