Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Alter

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Alter

released on Jan 26, 2020

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Alter

released on Jan 26, 2020

This is a hack of Aria of Sorrow that changes most part of the map, and the aim is to give completely new experience to players. Changes Most of the map redone. Some new puzzles added. Added a new area like Nest of Evil in PoR. Some of the weapons, armors and accessories are changed. Example: Valmanway and Excarlibur. Changed some items. Example: Mina’s Charm, work like magic ticket and can be used without consuming it. Talk to Mina to acquire this. Most of souls are slightly easier to acquire. Bug fixes to original game, including shop giltch and death warp. Soma’s status are changed. Julius is greatly strengthened. The aim is that Julius is super and can be used very easily.

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Aria of Sorrow Alter is a romhack of AoS that jumples up the map and progression, it might be more free in the mid point depending on what boss/soul you happen upon. It's alright, but the new jumbled castle doesn't have the same flow as Aria I feel, just kind of jumbled for returning players to not explore the same map, but not really designed as well as the original.

They at least did something really cool with 1 area (the clock tower) that I don't wanna say but its cool. There is also some Meta puzzle (not really a puzzle cause a hint card tells you immediately what to do), but its also cool.

The problem I have with this is that it definitely harder, which I dont want from Igavanias. I don't think these games have particularly good game feel for them to be hard, so it just fucking pisses me off when I get bounced around constantly. Some enemies also just feel wayyyy more spongey and that sucks.

Yeah idk, if you want more challenge and are a AoS superfan I guess?

Great romhack for one of my favorite games of all time.

It's been ages since I played this Romhack yet still I think about it more than I think about the vanilla AoS.

Good hack but the final stretch is kind of worse. Nice not knowing where to go again though!

And by worse, this versions chaotic realm is just kind of boring.

But I enjoyed doing the arena to wreck everything with Excalibur.

Some of these changes are good and all but ah... comrades... fellow gamers... at the cost of losing all my gamer cred I have to admit, I cannot for the life of me beat Creaking skull. The thing was bad enough as is, but these fuckers gave it, what I assume to be complete invincibility as well as ability to track you across other games??? My soul cannot know rest so please... Currently I'm playing Super Mario Bros 3 and I'm expecting it to follow... so if you could leave a summon sign somewhere in world 3 I'll be sure to find it and we can take it down together. Just to avoid any confusion my name is soulsucker69 and please please don't take any of my super mushrooms or super leaves...

(A super huge thank you to the super cool iv1632 for helping me decipher this wonderful romhack during later stages of it)

This is a pretty interesting reinterpretation of a game that I really adore. “Reinterpretation” doesn’t fully do it justice though, this is a complete overhaul of the original Aria’s map along with some QoL changes that are incredibly welcome. Aria is a game with a castle that fully takes advantage of the metroidvania formula and exploits it to its fullest degree, and it’s clear that the makers of this romhack knew what they were doing. The map here is amazing, with elements taken from other IGAvanias in the series and even flows better than Aria’s castle did most of the time. By overhaul regarding the map design I mean that most of the assets are reused from the base game and the map is moreso “shuffled” around than being entirely innovative (not a bad thing). Areas from the original game that players might have found annoying (like the Floating Garden, for instance) have been reworked and the Chaotic Realm has been fully integrated into the map along with a bonus Arena dungeon taking the base game’s Arena (which I still have to beat). All of these changes regarding the map design are 100% positive and I have practically no complaints. You may have noticed that I haven’t given the game a 10/10 as I did with the original Aria, and I’m going to get to that. Along with a brand new map Alter boasts the QoL changes I mentioned earlier. The drop rates for items and souls have been increased pretty drastically I feel, with soul drop rates in particular feeling way better than the original game’s, even if the rates haven’t been increased drastically or anything. To go into more detail about the drop rates for items I will have to mention the game’s difficulty. Aria is by no means a hard game, with most of the game’s challenge kicking in by later levels. The difficulty progression in Aria, and Alter that matter is amazing, with the first big challenge coming in the form of Balore, which in and of itself is a really great fight, but it is truly where I feel the game’s difficulty takes a step up and despite how lackluster the Graham fight is with it being incredibly easy to cheese through with the Claimh Solais, the boss encounters after this are superb. To get back to my point, part of Aria’s failsafe in terms of difficulty were its items. At no point was the base game ever lenient on you in terms of item drops, as evident in soul drop rates along with the rates for items to drop being incredibly low without at least the Rare Ring. I mention this because I don’t find a lack of item drops to be a bad thing because for the most part, most weapons function the same fundamentally and unless you’re delving into some high-level Aria tech you probably will be choosing your equipped weapon based on its stats rather than how it functions (although I can see some people abstaining from using a powerful weapon due to how slow it is), as opposed to souls which introduce a whole new layer to combat and movement depth, along with souls being a driving force in keeping the player engaged in base Aria. By changing the drop rates for items Alter kind of ruined my experience because I got a really good weapon drop straight out of the gate. Keep in mind that these latter complaints are pretty much just nitpicks and I only bring it up because I want to balance this review out so I don’t have to give it a 5 star rating because god knows I try to keep it in check. Other than that incredibly minor issue that I probably went way too in depth on the game is flawless, a masterpiece of romhacking and I wish for all romhacks to be like this one day.

Check out Aria and this if you haven’t already, it’s the apex of the metroidvania genre