I have a feeling Konami were trying to appeal to classic Castlevania fans with this title, even if it is a Metroidvania
style game. They scaled back the overly anime character designs from previous games, made quite a number of areas completely linear, and Shanoa can take about as many hits as Trevor Belmont
no matter what level she is, meaning grinding is mostly superfluous in this game. There's even an area specifically there to bring a difficult platforming challenge, the likes of which hasn't been seen since Circle of the Moon's Machine Tower.
Naturally, this makes the game rather difficult, but for those wishing to complete it comfortably, healing items are available, and not too expensive either. Though the game does have the same low money drops as Dawn of Sorrow, nothing in the game costs much over $10,000, the Gold Rings are back and there is a glyph that increases your money drops as well, meaning that you can accrue an abundance of healing items very quickly if you know where to look and are willing to complete a few sidequests.
The glyph system is much more well played than the soul system from the Sorrow games, by the way, in that most enemies don't drop glyphs, it's readily apparent which ones do, and some need not even be grinded for, as you might find them lying around or simply absorb them from an enemy as they cast it. Most of them also seem to be less situational than souls. I found myself changing glyphs and experimenting quite often. Each seemed useful in some way or another. The fact that Shanoa's MP recharges incredibly quickly certainly helped in making even high cost glyphs tactically viable.
However, the game might be a little hard for those used to the Metroidvania style, and it might seem too grindy for those in love with the classics. I found it to be a refreshing blend of both styles, and my only real complaint is that the boss battles tended to drag because a lot of bosses had loads of health and could kill you rather easily. You probably don't have to be a fan of both kinds of Castlevania game as I am to enjoy Order of Ecclesia, but you should keep an open mind when you approach it, because it won't be completely familiar to anyone who plays it.