Top 10 Castlevania Games You May Never Have Played
4. Order of Shadows
Order of Shadows only recently came to my attention, and was in fact the catalyst that caused me to revise this very list. Released back in 2007, Castlevania: Order of Shadows is a mobile-exclusive installment in the series. Produced and released during a time where cell phone games were even more infamous for their dubious quality than today, it’s easy for this one to slip past anyone. Unless you’ve got an older phone (and still receiving service) it’s going to be a little more difficult to play as intended than most of the others on the list, although it can be done.
Order of Shadows follows Desmond Belmont and his 2 sisters as they try to thwart a cult known only as “The Order” from resurrecting Dracula. It may not be immediately impressive at first glance, but considering other mobile games of the time period, it’s a deeper, more satisfying experience incorporating multiple aspects a la Symphony of the Night-style gameplay. Of interest purely as a novelty nowadays, it is nonetheless a bonafide Castlevania game. Though it may be antiquated, it’s obvious that Order of Shadows had serious effort put into it to distinguish it from typical mobile garbage.
How can you play it today?
I’m not sure if this game can be bought and downloaded legitimately through existing cellular services these days; I myself have an older phone and was unable to find it, but this doesn’t mean much. Back then some games worked for some phones, some games were available on some services and not others, etc. If you have an LG EnV or older BlackBerry, this might be your best bet although it could end up costing you as much as $9.99.
The other alternative is to play it on your Android device. I installed it directly to my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; to what extent it could be emulated on a computer is unknown to me though it seems more than possible. Essentially what we’ll be doing is emulating an older mobile platform, J2ME, on the Android device itself. I’m unfamiliar with how else
.apk files (Android “packed” files) can be used, but in our case it is the game. If you’ve ever installed apps onto your Android device not present in the Google Play Store, putting Order of Shadows onto your device shouldn’t be any different. The best part? It’s 100% free!
Materials (Don’t Gather Up the Software Just Yet)
- An Android Device with Removable Memory/Storage
- An SD Card (or something comparable that works with your device)
- The Order of Shadows
.apkFile – Find it at The ISO Zone via Search
- Easy Installer Android App (or any Android app that will allow you to browse and install the contents of the removable memory)
- J2ME for Android – Available at Netmite.com
The reason I don’t want you to go ahead and put all of this on your computer is because most of it needs to be done from your Android device itself. What you do need to go ahead and download to your computer is the Order of Shadows
Step 1: Putting the Game on the SD Card
Head over to The ISO Zone, do a search for “order of shadows,” and you should come up with a single result. The file will probably come in a compressed format, but it’s small. Once downloaded, extract the .apk file. This is the game. Place your SD card into your computer and move the
.apk file over. For the sake of simplicity, create a folder, call it anything you want, and put the file inside. Once you’ve finished, place the SD card into your Android device; you are now done with the computer.
Step 2: Using Easy Installer
What we need to do now is browse our SD card and install files directly from it. We’ll need a little help. There are dozens of “unpacking” apps, “Android unpackers,” etc. You can go with whatever you like, though Easy Installer seems to be one of the most popular, least buggy, and least invasive. Get into the Google Play Store, search for “easy installer,” and download it. Once you’ve finished, open it. You should be able to access your SD card, and the new app will install it for you.
Step 3: Emulating J2ME
Order of Shadows operates on an older platform than newer, touchscreen devices. In this step we’ll be downloading what we need to actually run the program even though it’s already installed. The easiest thing to do is go ahead and open up the newly-installed Order of Shadows. You’ll quickly get a prompt telling you that you need J2ME. If you go ahead and let it take you to the website (netmite.com), you can initiate the download immediately. You may get a few warnings about what you’re installing – I’ve had no problems with any of this, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t. Proceed at your own risk. That being said, there’s no reason to believe any malicious attacks are lurking, but keep in mind that these programs are gaining a lot of access to your gadget.
Step 4: Playing the Game
With everything installed, Order of Shadows should run without a hitch. There will be an icon like any other app, and controls will have been mapped rather awkwardly to the touchscreen. It’s reasonable to suspect that the J2ME app may be improved upon again some time in the future, though for now I wouldn’t recommend using the touchscreen. Since games like these were designed using the keys of a phone (often just the standard numbers, # and *, and 2 softkeys), I find a keyboard to work much better.
Enjoy playing one of the most obscure Castlevania games out there!
Cube’s Recommendation: FOLLOW the above instructions!
Written by The Cubist
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