Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
|Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia|
|Developer(s)||Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.|
|Release Date(s)||NA: October 21, 2008|
JP: October 23, 2008
|Ratings||ESRB: (T) for Teen|
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is the third game in the successful Castlevania series to come to the Nintendo DS.
Order of Ecclesia allows gamers play as a member of an organisation called the Ecclesia, who are dedicated to defeat the evil forces of Dracula. There are some new twists from previous Castlevania games, the main of these being that it the first canonical game to feature a female protagonist. (Castlevania Legends has been removed from official continuity.)
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia takes place after Castlevania: Symphony of the Night(1997) during the mid 19th century. The Belmont Clan who had kept Dracula at bay over the years have gone into hiding giving cause for other factions to rise against the looming threat of the inevitable return of Count Dracula and his forces of Darkness. The Order of Ecclesia is one such faction that devises a form of magic called Dominus in which their leader believes through its use, Dracula may be banished permanently. The day in which the Glyph is to be attached to the chosen successor of its power, a member who believes he has more right to the power than Shanoa turns renegade and steals all three components of the magic leaving the protagonist devoid of its power, and bereft of her memories.
By order of her master, Barlowe, she sets out on a mission to retake the powerful Glyph from the traitor Albus with the intent of bringing him back dead or alive. Her quest causes her to arrive at a village where Albus has kidnapped the locals and stored them away in various places around the country, encapsulated by his very own magic, rendered unable to move. It is here that Shanoa extends her mission to encompass the recapture of the villagers and thus the restoration of prosperity to Wygol Village.
In the course of her adventure, Shanoa encounters Albus on a few occassions where he will taunt her (even going so far as granting her pieces of the Dominus). It would appear that there is far more to Albus' scheme than what is initially let on, but will Shanoa be able to uncover the plight before it's too late, as the time for Dracula's ressurection draws ever nearer.
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is a 2D platforming game with 3D elements making for an ambient visual mix. As Shanoa you will have access to glyphs that can be equipped to either hand and the back respectively. Using the Y and X buttons, Shanoa will attack with whichever glyph she has equipped. Pressing the R pad will activate the glyph attached to her back. It is to be noted that each use will consume MP that will replenish itself if Shanoa is not attempting to use the glyphs. In effect, this differentiates her from previous protagonists, as this places an extremely heavy reliance on MP in order to attak. Without MP, Shanoa can not use her glyphs individually.
By pressing Up on the D-Pad and either of the X or Y buttons at the same time, Shanoa will activate a Glyph Union which consumes Hearts as opposed to MP. In this fashion, she can combine two individual glyphs to make a more powerful one. More often than not, this will relate in a white burst of energy, signifying that there is no specific combination related to the two glyphs equipped - however this is not a draw back as this effect will still cause damage to whatever enemy it touches.
To get herself around the various dangerous locations, Shanoa has a variety of skills handy to her. By pressing the L Pad she will execute a backflip that will take her out of harms way, similar to Alucard's back dash ability in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. She can also display her acrobatics with the ability to jump and also crouch and slide across the floor (Allowing her to squeeze into tight places, attack enemies, or even avoid them).
Through her adventures, Shanoa will visit a number of locations and encounter a plethora of enemies. In order to assist with protecting herself against such atrocities, she can also equip objects to her body for protection. There are five slots, each governing a specific area of the body; head, body, legs, and two accessory slots. Whilst some equipment can be found on deceased enemies, or in treasure chests, most of it can be purchased from the local store in Wygol Village.
This village she will come across pretty early in her adventure. Here she will discover that she will need to rescue villagers. Each villager rescued will bring to the township a series of quests that when completed, will grant rewards and also increase the number and quality of items that may be purchased from the store. Rescuing the villagers will also give a little more depth to Shanoa as a character which gives a little insight to the player.
The WiFi system will allow connection with other players to sell items in the player's store, or buy from another player. It also has connectivity capabilities with the Wii console which when combined, may unlock additional content for both Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia and Castlevania Judgment.
The music of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia once again has been composed by the genius of Michiru Yamane who has worked on a lot of the previous titles.
The music is quite ambient and certainly sets the mood for each specific location.
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