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Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

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GF Rating
8.1

1151 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
9

Excellent

Awesome game! But not for the faint of heart

posted by heimburg (ORLANDO, FL) Jan 20, 2007

Top Reviewer

Member since Jun 2005

20 out of 21 gamers (95%) found this review helpful

This is easily the best Castlevania since the PS1 classic Symphony of the Night. And you can really tell that the designers sat down and asked themselves, "How can we really top our earlier games?" They didn't just rearrange the magic system like handheld Castlevanias usually do -- they also added a fighting partner with all sorts of partner moves, plus a quest system to give you even more to do while you're wandering the castle.

You get rewards constantly and the pacing is very good. The sound is beautiful and the visuals are often stunning. I would love to have this game's soundtrack.

There is one thing to be aware of, though. After about a half hour of easy-going monster stabbing, you'll run into your first boss, and you'll then realize that the kid-gloves are off. You'll probably have to fight that boss many times until you've memorized his moves. This boss is extra difficult because the first part of the game was so easy that you are totally unprepared for a hard boss! So now I've warned you. Keep it in mind, and practice your moves and timing at the beginning of the game. Buy a bunch of potions at the stor, and don't forget to save right outside the boss's door.

After the first boss, there are a few relatively easy bosses, and then some devastatingly hard bosses. If you hate the idea of having to fight a boss battle a dozen times to learn the moves, this is not the game for you.

Outside of the boss battles, the game gets slowly more difficult, eventually reaching a point where it's actually pretty tough just to survive from one save point to another. You can remedy this, though, by either getting better at the game or by leveling up your character, farming items and abilities.

This is a deep game with a lot of complexity and substance to master. But the real hook is the really strong feeling of exploration you get. You'll find yourself wondering what the game has in store for you after this next boss. And don't worry: you won't be disappointed.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

One word: Amazing

posted by ShionRulez (PORTLAND, OR) Dec 29, 2006

Member since Mar 2006

7 out of 7 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I am a long-time Castlevania fan and this one, at first, brought me down. My bro beat the game all in one day. I thought that was kind of stupid because the last Castlevania (Dawn of Sorrow) had taken me forever to beat. Then we figured out that he got the "bad ending". This is what i love about the Castlevania games (the new ones). They have multiple endings to make you work harder! Also, Hard mode (lv1 cap mostly) is hard enough for any player. There are a lot of weapons and armor that make you play for hours just trying to get.

The one thing i am happy about in Castlevania:PoR is that it still has kept the side-scrolling game play. This makes it harder to dodge enemy attacks making the game harder! (and more challenging)

For any (or not) Castlevania fan, you WILL NOT be disappointed with this new release. The game may be shorter then the last Castlevania, but it keeps the action going at a faster pace!

Also the bonus of the Wi-Fi co-op mode is fun! I've tried it already and i played with some people. I recommend trying it (after you get: Vampire Killer (full-powered), Holy Claymore, or golden Axe (just recommendations).

Enjoy the game!

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

DS owners rejoice!!!

posted by Insanity (Perry, FL) Dec 21, 2006

Member since Oct 2005

7 out of 7 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Now the castlevania series has had an equal amount of completly awesome games to the completly dissapointing games.

So, with this in mind I can tell you that another completly awesome game has been charted on the board.

First of all the graphics are in the classic 2-D style that keeps on getting better each time. There is no error in the graphics at anytime during play so you don't have to worry about seeing things suddenly appear and dissapear in the background. The makers have also combined some of the backgrounds and enemies with 3-D graphics, usually this makes the game look wierd and out of place but for this game it worked perfectly

The story in this is a great change for once, instead of fighting Dracula you are trying to stop a vampire named Brauner and his daughters from taking over the world. The story also includes serperate backgrounds for the characters which gives each one a more realisic attitude.

Most of all the gameplay will keep you on edge, the battles against masses of unrelenting enemies never stop and will keep your thumbs moving through-out the whole game. Also, this time around there are quests which give you hints on how to complete a task for a reward such as a skill, ability, or item. Then they also have mastering of abilities which can keep you buisy for hours at a time just to master one. The game play still has me hooked after beating it on hard mode.

Overall this game is hands-down a must buy.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Castlevania: Portrait of Perfection!

posted by imacheater (SEARCY, AR) Jul 28, 2007

Member since Jun 2007

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

If there's one thing that the Castlevania thing has been good for, it's providing great gameplay that you can continually enjoy from game to game. If you've played Dawn of Sorrow, you're probably wondering: "How can this game get any better?". Well, get ready for some good reasons.

TWO CHARACTERS: Although they may not be quite as interesting as the one's in Dawn of Sorrow, they play a huge part in the game's newfound greatness. You have two characters, Jonathan and Charlotte, that you control. You can control one at a time or have a CPU player control your partner. Your ally will attack enemies that they're close to, but it's up to you to tell them to use their equipped skill with the R button. When your character takes a hit, you lose HP, but when your ally gets attacked, you BOTH lose MP. You also get several Team Attacks and Abilities as you go through the game for working together. Not to mention the fact that you can play co-op with someone via local wireless or Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.

Art Style: The art style, while not STUNNING, is very beautiful in this game, and you'll appreciate the level of detail that was put into the game's locales.

New Adventuring: No longer do you spend your time exploring JUST the castle, now you can also enter Magical Paintings, each with a different theme of their own.

Bosses: Of course, as with all other spectacular Castlevania titles, Portrait of Ruin contains some very intimidating and awesome looking bosses. Most of these bosses require some good reflexes to battle and emerge victorious, but sometimes you just have to beat them to a pulp.

This game continues the trademark greatness of the series and you WILL NOT be dissapointed. Don't rent this game... BUY IT!

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

OMG!!!!!!!!!!

posted by youshi101 (BEND, OR) Mar 21, 2007

Member since Dec 2006

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

this game is a great game but the only problem is that you don't fully understand what the purpose is and why you are trying to get all the levels its a long game so if your up to getting a fast and easy and fun game well you got the fun and the easy but not the Short personally i didn't finish the game because it was too long and i wanted to try different games but i would of finished it if i wasn't so curious thanks for reading my review and if you got board of my review then i'm sorry because i didn't make it very interesting...... bye

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Perfect Game...

posted by DOOKIEMAN (SUNRISE, FL) Dec 12, 2006

Member since May 2006

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

This is a must buy. It is way better the Dawn of Sorrows and twice as fun with Co-Op and Wi-Fi. If you have a DS or are thinking of getting one you should get this game.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Another Classic Castlevania!

posted by drunkyb (FORT WORTH, TX) Dec 7, 2006

Top Reviewer

Member since Mar 2006

10 out of 12 gamers (83%) found this review helpful

Castlevania on the GBA and the DS continues to do one thing each time around : get better and better. At this point, there isn't much more that can be done to make these titles any more appealing than the previous ones, so to say the least PORTRAIT OF RUIN is on par, and a LITTLE BIT better than DAWN OF SORROW. The graphics are pretty much the same, the monsters have more detail and their deaths are a little bit more graphic than in the previous title. The story in this game is much better, and the ability to switch between and use two characters at once is absolutely incredible. The only setback that I have noticed is for me at least, the characters in Dawn of Sorrow were a lot more interesting than the ones available in this title, but thats a minor flaw. In short, Castlevania continues to claim the top spot for action-platforming, on console or on handheld. If you are a fan of violent action adventure titles, pick this up. If you have played any of the previous titles (especially Aria or Dawn of Sorrow) don't even bother renting this - you probably already know this is a must-buy. Definately one of my top five favorite DS games so far.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Another Castlevania Game

posted by anges2313 (RALEIGH, NC) Jan 8, 2007

Member since Dec 2006

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

I, personally am not a Castlevania fanboy, but I have played previous installments of the series. POW (Portrait of Ruin) is some what the same as all of the older Castlevania, but with a catch, you can play as two characters. Adding the second character makes the game a little more interesting, but still doesn't compensate for the repetitive game play. The game looks pretty good and the controls are tight and easy. Like all of the other Castlevania games POW has no camera problems. The only reason I was really disappointed was in the lack of touch screen usage, sure you use the touch screen with one set of characters, but it really does not do much for the game; it would have been nice to at least be able to control the classic whip with the touch screen. The game also only uses the top screen as a map/bestiary, not utilizing the dual-screen function, so this game ends up being more like a good looking GBA rather than a DS game. All in all this game is fun for four to six hours before it begins to get repetitive, it looks fairly good, but underutilizes the DS' capabilities.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Castlevania Goodness

posted by lazygamer (Northridge, CA) Dec 12, 2006

Top Reviewer

Member since Jan 2003

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

Once again, Dracula's castle rises up and must be dealt with. In this adventure, you can switch on-the-fly between a weapons-guy or a magic-girl. Instead of the levels being confined to the castle (reverse or not), you'll be fighting a catalog of monsters throughout the various paintings (hence the "portrait of ruin"). The story, taking place during World War 2, is written well enough.
Most familiar to the Castlevania franchise is the great gameplay. Platform games, especially 2D ones are of rare beauty and this title maintains it well. Also making a comeback are equipable weapons, secondary weapons, armor, spells, etc. What doesn't make an appearance (and sorely missed) is the monster soul-collecting from the "Soma" series games (e.g. Dawn of Sorrow). The idea of catching the souls just to see what power you would obtain gave the game a whole extra layer. Swapping characters doesn't seem to make up the difference either, since you tend to stick with one. But numerous save points and warp portals allow for a gamer-friendly experience.
Unlike the other DS Castlevania game "Dawn of Sorrow", I have yet to see any touchpad use in "Portrait of Ruin". No real loss, but it would have been interesting to see how it could have been improved (you can, however, create your own badge or logo).
Overall, this game maintains the great quality of the Castlevania franchise, trying new things by sacrificing others. No huge gain, but no loss either.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

If your a fan of the series get it fun game

posted by Kev_215 (HARLEYSVILLE, PA) May 31, 2013

Member since Feb 2013

Pretty much similar to all the other Castlevania games, it has its own differences you get to play as the male with the melee weaps or the female with books and you can have them both out at the same time. Overall def rent this.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Castlevania gets better and better

posted by epictunes (BATON ROUGE, LA) May 12, 2010

Member since Dec 2009

This is a great game. The gameplay is awesome. Very addicting much like Symphony of the Night. I'd say it's better than Order of Ecclesia because of the two-character switch play. You folks should definitely rent it.

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GF Rating
4

Weak

nahh

posted by rewind83 (BOISE, ID) Nov 15, 2009

Member since Nov 2009

i liked this game purely for the fact that it was a good game. i didn't like ALL the dialog, and the incomplete story. i hated how they tried to make the characters light, and funny. that is not what castlevania is! oh well, still i thought it was okay, but it will never compare to symphony of the night.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Classic Castlevania but needs more

posted by Susano (LYNNWOOD, WA) Nov 2, 2008

Member since Oct 2008

This game was great. It wasn't too long or too short, the bosses were intense, and the game was totally epic. The only bad thing I would have to say about this game is its lack of stylus use. Because Castlevania Portrait of Ruin is a DS title, I was hoping tehre would be more touch screen use. I only used the touch screen tof fluck through dialouge. Other than that problem, the game was awesome and I recommend it to any Castlevania fan

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GF Rating
7

Good

Not bad, but not good

posted by AJD624 (AUSTIN, TX) Apr 27, 2008

Member since Mar 2008

This game seems to stay true with the Castlevania franchise but this game took away from the good and added some bad.
First of all everyone knows Symphony of the Night was the greatest Castlevania ever, and Alucard was the greatest hero in the series (especially because his name is Dracula spelled backwards), but why can't the characters in the new games have a cool walk anymore? I mean, come on, the walking animation of the main character ruined it for me to start but the game play was a little overdone as well. Even with two characters you really only use one especially because the female character's items are very limited.
Dawn of Sorrow was better even though it was older. Konami should just make a Symphony of the Night sequel. I would buy 2 copies of that.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

same game different name

posted by tmavis (MANASQUAN, NJ) Feb 20, 2008

Member since Jul 2006

well I give it a 5 for the same game with a different name. despite using 2 different people. i still find myself playing the same exact game. so gamers when u have already played one of the castlevanias for ds/gba you have played them all....maybe Wii will get a 3d verison one day........id love to see that

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Castlevania comes through again!

posted by melover (PEORIA, AZ) Jan 26, 2008

Member since Jan 2008

It's easy to give this game a good review. Castlevania has kept it's standards with each game it creates! Easy controls, great graphics and difficult but not too difficult that you cannot beat bosses. If you have never given Castlevania a try, you are really missing out on a great game. Enjoy!

