I finished it, and it turns out it gets much better once you enter Dracula's Castle (about halfway in the game). Many things start to become much more consistent, there is a bit more of area/stuff unlocking that's pretty well handled. The weapon switching can still be a chore (especially for bosses where you have to try dozens of weapons before finding which ones are best for the job) but it's also nice to get to find a good combination or to specialize with a specific set of weapons.Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia on DraStic.
It has varied levels and focuses more on classic platforming and enemy pattern learning of older castlevanias rather than on exploration/unlocking stuff, which I appreciate. There's still XP, stuff to collect and a few areas where you can't go until you've found an item, but the impact is much more minimal than in SotN or other similar games. It doesn't match SotN in the overall audiovisual atmosphere, but it holds pretty well on its own.
The game has many different weapons which is interesting but the problem is that enemies have different resistances and weaknesses, so you spend a lot of time just switching weapons to match the enemy you're currently fighting, and the weapons switching mechanism is a bit cumbersome. This is especially infuriating when you have to switch between two weapons that are identical expect for their damage type. This doesn't bring anything to the game except tedium.
So far it's enjoyable, but not memorable.
Finally gotten around to this one. And it's a gem. It's a shooter disguised as RPG.
I finished that recently.