Castlevania Order of Ecclesia Box-art.
Summery: In Konami's third title to hit the DS in the famous Castlevania series there are many new twists, features, and additions that for the most part enhance the series greatly.
Strory 9/10: The time period is sometime in the 1800's and Dracula is back along with his ensueing darkness. However, the Belmont clan famed for deafeating Dracula time and again has vanished. It seems as though Dracula may actually win over mankind but an organization named Ecclesia is devouted to vanquishing the evil lord once and for all.... or will it fall into darkness? The story itself has taken an alternate turn and is a fresh new string of events that is much welcomed with many huge twists and turns that will keep you playing to the end.
Gameplay 9.5/10: I gotta say I'm impressed. Instead of having a normal weapons based system that is traditionally found in castle titles there is a intuitive glyph system that allows you to use weapons with MP and even in some cases combine them at the expense of hearts to form deadly attacks. There is also a first for the castlevania series as for the fact that you are playing as a female. This is a nice fresh feel that breaths life into the series. Another thing is the difficulty, let me forwarn you this game is hard, much harder than its predecessors you will die and die particulary at bosses where a mistake can cost you dearly. Another new addition is the ability to go outside of Dracula's castle there are about 20 other areas to visit and each has a different eerie feel to them. The villagers add a slightly annoying task of having to go out and do quests for them which will often have you backtracking areas over again. However, this adds more than takes away for the simple fact that it adds replayability. This game also has multiple modes of play where after getting a certain ending you unlock the option to play as different characters. In addition there are Boss Rush, Shop, and Online race modes. This game should keep you busy for awhile with quality content.
Graphics 10/10: Probably the best feature about this game is how it looks. I was impressed by the transition back to a more gothic classical Castlevania style and it was executed very well. An example of great graphics would be in the Kalidus Channel you can see in the background a ship in 3D capsizing in the waves or seeing a complicated glyph be pulled off is a combo for a very satisfying experience.
Sound 9/10: A great thing about the Castlvania series is that the music is always good. This game by far is no exception. The opening theme in the begging movie is a great hook and has a epic feel. There are also the classic tunes from past Castlevania's such as Vampire Killer.
Presentation 10/10: Everything comes togethere really well. The musical score goes perfectly, with what is happening on screen the return to a classic gothic style is well executed, and the voiceovers are really well done.
Overall 9.5/10: Definently the best Castlevania to hit the DS thus far. A must buy for those who are fans of the Castlevania series or gamers just looking for a core experience. Highely Recommended.