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Worth a play through if you liked original

posted by Sovvy1 (PALM COAST, FL) Oct 28, 2007

Member since Sep 2007

I rate games based on a three point pyramid of awesome. Immersion (Did this pull me in and keep me in the story and gameplay) Replay Value (Will this be worth the blank dollars I spent on it) and Originality (have I played this before?)

Immersion: (8) The game felt solid. Gameplay was nailed down very well and I had no problem getting my characters to do what I wanted of them. At no point in the game did I become frustrated. The story on the other hand was old, with a few new tricks thrown in. It still was entertaining, but I believe some depth could have been added to the characters and the story itself. I never really felt the burden on stopping Dracula or anything, just played the game for the fun of it. Graphics were great, beautifully done. Sprite movement was fluid and the 3D backgrounds and some monsters were a nice touch. I was never mentally booted for seeing something stupid or ugly that didn't flow with the game.

Replay Value (7) This game packs on the monsters. Going back to kill them to earn whatever mysterious item they hold is fun for a while, but does get old. There is enough to keep the hardcore going, but not to much to keep casuals going. The weapon upgrades are gone too, and thats what made me kill monsters in the first game as well. Good, but not great.

Originality: (7) New things like monsters and bosses were added. The story was a little overused but had a few things thrown in to change it up a bit. However, with Immersion so high it really doesn't matter. The game's story and gameplay have only been tweaked from Great to Great A+. I am not complaining. Just don't expect a thriller in the Story, gameplay, or leveling departments.

Final Verdict: (8) Play the game. It's good and has a while before becoming stale. It's a great way to spend time with your DS and a great game to pick up a week down the line and go kill a few more monsters. You can rent but if you want full replay value out of this title I suggest buying this wonderful game.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Castlevania is still great

posted by protox (LAKEWOOD, CO) Jun 29, 2007

Member since Mar 2005

Every Castlevania finds a way to do something new. I can't say I enjoyed this one as much as the last one on DS but I still had a unique bit of fun from it. I especially like the extra missions after you beat the game. The bosses were cool and the game was fun but I miss the weapon construction from the last one. The storyline was great in this one and I like how Capcom is filling in the gaps between Castlevania games one by one. This is another great inclusion.

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GF Rating
7

Good

good game wrong system

posted by jameshall4 (LAKE CITY, FL) Jun 19, 2007

Member since Jun 2007

i love my ds ok, don't get me wrong. but castlvania on the ds sounds good. and thats it. when you see it its just ok. and thats what i thought i thought it was avarage. the game is fun for about 2 hours then you realise your just doing tedious puzzles that at times seem inavative. alright the pros. of this game are nice story line, fun and inventive levels two playable characters. long story and a lot of extras.
cons- graphics are terrible. i mean the ds isnt known for graphics but this game is barely adequite compared to other ds games. also at times stylus control was non responsive and cluncky. and the biggest problem is its pretty much he same game as dawn ofsorrow. this game is a rent period and if your gonna buy a castlvania game get dawn of sorrow. even though the graphics are the same.

