.....on my Nintendo Wii U! They have yet to release Aria of Sorrow at the moment but with both Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance out it's most likely gonna be a few days tops before Aria hits. Say what you will about how backwards it is that the home console is getting GBA games instead of the handhelds, frankly I just don't care I'm just happy they even got these games in particular for a Virtual Console release period. There are so many games that deserve a VC release but likely won't get such, glad these did.....
Circle of the Moon is actually the first Castlevania game I ever played/owned. These days is my least favorite of the three GBA titles, compared to the other two it just feels the most stiff and cumbersome. But it can still be fun on its own merits especially if you unlocked "Magician Mode" where they just give you all the Dual Set-Up System Cards
right off the bat instead of you having to kill particular enemies over and over and over again hoping those fuckers will finally drop the goddamn cards! But yeah the main reason to play Circle of the Moon is definitely this DSS System which has you creating special spells and attacks by combining two cards, it can be a barrel of fun on its own (though personally I find the Golem, Apollo and Saturn cards to be a bit lackluster).
And because I was trying to be productive and having a bit of a creative snag (again), I made a list of cards I would have in a DSS System...
THE PHOENIX; A bird that is continuously reborn at the turn of the tide, its very feathers are made from the Elemental Attribute of Fire.
THE BATTLEWOLF; A mother wolf who froze to death protecting her cubs. Her lingering spirit gives her very bones the Elemental Attribute of Ice.
THE FOREST PRINCE; A young reindeer foal born of a royal bloodline. His very birthright is the Elemental Attribute of Plants.
THE ALICORN; A regal princess from a land of harmony, the magic of her love and friendship is channeled through the Elemental Attribute of Crystal.
THE GREAT OWL; The very robotic companion of the goddess Athena. As her messenger this creature bestows heroes with divine weapons forged from the Elemental Attribute of Light.
THE OCEAN KING; A regal crown wearing toad riding atop his mighty rainbow fish, with a wave of his hand he can bring forth the Elemental Attribute of Water.
THE SHENRONG; The great serpent who creates the very storms of the world. The very claw nails of his talons surge with the Elemental Attribute of Electricity.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; Hunger personified. His craving for live prey is so legendary he now embodies the Elemental Attribute of Blood.
THE JABBERWOCK; A beast you only see in your nightmares. Like all of your deepest fears this monster commands the Elemental Attribute of Darkness.
THE SCHRODINGER; A creature beyond most things even gender. This hermaphrodite contradiction embodies the Elemental Attribute of Chaos.
THE VIOLENT VIRGIN; A woman garbed in living parasitic armor, a weapon onto herself she has the Potential of Alternate Weapons.
THE PHOENIX; Player now attacks with a four barrel hand cannon that shoots fire spread.
THE BATTLEWOLF; Player now attacks with a Japanese nodachi that can freeze enemies with each swing.
THE FOREST PRINCE; Player now attacks with a rose thorn whip.
THE ALICORN; Player now attacks with a crystalline bludgeon weapon that petrifies enemies in crystal with each swing.
THE GREAT OWL; Player now attacks with a divine bow that fires a powerful arrow made of pure light.
THE OCEAN KING; Player now attacks with a long reaching trident.
THE SHENRONG; Player now attacks with a thunder bolt creating hammer.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; Player now attacks with a scythe made of blood, each successful hit with this weapon the players health is restored by a small margin.
THE JABBERWOCK; Player now attacks with dual wielding pistols that shoot green demonic lasers.
THE SCHRODINGER; Player now attacks with music from a fluggle horn..
THE AVARICE QUEEN; A militant tyrant whose very greed is so immense she has taken to practicing the Potential of Stat Augmentation.
THE PHOENIX; Attack stat now increases by 25%.
THE BATTLEWOLF; Intelligence stat now increased by 25%.
THE FOREST PRINCE; All additional ammo collected in play are increased by 25%.
THE ALICORN; Defense stat now increases by 25%.
THE GREAT OWL; All experience points gained is increased by 25%.
THE OCEAN KING; Luck stat increased by 25%.
THE SHENRONG; Running speed and attack rate now increases by 50%.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; All defeated enemies will always drop small or medium potions.
THE JABBERWOCK; All defeated enemies will always drop at least one or more money.
THE SCHRODINGER; Attacks from player now have a one in five chance of instantly killing enemies and one of twenty chance of killing boss level foes (except for the final boss).
THE LUSTFUL DEMON; An utter sex fiend willing to have sexual intercourse with any creature she can possibly let have its way with her, to this end she has made her body nearly indestructible with the Potential of Armor.
THE PHOENIX; A collection of orbinals made of fire rock circle around the player.
THE BATTLEWOLF; A ghostly collection of skulls circle around the player freezing enemies that get too close.
THE FOREST PRINCE; Standing absolutely still will allow the player to restore health at a slow pace.
