When a video game series has churned out enough titles to set a Guinness World Record, you can bet that not all of them are god's gift to gamers. For Konami's Castlevania, that's certainly been the case - series producer Koji Igarashi's every attempt to drag Dracula into the third dimension has been critically panned, and the most recent outing, Castlevania Judgment, received one of the lowest scores we've yet awarded in a review last week.
However, there has been one place, year after year, where the Castlevania franchise has struck solid gold: handhelds. Since 2001's Circle of the Moon on Game Boy Advance, every portable Castlevania title has not only been a solid entry in the series, but also a defining moment for the very system that hosts it; a must-play game on the order of a Mario, a Metal Gear, a Metroid.
Does Order of Ecclesia stand tall beside its predecessors? Or will this be the game that finally breaks Konami's wondrous streak?
That all depends on who you ask - because while this latest installment has some of the most enjoyable, rewarding gameplay in the series, it does diverge somewhat from the norm.