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Castlevania Order of Ecclesia aka Akumajou Dracula: The Stolen Seal

version: usa, jp ltd edition - year: 2008 - developer: konami - publisher: konami - format: nintendo ds, cartridge - condition: mint - rarity: common (usa), rare (jp)

The jp Konami Style limited edition includes the Original Soundtrack CD which is rare because it was only released for this bundle, the Leather Jacket notebook and a Poster.

 

Boss fights are always entertaining and the difficulty level has been upped compared to Castlevania Portrait of Ruin, which is a good thing

 

Bosses look most of the time fabulous and luckily, no sprite is recycled from previous Castlevania games this time around

 

The character artwork by Masaki Hirooka (Warriors of the Lost Empire) won't make you miss Ayami Kojima artwork too much

 

Review - The third and final Castlevania release for the DS treads back into the MetroidVania template and introduces a new Glyph system for acquiring weapons and abilities.

This means that you can either steal those abilities from enemies and more crucially bosses or find those Glyphs in the most remote and hidden areas of the world maps.

The new heroine Shanoa is the first female lead character to appear in the series after Sonia Belmont in the black and white GameBoy-only title Castlevania Legends.

Shanoa is probably one of the most gracious lead characters to appear in the series and is animated as well as Alucard in Symphony of the Night. The detail of the animation, the hair and the general beauty of her motions represent pure joy for the sight as you double jump, dash backwards and finish off enemies with powerful magic spells, until you get the ability to fly.

Unfortunately though, regarding this last ability, Shanoa’s animation seems to be a bit rigid, as her body doesn’t really move and only the wings are properly animated.

Despite this small imperfection, the rest of the game reaches maybe the highest point yet in the realm of 2D Castlevanias as bosses, enemies and levels feature hand-drawn 2D graphics infused with so much beauty and artistic talent that they may bring tears to your eyes!

Bottom line: The series reaches its climax with this DS release which introduces clever innovations in the weapon system and refines the graphical 2D sophistication to perfection. A real gem and a wonderful gift to long time supporters of this immortal series. 10/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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