When I found out that Konami had a non-ported all-new Castlevania title for mobile phones, I was disappointed. You see, I don't play games on my mobile phone. I'm not against that sort of thing, mind you; it's that I don't have a high-tech superphone that can play games and take pictures and play MP3s and display video snippets and bark asinine ringtones. I have a simple cell phone that makes phone calls. End statement. The way I see it, when I make and take phone calls I'm either at home or in the office, and if I'm not at home or in the office it means I've gone somewhere to do something fun (or at least necessary) and don't particularly want to be disturbed. That's the long way around to say that I have a cell phone, it's very basic, and I mostly keep it on me for emergencies. I did have a rather fancy phone last year provided by Sprint for eight months so I could review the product for them, and while I did like some of the things it could do, I came to the conclusion that it was primarily a money drain. Every damn thing on that phone cost another microtransaction, and had I been paying for the service (free perks of reviewing and all) I'd have dropped it like a poison mushroom.
Sorry, what was I going on about? Oh, right, an original mobile Castlevania game. Chris Kohler at Game|Life has taken Castlevania: Order of Shadows for a pre-release spin and doesn't have much of anything positive to say about the experience.
There are, however, a whole mess of weapons, sub-weapons, magic spells, and items. That's the way in which Order of Shadows seeks to position itself as a game in the Symphony milieu -- by giving the enemies hit points, giving you equippable items, "leveling up" your character as the game goes on, and giving you an inventory screen full o' stuff. These are the physical trappings of an RPG indeed, but they do not an RPG make when 99% of your time is spent just blazing through the levels whipping everything in sight. I only needed to use healing items when fighting (spoilers!) Dracula because he was so overpowered, in a last-ditch attempt to make you work a little.
So yeah, I don't think I'm missing much. This is a dangerous precedent though. Sooner or later some company is going to produce an original title based on a classic franchise that will be worth playing. I have this horrible feeling that Capcom may surprise us all someday with a fantastic yet mobile exclusive Mega Man 9, forcing me down the money drain if I want to join the fun.