Electronic Theatre Preview: CastleVania: Order of Ecclesia

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Electronic Theatre Image            The CastleVania series has performed well on the NintendoDS thus far. CastleVania: Dawn of Sorrow arrived early in the system’s life-cycle, and was immediately recognised as one of the best entries in the series. The follow-up, CastleVania: Portrait of Ruin, was also considered a success, but received much less attention launching amidst the hype of the Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? and NEW Super Mario Bros., even though it arrived some time after those two all-encompassing titles.

Electronic Theatre Image            Now, the NintendoDS is getting a third-outing, in the form of CastleVania: Order of Ecclesia. The title follows the bloodline of its NintendoDS predecessors, with the design ethos dating back to CastleVania: Symphony of the Night on the PlayStation. A fast-and-loose Tutorial is included, but fans will have no problems getting to grips with the title, and it’s new Glyph System.

            In the opening stages of the game the player is granted their first Glyph, Confodere. Acting as a Sword Glyph, the sword works as any basic CastleVania weapon would, and can now be equipped to both hands for faster attacks, with a Special Move available whilst holding Up and pressing attack simultaneously.

            The game now features an Map from which to select your destination. Only one was available on the show floor, The Monastery. The first thing that strikes you is the quantity of new enemies. While CastleVania: Portrait of Ruin was quite unfairly criticised for reusing many of CastleVania: Dawn of Sorrow’s sprites, almost everything in CastleVania: Order of Ecclesia has been drawn fresh.

            Finding the second Glyph was simply a matter of a little exploration. Being a more magic-orientated title, the attacks no longer consume your Life Meter, although the Special Moves mentioned above do. This new Glyph was based on the small sub-weapon, the Throwing Knife, from previous games, which again can be equipped to both hands. With less monitoring of the Meters than previous titles, CastleVania: Order of Ecclesia allows for a much speedier gameplay and variation in how the player wishes to attack. The E3 presentation also featured a Boss Fight, but we’ve been asked not to talk too much about this as to avoid spoiling the game. What we will say, however, is that there’s certainly a greater puzzle element to the defeat of these screen-filling nasties than ever before.







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