GameSpite Quarterly #1, the end

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
This is it! The last of the material from GameSpite Quarterly #1 to be reprinted online! Now… now what do we do? I guess we’ll have to publish a new issue, or something. In the meantime, enjoy this enticing look at one of the very few Castlevania games I have never finished. My shame is boundless.

17 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly #1, the end

  1. There is no shame in not finishing OoE. It starts off brutal and just keeps going. I put the game down for weeks after reaching nearly every boss in the game, and I still haven’t picked it up after reaching Albert.

  2. On the contrary for me, the improved difficulty was one of the reasons I couldn’t put the game down. I felt this game placed a much greater emphasis on dodging regular enemies’ attacks or patterns; or at least, I certainly felt even from the first area that I was employing backslides and ground slides far more than in previous recent Castlevanias, in which I was just mostly running around and hitting stuff. Ecclesia, I felt, had far-more-engaging combat, and I had loads of fun with the game because of it. [That, and one of the challenging optional areas toward the end of the game made me just about giddy with delight.]

    There’s more I want to write about the game — but I think I need to finally post in that New Order (of Ecclesia) thread in Talking Time.

  3. I need to fire up this game again – I’m a pretty hardcore Castlevania nut and even I felt beat down and worn out just a few stages in. (I think I need to take a cue from from T-Frog and start paying more attention to the rock-paper-scissors elemental aspect of the weapon system)

  4. It’s interesting – I’m usually *not* someone who enjoys punishing difficulty in my games at all, preferring breezy romps, yet Ecclesia (as is obvious from my article) really grabbed me. I think a lot of it is because I always felt I could do something about the difficulty (other than just improving twitch skills); switching around glyph layouts mainly, but also messing with armor or items, not forgetting the buff glyphs, or just plain leveling if all else failed.

  5. @Mudron – I didn’t write the article.

    It’s not the difficulty of Ecclesia that has kept me away. I can still eat the NES games for breakfast, so that doesn’t intimidate me. I just kinda burned out on the series after completing stupidly thorough playthroughs of Symphony, Harmony, Aria, Dawn, and Portrait in rapid succession.

  6. Whoops, sorry, then I should be taking a cue from *you*, Ben.

    I’m used to discovering a few super-powerful weapon combos in a Castlevania game and leaning on the almost exclusively until the end of the game, and that’s a strategy that’s getting my ass kicked from one Romanian village to another.

  7. The part where you reach the castle and Shanoa delivers the classic Castlevania 2 line is pure gold.

  8. Only one real difficulty flaw (especially once you unlock the heart refills in the shop): there’s no cooldown period between Glyph Unions, which enables Shanoa to spam some of her most powerful attacks.

  9. Quite frankly, I only found the game to be hard near the beginning. Once you unlocked the town, you could always just exit a stage and get healed in the town. And the bosses were hard only because I was trying to beat them without getting hit (to get their medals). Except that damned crab.

  10. Oy. Good article. I feel compelled to plow through lvl-1 hard now. Beating Dracula and getting that no-hit medal for the first time was a serious head rush. Few platformers get that sweet spot for the bosses. They each have their tells so that when you screw up, you know it’s your own stupid fault–and you go right back because the game keeps that “just one more try” feeling at all times. I totally played the previous DS castlevanias supidly thoroughly, too–but this one even more so.

    Storyline = bleh. At least the character portraits don’t look dorky like DoS or overly comedic like PoR.

    Finish it, Jeremy!

  11. Brachyura was the only boss I thought really took too long, and even that’s at least as much a result of all the phase changing as it is his health total. As long as you remember Fusions and experiment with them, most bosses can be defeated reasonably quickly, though not without at least a bit of pattern learning. Except Death, anyway. I killed him in about five seconds and don’t know what any of his attacks are (though, this being not my first ‘vania, it’s not like I don’t have any guesses).

    This review has reminded me that I meant to come back to this game. Right after I beat it, I felt it was my favorite in the series, so I’m interested to see if it holds up. It certainly doesn’t have anywhere near the best music or level design in the series, but the combat is exceptional for reasons that Kirin already put perfectly. I also really appreciate the shift in setting and atmosphere. Certainly, the other games don’t feel at all homogenous either, but I enjoyed the smaller, visually diverse early areas of the game quite a bit. It’s a nice feeling of wandering about the countryside that keeps the pacing brisk.

  12. Honestly, the prob elm (for me) with this game is the terrible glyph switching system. Or rather the controls you’re forced to use with it (hold a button + L/R). If it had instead been L/R and we had just ditched the useless backdash I’d have spent a lot more time with this one.

  13. Man, backdash was totally useful for certain fights. However I certainly agree that the glyph sleeve control setup was pretty cumbersome. Honestly, with only three sets to switch between, I would’ve been fine with just plain tapping A to cycle through them in order.

  14. I thought OoE was a refreshing change of pace after playing PoR. The article does a great job of nailing down what made OoE so good. It’s sad that this did such a good job of being a spiritual successor to CV II and PoR did such a poor job of being one for CV III.

    Also, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this game has the best voice acting of any handheld game, I loved it.

  15. That back-dash was definitely NOT useless. Use the moonwalker boots w/ it. I thinks it makes you invulnerable during the back-dash. Amazingly helpful for no-hit victory for a few of the boss fights.

  16. I never used glyph sleeves and forgot about them entirely. Honestly figuring out which sets I’d actually want to sleeve seemed as much effort as just changing them manually, especially when the ones you’ve been using are higher on your equip list than ones you haven’t.

    I also forgot about the voice acting, but I agree with Balrog, it’s really good. In this case it’s not even so much about the script lines (though those are great) but the outstanding screams and shouts during combat. Even outside of portable games, I can’t think of any game where I thought the pain sounds were better.

  17. The voice acting is indeed great. I love how those enemy spiders say “It’s deeeliciousss”.

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