his is by far the most unique Castlevania title in that it bridges the gap between "Classicvania" (Castlevania 1 -4 and maybe a few other titles in the Castlevania series after C4 but before SotN) and "Metroidvania" (Symphony of the Night onwards) styles.
There are many winks and nods to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. One particular instance in the game made my meter shoot off the roof.
Although you're not playing as a Belmont (the surname to the family of vampire hunters featured all throughout the Castlevania series - in which the original Castlevania game featured the character by the name of Simon Belmont), and a Belmont does not show up as a side character, the Belmont name does not fade into obscurity in this.
A good portion of the game play is in the "Metroidvania" style, but like I said, it does contain many "obscure" references to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.
This game is hella difficult to pass the first time around. I can't tell you how many times I had to select continue to pass the freakin' game!
The other thing I love about this game is that it is mysterious and does have twists in the story line that are awesome.
Not a lot of anime elements to make the game seem out of place (which I hella love!). Anime has it's place, but not in a creepy world like that in Castlevania.
This game also has the nice ambiance of horror that a Castlevania game is supposed to have. I mean, c'mon, the original Castlevania game was either a joke, poking fun of old black-and-white classic horror movies, or an homage to those movies, or quite possibly even both!
Another thing about this game is that it seems to have combined many of the popular elements in the previous DS Castlevania games into it as well.