This is quite possibly the best DS single player game, and also perhaps the best Castlevania game. A must have!
You play as Soma Cruz fighting against a Dracula cult in a massive castle. The story progresses interestingly, and the few characters in the game have surprisingly good lines when you visit them to buy things.
The graphics in this game are some of the sharpest 2D work I have every seen. Amazingly impressive. Some of the backgrounds contain 3D elements, as do the bosses which look damn impressive.
The sound is great. The music is absolutely wonderful. It’s almost as good as Symphony of the Night's. It really does a good job adding to the atmosphere.
Soma can equip different kinds of Swords, axes, spears, etc to fight monsters scattered throughout the huge castle. Each time an enemy is killed there is a chance you get its soul. You can equip these souls for different abilities, some offensive and some defensive. This is a very fun part of the game. The game is basically one big level, with subsections with _many_ rooms scattered throughout a castle. Similar to 2D Metroid games and the same as every 2D Castlevania since Playstation/Saturn's Symphony of the Night. There are save points and warp points every once in a while for convenience. Each subesction has at least one boss fight in it. These boss fights are some of the most entertaining I have had the pleasusre of running across, and they visually are bloody impressive.
The game is fairly long, with 3 endings. I first beat the game, and put it down satisfied. I then found out I wasn't done, finished the game all the way, and wow did this great game get even better. Seeing the second or third ending unlocks a Julius mode where you play as whip-yielding Julius Belmont which very reminiscent of the majority of other Castlevania games. There is also a Boss Rush mode that is very challenging and fun as heck.
So how does this game make use of DS only features? The top screen shows a map, which is very convenient. Also, after you beat a boss, you have to do draw a symbol. This can be annoying and hard at first. If you screw up you have to fight the boss again with close to half of its HP back. It can be annoying, but no reason not to buy the game. You can also tap the touch screen to destory certain blocks. Gimmicky, but it's not common and works alright.
Grade A. If you have a DS you need this game as it's the best single player experience on the machine, and is equal or greater in fun value compared to the great Symphony of the Night.
+ The sharpest 2D graphics this side of the galaxy. 3D integration is flawless and amazing.
+ Tremendous music score.
+ Fairly long with many modes.