Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia - DS

The Castlevania franchise has been one of my favourites since the game’s fourth outing appeared on the Super Nintendo in the early Nineties.
    The series highlight thus far was the PlayStation and Xbox Live Arcade smash Symphony of the Night, and while Order of Ecclesia doesn't match that exceptional title, it's still an excellent game.
    Taking control of female lead Shanoa, who has sworn to find and destroy Dracula, the player undertakes another epic action adventure, this time on the DS. The series' iconic weapon, the whip, is gone, replaced instead with a variety of useful weapons. To get your hands on these, Shanoa has to absorb glyphs which in turn grants the player access to these rather special new weapons.
    Instead of being confined to Dracula’s dark castle, you'll get to experience different locations, such as villages and twilight forests. The free-roaming nature of previous titles is also gone, and instead Konami have split Ecclesia into more traditional levels.
    Castlevania has always featured memorable boss fights, and Ecclesia is no different. However, many players will be put off by these extremely difficult encounters, which can be infuriatingly difficult.
    Visually, the game ticks all the right boxes and boasts lovely sprite animation and detailed backgrounds, and in typical Castlevania style, the soundtrack is rousing.
    Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia might not be the best place to start for newcomers to the series, but grizzled old vampire killers are definitely in for a treat.

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