this game should have been on the psp with nice graphics. maybe then the psp owners will have a game besides loco roco thats worth playing.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Another classic

posted by Tuttutt (AUBURN, IL) Jun 19, 2007

Member since Jan 2005

I have to say this is one of the better hand held castlevanias i have played. An excellent story line and tons of things to do. With so many different maps to complete its a wonder how they fit so much in. If your a castlevania fan and enjoy lots of time to play this a deffiantly the game for you. I have to say that the end of the story leaves you wanting more. Defiantly a must try you'll be addicted from the beginning.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Good but not Best

posted by DarkcloudS (STOCKTON, CA) May 17, 2007

Member since Mar 2007

Castlevania has been around for over 20 years and they are still going strong. Dawn of Sorrows started the Castlevania time line onto the DS and was a near-perfect game. However Portrait of Ruin feels oddly different and not in a good way. The gameplay is still the same but it feels much too easy for Castevania vets. The team aspect is a good add-on and the English (Finally!) voices are grunts are clear. The music is great and puts the sound device in the DS to it's peak. After playing DoS though this game feels prehistoric since it goes back to the SoTN way of obtaining enemy skills and also taking care of 2 players at once may confuse some. But at the end of this game, you got a great game that Castlevania players new and old will enjoy.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Awesome

posted by huktongamz (ENTERPRISE, AL) Apr 9, 2007

Member since Aug 2005

I cant say a whole lot more than whats already been said about this masterpiece but I'll try. It plays almost Identical as the original Castlevania games (SideScroll) but throws in a lot of nifty new elements such as the 2 characters available. You can be either or, or both at the same time which is really cool having a helping hand which you will need to further progress the game. One word for the graphics...KILLER. Like most castlevania games the difficulty progresses fast so you have to make sure the tons of equiptment you gather along your way are almost immediately equipped so you can stand your ground against the blood thirsty Undead. Very impressive game overall. ive already bought it. If you like castlevania games just buy this one from Gamefly instead of renting it you'll love it, take my word for it guys and gals....Awesome

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Tweaking the formula

posted by orothelous (BELLEVUE, WA) Mar 27, 2007

Member since Jun 2005

This game strays slightly in some aspects of the Castlevania formula. The major points are there; dracula's castle, new abilities, bosses, etc. What makes it different is two characters, tons of subweapons and magic spells, and locations other than just the castle. Sidequests handed out by a ghost also help to mix things up. It was a good length and has replay value with bonus modes that open after completion. All in all it was a great game, which deviates from its predecessors in interesting and engaging ways.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Who uses Castle to name their Castle anyway?

posted by HasuKuro (SPRINGFIELD, IL) Mar 7, 2007

Member since Oct 2006

If you've ever played Castlevania (SOTN) Symphony of the Night and liked it, then buy this game. If not, rent it.

Castlevania POW (Portrait of Ruin) delivers the simple, yet addictive game play that SOTN showed us.
The monsters aren't too tough to kill, yet it can be challenging. Other Castlevania games on GBA seems a bit awkward and tough in regards to basic enemies, yet POW got it right.

The team that worked on this game added some extra touches to make it feel like a REAL Castlevania game and made some ties into older games in the series that make sense.

This game gets a 9 only because, yes, the game play can get boring hours into it. On top of that, if you want to get everything and go through the extra modes it can be tiresome.

-----
Castlevania? what kind of name is that anyway?
The Japanese is "Devil Castle Dracula."
Makes more sense being that the castle changes in every game due to demonic Dracula powers.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Changing minds

posted by Wolfmaster (ALBANY, OR) Feb 24, 2007

Member since Apr 2006

Now, first off I was never a Castlevania fan since my first Castlevania game, Simon's Quest for the nes. I had checked this game out and I have now became a fan of the series, despite my bad experience with the nes game I am going to go back at it. Now I actually am ganna try to play the castlevania games I can. I liked the co-op mode offline and online, and the wi-fi store, not only got good items from it, but made a large profit. There are a series of weapons and skills for each character, from using a cross for Jonathan (favorite weapon for him) to using a large flaming salamander for Charolette (odd I know, but good spell depending how good you are with it, though I preffer the chain lightning spell). I have took advantage of the special dual moves, like using the past heros to kill the final boss, to using a dual move kill annoying enemies. The quests given by the mysterious ghost (trying to be spoiler free) can give you many rewards that was well worth it. There is also the Vampire Killer, weakest weapon at first, but when unleashing its power later in the game, it will become the most powerfull weapon you will have. This game got pretty addicting with over 100 enemies and the leveling up. Hope many take a look at this game, especially those not fans of the game in hope they will become aware of the series.

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