Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Review
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Konami 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Konami 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The Glyph system forces a change in player mentality and strategy. In past Castlevania games, if you couldn't get through an area, you leveled up your character or saved enough gold for the most powerful weapon. While you can still purchase items, they're mostly defensive, and leveling up your character won't guarantee victory. Instead, you have to learn the Glyph weaknesses of particular enemies. That's why you acquire the Glyph Sleeve early on - it allows you to have three Glyph load outs saved, which you can switch between on-the-fly.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot

Some may yearn for more traditional item dropping and leveling, but its from the Glyph system and plain old trial-and-error that Order of Ecclesia derives its difficulty - and difficult it truly is. Prepare to meet the "Game Over" screen often and we're not talking about after bosses; regular enemies will kill you. If you don't know their particular attack pattern and Glyph weakness, you better run scared - there's no Symphony of the Night poisonous gas cloud that's going to protect you. Normally a warning of difficulty would scare gamers, but like a proper old-school game, Order of Ecclesia's challenges, while initially frustrating, are trials of labor, not luck. A compromise with death is struck early as you realize the only way to beat bosses is to continually retry, as you use plain old memorization to learn all their attack animations.

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Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia doesn't reinvent the Metroidvania wheel. Instead, it tweaks it - subtracting and adding where it chooses - for its own ends. The result is a game that pays homage to the classic hard-as-nails difficulty of entries of the more distant past while keeping and ever-so-slightly tweaking the mechanics of more recent titles. It's not a revolution in design, but refinement in the best sense, rewarding gamers with potentially the best DS Castlevania title yet.

By Jason Lauritzen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
Aside from recycling enemies from past games (particularly Symphony of the Night), there's a satisfying blend of 2D sprites and 3D animated backgrounds on display. The oil painted character designs look much better than the anime fare of past DS games.
4.2
Control
What you've come to expect in a Castlevania game: your character isn't as nimble as you want her to be, but controls well given the 2D confines. Swapping glyphs constantly (even with the inclusion of the dedicated Glyph Sleeve) is slightly irritating.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Some of the best Castlevania music ever fit on a DS cartridge. There's even the occasional bit of voice acting and it's surprisingly decent.
4.4

Play Value
A successful blend of the Metroidvania style of Symphony of the Night and straightforward, extremely difficult nature of older titles in the series.

4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Intense side-scrolling action gameplay as you quest to collect elements that will help you in your quest against Dracula.
  • Explore all-new outdoor areas from the forests to the ocean.
  • Compete head-to-head via the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi Connection.
  • Sell and buy items and equipment you have found while playing with other players utilizing Nintendo DS Wi-Fi Connection.
  • Utilize multiple abilities and attacks simultaneously with the all-new Glyph attack system.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia screenshot - click to enlarge

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