The summer season is coming up in North America, but it's already time to look ahead into the later part of the year. We're going to be due our annual Castlevania experience, and this year the series is landing on the Nintendo DS again in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Kotaku has some early information about the storyline.
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 [heroine] 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.
So, if the Belmonts are gone, just where does this game fall in the Castlevania timeline? And how does the new protagonist, Shenoa, fit into the legacy? Some sources will tell you that Shenoa is the first woman to topline a Castlevania game, but don't let them banish poor Sonia Belmont into obscurity. And what are these glyph things all about? Somehow I've wound up with more questions about the new game than I had before I knew it officially existed.