The big news for many at last night's Konami Gamer's Night was the official announcement of a new Castlevania game for the Nintendo DS. Mr. Igarashi himself was on hand to introduce Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, complete with his trademark cowboy hat and whip. This new Castlevania marks the first time that the franchise will feature a female lead character, a raven haired beauty named Shenoa.

The story takes place years after the Belmont family has completely disappeared, but Dracula is still going strong. Many organizations have cropped up to try and defeat the vampire but the only ones who seem up to the task are the mysterious Order of Ecclesia. The art style for the characters has changed from the traditional anime style to a much more pleasing (to me anyway) illustrative style that really shows of the beauty of the female protagonist in particular.


The combat has changed as well, this time relying on a "glyph" system. Essentially, magical glyphs can be absorbed that provide Shenoa with magical weapon abilities. These abilities can be assigned and used from three different areas: left hand, right hand or back. These glyphs can be used at will, but beware because they will sap your magic points! Equipping the same glyph to both hands will provide you with a quicker attack, but will drain your magic faster.

Also new to this title is the addition of a world map that will allow you to travel outside the confines of the castle to explore locations such as mountains and a sinking ship. Two person co-op play will also be made available via local DS wireless.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is set to release in the fall of this year and Mr. Igarashi slyly promised to try and make sure it launches on time with no delays. I hope he can pull it off because no matter how many Castlevania titles I play, I am always ready and excited for the next iteration.


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