THE ALICORN; The player becomes a being made of indestructible crystal able to attack with a sword of crystal, the player cannot jump and can only walk at a slow pace.
THE GREAT OWL; The player gains a divine metal shield that can deflect enemy projectile attacks, small flying enemies will also be deflected if they touch it damaging them slightly, this shield can only protect the player in the direction they are facing.
THE OCEAN KING; The player is protected by FUCKING BUBBLES!
THE SHENRONG; The player is protected by an EMP field which can stun enemies that get to close.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; Flying lines of blood circle around the player, any enemies that touch this blood is immediately poisoned.
THE JABBERWOCK; When the player is on solid ground a great pillar of demonic magic kanji shoots straight up with the player inside damaging anything close or directly above the player.
THE SCHRODINGER; The player becomes pure chaotic energy thus rendering player completely impervious to damage, the trade off is that the player cannot attack.
THE COWARDLY WITCH; A magical girl whose so afraid of dying in battle she has taken to using the Potential of Battle Negation.
THE PHOENIX; All enemy fire attacks now heal the player.
THE BATTLEWOLF; All enemy ice attacks now heal the player.
THE FOREST PRINCE; All attacks from plants now heal the player.
THE ALICORN; The player cannot be petrified (turned to stone).
THE GREAT OWL; All enemy light attacks now heal the player.
THE OCEAN KING; All enemy water attacks now heal the player.
THE SHENRONG; All enemy electric attacks now heal the player.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; The player cannot be poisoned.
THE JABBERWOCK; All enemy dark attacks now heal the player.
THE SCHRODINGER; The player cannot be cursed.
THE MELANCHOLY KNIGHT; A warrior whose power makes him too dangerous to be around others, as such he keeps others at a safe distance from himself with the Potential of Projectile Attacks.
THE PHOENIX; The player now attacks with a fireball, it can be charged up to become a bigger ball of fire dealing more damage.
THE BATTLEWOLF; The player now attacks with a boomerang shuriken made of ice.
THE FOREST PRINCE; The player now attacks with floating rose pedals that act like small blades, they home in on nearby enemy targets.
THE ALICORN; The player now attacks with a large crystal stone hurled in an arc, if it hits an enemy or surface it explodes into freezing shrapnel that spreads outward.
THE GREAT OWL; The player now attacks with a literal shot of laser death.
THE OCEAN KING; The player now attacks with FUCKING BUBBLES!!
THE SHENRONG; The player now attacks with a thunder bolt thrown like a spear.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; The player now attacks by throwing a sword made of blood, if it hits the enemy the player’s health is restored by a small margin.
THE JABBERWOCK; The player now attacks with a black crescent shaped cutting wave that travels slowly foward.
THE SCHRODINGER; The player now attacks with a confetti spewing “party grenade”.
THE LONELY KEYMASTER; A young boy wielding an unusual magical instrument, he hates being alone so much he has taken to plucking out friends from thin air using the Potential of Summoning.
THE PHOENIX; The player summons a flying baby dragon that breathes fire.
THE BATTLEWOLF; The player summons a skeletal wolf spirit that attacks any enemy within range.
THE FOREST PRINCE; The player summons a floating rose spirit who shakes off a bunch of her pedals on top of enemies in range.
THE ALICORN; The player summons a living crystal sword that floats about attacking any enemy within range.
THE GREAT OWL; The player summons a cartoon duck garbed in holy armor and wielding a jousting lance and shield.
THE OCEAN KING; The player summons a Pegasus pony on a raincloud, said raincloud continuously raining damaging water and will occasionally shoot a bolt of lightning.
THE SHENRONG; The player summons a mouse like critter that bounces about, enveloped in pure electricity this critter literally bounces into enemies within range.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; The player summons a small party of female zombies, they spit out blood at enemies and will even grab onto enemies and bite them profusely.
THE JABBERWOCK; The player summons a demonic mechanoid wielding a big hand canon that fires dark magic bullets.
THE SCHRODINGER; The player summons a Cheshire Cat, it doesn’t so much attack enemies but will outright change enemies into something else usually a weaker enemy.
THE LAZY SWORDSMAN; A dark man wielding a long Japanese sword, he cares so little about life he doesn’t even bother fighting at full strength or even moving like a normal person opting instead for the Potential of Advanced Movement.
THE PHOENIX; The player can now survive in molten magma.
THE BATTLEWOLF; The player’s dash is now weaponized by an aura of blue energy.
THE FOREST PRINCE; The player can now stand on top of enemies without getting damaged.
THE ALICORN; The player can now walk on spikes.
THE GREAT OWL; The player can now use “Sky Walk” at a faster speed and Sky Walk meter consumption is cut in half.
THE OCEAN KING; The player can now walk on water.
