Recommend a Castlevania game please (DS or GBA)

I recently acquired my son’s old DS and got a $40 gift card to GameStop. What game to get? Hmm…

I have played and loved every Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, and Metroid game made. I even played a Final Fantasy game (iv). One franchise I have never tried is Castlevania.

I assume I will like Castlevania, but will I? Is it like the other franchises?

Also, what’s the best game to get? It can be either a DS game or a GBA game.

If you like Metroid, you’ll like pretty much all the GBA and DS Castlevania versions, which are dubbed (along with Symphony of the Night for the Playstation) as “Metroidvanias”. The reason is that you’ll get power-ups which expand your capabilities and allow you to explore more of the map, just like in a Metroid game. You also get a crapload of different attacks which you can switch around to your liking.

As far as specific ones, I tend to prefer Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclesia, but if you like one, you’ll probably end up playing all of them. Dawn’s a bit easier than Order, so maybe start with that one.

Bit easier? That’s like saying skinning your knee is a bit easier than having your leg blown off by a shotgun. Ecclesia is incredibly hard, to the point where even though I’d breezed through all the other Metroidvanias, I had to resort to Action Replay codes after the 2nd or 3rd boss just to see the rest of the game.

If you’re looking for a challenge, by all means, go for Ecclesia, but otherwise stick with Dawn of Sorrow or Portrait of Ruin if you’re going with a DS game.

Another thing to keep in mind is that unlike most Metroidvanias where they’re loosely related, Dawn of Sorrow is a direct sequel to the last GBA game, Aria of Sorrow, so you might want that one first. These days it would probably be easiest to track that down as part of the Castlevania Double Pack, which includes Harmony of Dissonance as well. It’s not a huge deal if you can’t do that, it’s going to be fun to play just the same, just but be aware you’ll get some spoilers to Aria if you play Dawn first.

Besides Order of Ecclesia being hard, I would also not recommend Circle of the Moon, not to start with anyway. It’s kinda clunky next to the rest of them, and while it’s not bad if that’s all you have to choose from, it would be my last choice.

Double Pack, Dawn, or Portrait, you really can’t go wrong with any of those choices. I almost want to recommend Double Pack, just for the 2-games-in-1 aspect. Bang for the buck.

Huh. I didn’t think Order was that much harder so much as it had more gimmick-oriented bosses. A couple of them took me a while to figure out the tricks, but once that happened, it wasn’t so bad.

Also, I played them all completely out of order, but I agree that playing Aria before Dawn would probably make the storyline a little more coherent. But who plays Castlevania for the storyline?

I still haven’t finished Order of Ecclesia… Dracula was too hard for me even though none of the other games gave me a problem.

Thanks for the recommendations. Sounds like I’ll try to find the Double Pack to start with. If not, it’s Aria of Sorrow, then Dawn of Sorrow, then Portrait of Ruin, then Order of Ecclesia.

Funny, I’ve never heard the term* Metroidvania *before. Sounds like my kind of game!