Rewinding makes Castlevania: Circle of the Moon's card grind less absurd


The rewind in Castlevania Advance Collection is a great addition, especially for DSS card grinding

My first weekend with the four-game Castlevania Advance Collection has been such a treat. Not only are these GBA games still really fun on a bigger screen in 2021, the quality-of-life features also help sand down some of those rough edges without tampering too much. On that front, the biggest addition is a new rewind feature, which is activated by default with R2 + left on the d-pad (on PlayStation). In particular, it is a godsend for the ridiculously drawn-out Castlevania: Circle of the Moon card grind and certain beefy bosses.

I’ve used the new rewind feature to undo whole rooms — “Oh, I already got everything in here earlier? No prob!” — and I’ve used it to survive Dracula’s second phase, which can be unhinged without the right card setup and lots of practice; I don’t have it in me to master that fight on my own again, so I had no qualms with rewinding away my mistakes.

With respect to the laughably low drop rates for DSS cards in Circle of the Moon, rewinding is a big help, though you’ll still need patience (and probably a good podcast).

Instead of killing an enemy, not getting its specific card, and then having to exit the room and return to do it all again, you can just rewind to right before the killing blow, and take another swipe. In that case, you’ll only need to hit the foe one more time to see if luck is on your side, rather than have to kill the creature at full health, which can be a pain.

You can see this Circle of the Moon card grind method in a clip from TheSeventhForce, who rewinds to (eventually!) nab the Serpent card from the Earth Demon.

I’ve also tested it in my own game, as you can see in the Dullahan screenshot above. Worth noting for first-time CotM players: you may have to kill an enemy literally hundreds of times to get its card to show up. Considering how impactful card-based abilities can be in the game’s drawn-out boss fights, that grind is pretty wild. Also, yes, there is a trophy/achievement for collecting all of the cards in Castlevania Advance Collection.

How much or little you use the rewind is up to you, but I love it — and even if I didn’t, I’m glad M2 included it in these re-releases. The little right-side pop-up gadget that tells you if an enemy is even capable of dropping a card in the first place is also much appreciated.

Circle of the Moon was never my favorite of the Game Boy Advance trio, but I’m liking it now, in the Advance Collection, more than ever before. That’s a remaster done right.