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Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Review

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is a 2D action game by Konami that's part of the well known Castlevania franchise. This one shares similarity with the previous DS titles but also mixes it with some style from the classic Castlevania games.

Gameplay
The gameplay of this game shares similarity with "Metroidvanias", but also with the classic Castlevanias. You will be able to explore several areas, but some will be linear, and some will add a bit more of exploring to be able to continue in the game. As like recent Castlevanias, you'll be able to level up and gain better abilities and items as you go through the game. All the controls work perfectly as they should and are easy to get used to. Touchscreen isn't used at all in the game but since the game is played completely with the buttons and there's no real need for the touch screen, it's good to know. If you don't like the default controls, the game gives you the option to customize your button layout. Shanoa, the character you play as, uses glyphs as weapons. The Glyph system is pretty simple and easy to learn to use. You have three slots, basically, two for each hand and one for her back. The glyphs in her hands are used as the main weapons. You can time your left and right attack and attack a lot faster than just pressing the same button. The third glyph slot is used for support actions, such as being able summon an owl, transform into a werebat.

Story
The story of the game is pretty good. The start is different than regular Castlevania's for the fact that your first main objective is not to defeat Dracula. A big problem, though... is that due to the story, character development of Shanoa is lacking. But overall, it's a pretty good story that you'll surely enjoy.

Graphics
The game uses the graphical power of the DS really good, all in 2D, though. The main problem here is that most of the enemies are recycled from the old Rondo of Blood or Symphony of the Night. There are also some locations which are just recolors of other ones in the game. But besides that, all looks really well, detailed, and smooth. The game runs smoothly at 60 fps all of the time.

Sound
A really nice soundtrack mostly, but there are some tracks that just feel lacking. One big problem, though, is that the soundtrack feels a bit short. Some music is reused in several places. The game also comes with great voice acting, and you also have the choice of selecting Japanese voices.

Single-Player
The game is a great experience. It can be hard, though. The game is definitely harder than most Metroidvanias, but not harder than the classic ones. The journey you'll go through is really enjoyable overall.

Multi-Player
There's two multiplayer options, Race and Shop. The race is basically a race through any of the three available courses. For 2 players only and you can get extra points by killing enemies and taking less damage. Shop is a way to get items and gold from other persons. Both modes works as the should and are available to play locally or via Wi-Fi. But the main problem is that it's really hard to find someone to play with online.

Secrets/Unlockables
The game has several secrets inside the adventure, and you can also unlock new gameplay modes after beating the game which will let you experience the game in new ways.

Replay Value
With several secrets in the main game, and new modes that let you play the game in new ways or even compete for high scores, there's a good replay value in Order of Ecclesia

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is an excellent new addition to the Castlevania franchise that shouldn't be missed.

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Gameplay 10 Singleplayer 9.5
Story 9 Multiplayer 8
Graphics 9.2 Unlockables / Secrets 9.3
Sound 9 Replay Value 9
Overall Score
9