• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Dec 5, 2006

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. The best bits of the best games have been stuck together in one wonderful Castlevania cake.
  2. In terms of action gaming on the DS, Portrait of Ruin is second to none.
  3. The only thing to really rag on Portrait for is its length. Seven-ish hours is pretty short, no matter how you slice it. But, as with all the other Castlevania games, there are so many bizarre things to do once Drac's down that they totally make up for the main quest's length.
  4. The consistent level of quality has never been a question with the series and the addictive nature of the gameplay always leaves you wanting more...You can bet that Portrait of Ruin will be one of my top-10, DS picks of 06.
  5. It’s just as good as Dawn of Sorrow, and has the online modes to help promote the longevity.
  6. A game that stays true to the Castlevania series. [JPN Import]
  7. The gameplay manages to successfully merge the two Castlevania play styles, while retaining a firm hold on excellent design and presentation.
  8. Putting two characters in the player’s hands proves to be an ingenious way of expanding on Castlevania’s bread-and-butter action. It’s been done before, but Portrait of Ruin’s system is particularly smooth in execution.
  9. If you’ve yet to play a Castlevania game, I’d recommend Dawn of Sorrow over Portrait of Ruin because it’s a more appropriate entry into the series as future games will likely not feature the portraits.
  10. 90
    Easily one of the best handheld games of the year and quite possibly the best Castlevania portable title yet.
  11. 89
    Even though the sequel's doesn't offer as strong an original design as the initial DS game, it's still immensely fun with a lot of legs thanks to multiple endings, additional unlockable characters, and a focus on multiplayer that, while not as awesome as it could have been, is a really solid secondary mode.
  12. If the handheld Castlevania games are part of a long-running machine, it's well-oiled and in no danger of breaking down just yet.
  13. 100
    I'm simply astonished at the fact that Konami has created two of my favorite DS games in only a year apart from each other.
  14. Konami delivers once again another fantastic Castlevania game that will not only please fans of the DS, but Castlevania fans as well.
  15. A great example of what's possible on the DS, despite the fact that the game really doesn't go out of its way to utilize many of the DS' marquee technologies. The game is wonderful simply because it delivers a pure unadulterated classic Castlevania experience that looks great and plays like a dream.
  16. 90
    A game that not only reaffirms the series' greatness, but is easily once of the best handheld games released this year.
  17. While it doesn’t innovate that much, it adds just enough and gives you a more than satisfactory amount of new areas to explore to make it a worthy sequel.
  18. Portrait of Ruin provides a whole lot more of a very good thing, and Castlevania fans won't be disappointed with the results. [Jan. 2007, p.114]
  19. This has to be some of the most impressive enemies you'll ever see on the DS. [Feb 2007, p.70]
  20. A bold experiment; far from "Ruin," this Portrait is the Mona Lisa of Castlevanias. [Feb 2007, p.64]
  21. Predictably slick graphics, haunting tunes, challenging bosses, and pinpoint control once again make this a perfectly engrossing DS quest. [Jan. 2007, p.110]
  22. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin tosses out the clunky touchscreen functions of the previous title and replaces it with a new dual-hero gameplay element. In the end, the game is a worthy addition to the Castlevania lineage, if only the game lasted a little longer.
  23. Look up "video game" in the dictionary, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin should be pictured on the page.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Mar 6, 2012
    At a distance Portrait of Ruin smells good. But when you give it a bite it isn't really that tasty.

    The Good: Great replay value since it's a
    long-lasting adventure (with many unlockables to go for besides a whole bunch of items); amazing soundtrack, well worthy of the tradition of Castlevania's melodies; good animation, especially in Dual Crush moves and in some boss battles.

    The Bad: Replay value is all based on doing the same things over and over; stupid dialogue, and story/plot running faster than it should; stretched rooms just to make a bigger castle.

    This new installment in the Castlevania series has the right ingredients: two different characters to switch between or to play together, a huge map to explore, many--really, many--items to get, relics to collect, side quests to solve, skills to learn and master, a superb soundtrack, and good animation/voice acting. So, after all, what's wrong with PoR? The problem is that under all this stuff rests buried a lazy production.

    The main question is about the replay value. OK, it may last for weeks or months, but what for? By unlocking some features you can play with other characters and under new difficult levelsâ
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 4, 2011
    It's OK, but nothing special. Too short and kind of unimaginative. The story is incredibly boring and uninteresting, so it all comes down to the gameplay and level designs. They're OK but even after 10 hours I found myself thinking "OK, when is this going to get fun?" The dual character thing feels like a gimmick, I used Charlotte about three times and played as Jonathan the rest of the time. Full Review »
  3. TracyC.
    Mar 28, 2007
    I was a fan of the way old school Castlevania games and decided to pick this up for my DS. It lasted about 10 hours or less before I finally admitted to myself it was boring. I just did not enjoy it and it did not pull me in. Full Review »