Castlevania:Order of Ecclesia is the final game of the Castlevaniaseries for the DS,and it is also the more “recent” one in the mainline series.The story take place sometime after Symphony of The Night.
Shanoa is a member of Ecclesia, the group that is determined to stop Dracula as he is back to create chaos once more. It does not vary much from the other Castlevania games and it is the typical Shounen story. Like in the previous DS games, it follows Symphony Of The Night’s Metroidvania JRPG style. There is some puzzle solving depending on the abilities you find during your journey in 20 different areas, which is quite a lot for a DS game at that time.
As expected, the game can be challenging at times so get ready to be grinding a lot.You can embark on side quests for the villagers to help you on your journey.Combat is focused on equippingglyphs and you can power them by finding objects,completing quests and leveling up.Each glyph has its own unique function to help you out depending on the location. There are about 100 glyphs to be discovered in the game.You can use glyph union by pressing the up button and x and y to summon a powerful attack.
The graphics and artstyle were very good and so too was the animation. I am sure fans of the DS will be happy to see the return to a more traditional artstyle in comparison to the last 2 DS games mid 2000s anime artstyle. The gothic atmosphere was great too. The controls were good and it thankfully does not have the gimmicky drawing mechanic that Dawn of Sorrow had. The voice acting and the music were good, but the dialogue was subpar to the point of hilarity.
Shanoa is proof that there is demand for strong female leads. She is underrated but that’s sadly understandable since it’s been years since the game came out. I wouldn’t call Shanoa one sided and empty as some reviewers and players may have pointed out. Shanoa shows her bravery and strength of character throughout the game.
There is some replay value, aside from revisiting dungeons, you can take part in boss rush or play as a different. I cannot really talk about the online features since Nintendo is long done with DS online features.
Overall, Order of Ecclesia is an excellent game it gets 5 out of 5 stars.
Grimoire of Sorrows and the Dawn of Sorrow light novels currently are the only ones that advance the plot of the mainline series. The light novel you can read online I believe while Grimorie of Sorrows was a result of the ongoing trend Konami being so laser focused on mobile games that everything else is neglected.
So go with the DS games if you can.