Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia came out at an inopportune time. Released the same day as Fable II and a mere week before Fallout 3, it totally fell off my radar. Perhaps “totally” is the wrong word there. I had been anticipating it for a while, but somehow managed to miss the release date. It wasn’t until I was trying to find something to finish off a GameStapo gift card earlier this week that I noticed it had actually been out for a few months. As both of you who’ve read this blog for a while can attest, I find it difficult to pass up a Castlevania game, even having played (and enjoyed!) the 3D iterations on the PS2 (although Castlevania: Judgment for the Wii looks bad beyond what even I could stomach). So as soon as I spotted this lapse in my Castlevanity, I immediately rectified it, picking the game up just a couple of days ago.
So far it’s just as awesome as all the rest of the Metroidvanias have been, but they did happen to change one thing. The game is hard as frak! Well, okay, maybe that’s going a bit far — it’s no Ninja Gaiden — but I definitely got my rear end handed to me WAY more often than I’m used to in these games. Now notice how I just used the past tense there… I just “finished” the game, having apparently defeated the main bad guy, but as seems to be the case rather often in this series, I suspect I’m not REALLY done yet. For starters, I didn’t actually fight Dracula himself (no more details to avoid spoilers)… plus, the “ending” consisted of a single shot of one of the NPCs, a couple lines of dialog from another one, and then the exact same “Game Over” screen that you get when you die. Not satisfying. As soon as I’m done with this post, I’m off to GameFaqs to figure out WTF I need to do to get a proper ending here. Until I achieve that, this game is NOT getting crossed off the list (unless it turns out that what I saw WAS the actual ending… in which case, shame on you, Mr. Igarashi… just… shame.). Either way, I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out.