Video Game Journal # 5
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
System: Nintendo DS
Released: October 21st, 2008
The game actually came out in North America first.
I bought this game at the Movie Gallery because I fell in love with Castlevania in 1997 with Symphony of the Night. Frankly, I think the handheld ‘Vanias pale in comparison, even though they all have enjoyable aspects. That’s how much of a Titan SotN is.
Ecclesia is a game I’ve enjoyed in spurts. The worst block occurred in the Skeleton Cave, a level that represents everything non-fun in games. It was almost anti-CV, with lame, ‘roided enemies (all skeletons. Every. Single. One.), and no fun treasure. And then, there was the boss.
Eventually, I came out the other side, and got into a more balanced risk/reward flow. That’s what I enjoy the most about CV: gaining loot and powers.
The story of this game is how, in the absence of Belmonts, various groups organized to thwart evils like Vlad Tepes Dracula. One such coven, the Order of Ecclesia, based out of… Ecclesia, employs Amy Lee lookalike Shanoa.
Her power is to tap into magical tattoos called Glyphs.
Ecclesia’s leader, Barlowe, was to bind Dominus, a powerful glyph, to Shanoa.
But Albus, another Order member, stole Dominus and ran away during the ritual.
This also wiped Shanoa’s memory.
Shanoa embarked on a mission to retrieve Dominus. Across several levels, Shanoa has rescued people that Albus kidnapped for an unclear purpose. These villagers provide funnish subquests like the ghost from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
Over several encounters, Albus has actually given Shanoa two fragments of the anti-Dracula glyph: Dominus Anger and Dominus Hatred. Upon a return to Ecclesia, Barlowe revealed that Dominus is actually Dracula bound in glyph form!
Knowing all this, they are still unsure what Albus’ goals are…
Journal Started: March 3rd, 2009
MARCH 3RD, 2009: Just like Portrait of Ruin, this game has a fairly spectacular intro.
However, Ecclesia‘s character designs are pretty and painterly, unlike Portrait‘s bland anime style.
Here is a new feature of VGJs – Spotlights.
Shanoa’s Level: 30
Smartly realizing that gamers love stats, Konami added a Guides section to the main menu. It helps players keep track of what they have accomplished.
Glyphs – X/Y: 60.01%
The glyphs assigned to the X/Y buttons represented the glyphs on Shanoa’s arms.
The glyph assigned to the R button represented the glyph on Shanoa’s back. These glyphs were usually just stat buffs.
Total Rate: 52.05%
The Glyph Sleeve is one of the game’s few Relics.
It allows you to set up three different glyph setups (A, B, or C), and to switch between them at will. I thought it was useless at first.
Usually, in these CV games, I would set up equipment and skills for exploration and bosses, and another with luck-boosting equipment and skills for item grinding.
SPOTLIGHT: Attribute Points
All glyphs possess an attribute. Every time a glyph slays a foe, its attribute gains points. Here is a list of Shanoa’s attributes:
One of the best things about CV is how enemies drop items sometimes. Unfortunately, because Shanoa does not use weapons directly, monsters will not drop them. However, you can gain glyphs from them, and sometimes, the only way to acquire the spell is to suck it away from a monster as they try to use it!
Our most recent new level is the Mystery Manor (uh-oh). The most interesting enemy in this stage is the perhaps incongruous… Mad Butcher! (dramatic chords)
Monster Profile # 1: Mad Butcher
A madman with a mechanized saw. Enjoys butchery and sculpting.
Weaknesses: Slash, fire, light, poison, monster (?), earth
Ah, CV. You can go WTF so fast. At least you’re more entertaining than other games while doing it…
I don’t actually know what one of those attribute symbols means. It’s bat-shaped, so I guessed that meant monster.
This has been more fun than I expected.
Most glyphs have a higher level of power. Every one of these glyphs are called “Vox [glyph name]”.
One type of glyph lets you summon familiars. Unlike SotN‘s familiars, they are very difficult to level up. You could pick on some weaker monsters, but that’s BORING.
The zombie you can summon has blue skin, just like Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen.