Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

Common Sense Media says

Take a bite out of this challenging vampire game.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although there's violence, you're out to exterminate evil: vampires.

Violence

There's a fair amount of blood when your character expires.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a game in which you hunt vampires. It is rather dark because your character battles monsters and spirits constantly during which blood spurts occasionally. The story includes draining the blood of humans. There is a lot of reading involved, most of which is dialog between the main character and the characters she meets.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

Konami's Castlevania series usually sees a new release around Halloween, and this year is no exception. CASTLEVANIA: ORDER OF ECCLESIA introduces a female vampire hunter for the first time, supposedly due to public demand. Shanoa is a raven-haired beauty who's a member of the group Ecclesia. She's been given the daunting duty of ridding Dracula from the world. It's no small task, but she has the help of Dominus, a combination of weapons and magic.

Order of Ecclesia is an old-fashioned 2D adventure sidescroller with an RPG essence that doesn't use any of the DS' touchscreen capabilities. Instead you use the buttons to arm Shanoa with her weapons and magic (called Glyphs) and you use the buttons to strike and jump as well. You employ the Start button to go to your cache of powerups and to arm Shanoa with Glyphs. The D-pad navigates the menus, absorbs new Glyphs when you find them, and lets you talk to characters.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This vampire offering can be truly difficult, so much so that you'll probably die a lot. Small creatures are always attacking and the large ones are very smart. Jumping to a new platform sometimes has to be oh-so-precise. Larger creatures appear form nowhere in this game which features 20 creepy map areas to explore and conquer: some of these areas include over two dozens room to explore. You'll meet villagers along the way and to unlock and truly finish the game, you have to complete every mission they give to you. Get enough Glyphs and you'll have the ability to perform 100 attack combos to help you in your various quests.

In addition to being a serious challenge, the game is somewhat bloody and dark. Blood oozes when you die and the story includes draining the blood of humans. Finally, the plot includes the sad death of a key character. Yet because of the depth and yes, the difficulty, there's no denying this is an undeniably gripping game. There are some twists, too, including bosses that show up at the beginning of a level, not the end. Order of Ecclesia also includes a Wi-Fi versus mode and the ability to unlock new items when you hook it up to the upcoming Wii game, Castlevania Judgment.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the myth of Dracula and of vampires. Does this game tell you anything about vampires that you didn't already know? Would you want to be a vampire or a vampire hunter? Are vampires too scary or are they just scary enough to keep you interested in their lives?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Konami
Release date:October 21, 2008
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:T for Suggestive Themes, Violence (Nintendo DS)

This review of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byblackmustangs075 September 16, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Awesome Game

I love this game... Cut the 13+ crap.. I played this when I was 8... (Im 11)
Teen, 17 years old Written byhitokiri3 July 17, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Gothic Platformer, not much worse than other classics like Metroid

Regular Castlevania, platform, kill zombies, get abilities, fight bosses. The blood is almost unnoticeable and if your child ever watches cable TV its nothing to worry about. The themes are basic and postitive: good vs evil, sacrifice, and the greater good.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byPinballWitch August 24, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

One of the best in the series. A beautiful, epic, and bittersweet gothic adventure.

Speaking not just as a massive Castlevania fan, but an avid gamer in general, this is a shining example of how women can be portrayed in video games without ridiculous oversexualization. Our main character, Shanoa, is strong and resilient. She faces a number of emotional conflicts in this game as well as violent ones. Gameplay is top-notch. There are plenty of things to find and many quests to complete. The game is bloody but not excessively so, but Shanoa's death really is bloody. (That's something you get used to with Castlevania deaths after Symphony of the Night.) More blood than gore. There is no sexual content to speak of except that one of the villagers has some cleavage. To absorb glyphs (the game's means of attacking) Shanoa pulls up her long hair and the glyph on her back starts glowing. Since Shanoa's outfit is low in the back it may come across as too much skin for some, but it is in a completely practical, not sexual, context. As well as being an epic vampire tale, it is a bittersweet game about the choices between life and death, conformity or independence. This game actually helped me through a tough time in my life because Shanoa served as such an inspiration for me, and I actually really identified with her. I was 16 when I played it in 2009 - the first Castlevania I ever owned, even though I had played and followed the series since 2000 - and going through a number of issues of a personal nature; though it may seem a little dorky that I found comfort in a video game, it really did make me feel a lot better about the situation I was in. (To each his own.) Even as a huge Castlevania fan I rank this one alongside the impeccable Symphony of the Night. Highly recommended.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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