I thought SotN was great and then I got to the second castle and it really crapped out. That was just really half-assed.
I thought it was pretty clever. Although it had a backlash on the following games when either the second castle was a letdown or there was no second castle and you were 'That's it?'
Besides that the game also got better the further you got into it because the weapons and powers got crazier.
As for Ecclesia I was never able to play it. I walked into EB at the start of the year asked for FF4, DQV, Ecclesia and etrian odyssey 2. And they didn't have a single one. Found FF4 easy enough at sears, DQV at the grocery store of all places, but never found the other two. Before I took the search online the hinge on my DS broke.