THE SHENRONG; The player gains a super jump allowing the player to shoot straight up like a rocket.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; The player can now phase through some thin walls.
THE JABBERWOCK; The player can turn invisible, so long as the player does not touch or attack enemies they will not attack the player, does not work on bosses.
THE SCHRODINGER; Should the player fall into a bottomless pit the player will not lose a life, instead the player will immediately be returned to a nearby platform.
THE VAIN VAMPIRE; Proclaiming himself to be a king of the undead, he is so convinced of his superiority that he’ll relentlessly hunt down strong opponents and fight them using the Potential of Super Attacks.
THE PHOENIX; The player attacks with a blazing flying uppercut.
THE BATTLEWOLF; The player attacks with a forward moving pile bunker punch, if it successfully hits an enemy said enemy will become frozen in ice and sent flying backwards.
THE FOREST PRINCE; The player attacks with a powerful sliding kick that leaves a trail of flowers, if in the air the player will do a downward aerial kick.
THE ALICORN; The player attacks by leaping into the air and slamming back down creating an earthquake, if the player is in the air the player will shoot straight down for the attack.
THE GREAT OWL; The player attacks with a shotgun burst of light energy.
THE OCEAN KING; While enveloped in water the player attacks with a spinning cyclone attack.
THE SHENRONG; The player attacks with a lightning charged machine gun kick.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; The player can now dash forward to grab enemies, upon grabbing an enemy the player with then perform a blood soaked sky piledriver, each successful attempt with the grab will restore the player’s health by a small margin.
THE JABBERWOCK; The player casts a shadow forward that will mimic all the player’s attacks.
THE SCHRODINGER; The player attacks with a machine gun punch while screaming ORAORAORA!
THE RAGING FIGHTER; This golden haired warrior’s wrath can manifest into any form he can even fathom in his overwhelming emotional state, his power manifesting in the Potential of Giga Crash.
THE PHOENIX; A single meteor comes crashing straight down behind the player causing an explosion of fire based damage to all enemies on screen.
THE BATTLEWOLF; The player punches forward, this gesture calls forth a dinosaur skeleton head to appear from the side, with a single snap of its jaws all enemies on screen are dealt ice based damage.
THE FOREST PRINCE; A whole arsenal of blade weapons sprout out from behind the player and shoot outward dealing non elemental damage to all enemies on screen.
THE ALICORN; A vast array of giant crystals sprout out of all the platforms on screen dealing rock based damage to all enemies on screen.
THE GREAT OWL; The image of the goddess Athena’s regal face appears on screen, upon opening her eyes all enemies on screen are dealt light based damage.
THE OCEAN KING; A sudden hurricane erupts dealing water based damage to all enemies on screen.
THE SHENRONG; The player punches forward, this gesture calls forth a giant robot fist to come from the side dealing electricity based damage to all enemies on screen.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; Hellish hands made of blood rise from the pits of hell clawing and slashing at all enemies on screen dealing non elemental damage.
THE JABBERWOCK; A black void opens up for a few seconds releasing a dark presence that deals dark based damage to all enemies on screen.
THE SCHRODINGER; The screen is turned into five second reenactment of a musical number from My Little Pony, multicolored ponies bouncing all over the place dealing non elemental damage to all enemies on screen and healing the player a little bit.
THE DECIEVING GOLEM; A mechanical doppelganger able to reformat and rebuild his very robotic being into any shape, the absolute purest form of the Potential of Transforming.
THE PHOENIX; The player transforms into a fire breathing lion.
THE BATTLEWOLF; The player transforms into a floating mist that slowly moves in any direction, any enemy it touches is frozen.
THE FOREST PRINCE; The player transforms into a child riding atop a reindeer that can walk on spikes, it has a dashing headbutt attack.
THE ALICORN; The player transforms into a triceratops with crystalline armor and horns that can walk on hazardous surfaces like spikes and lava, this beast cannot jump and is only able to walk slowly facing a single direction, its horns deal damage when enemies touch and it has a roar attack.
THE GREAT OWL; The player transforms into an angel able to fly about and attack with a divine light sword.
THE OCEAN KING; The player transforms into a teenage mutant ninja turtle wielding a Japanese lance weapon.
THE SHENRONG; The player transforms into a floating mechanoid turret able to shoot laser death in any direction, being a turret is completely stationary and cannot move.
THE TYRANNOSAURUS; The player transforms into a vampire bat that can fly and uses a dashing attack that if it hits will restore some health.
THE JABBERWOCK; The player transforms into a black xenomorph able to climb along walls and ceilings, attacks with swiping claws and lashing tail.
THE SCHRODINGER; The player transforms into a flying gunship you’d see from a bullet hell shooter, it can “barrel roll” to dodge attacks and can shoot laser death at a fast rate, the trade off is that it can only face one direction.
Here's hoping this got my creative juices flowing again for at least another week or so.....