Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin DS

  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Dec 5, 2006
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 85
  2. Negative: 3 out of 85
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  1. NateB.
    Dec 11, 2006
    6
    An okay and challenging Castlevania that comes up short in a few really annoying ways. 1) the dual character mode isn't implimented nearly as well as it could've been. There's a very low rate of puzzles and abilities that utilize this new feature. 2) the quest mode can be really frustrating. Sometimes you'll need an item that you have previously sold and can't get An okay and challenging Castlevania that comes up short in a few really annoying ways. 1) the dual character mode isn't implimented nearly as well as it could've been. There's a very low rate of puzzles and abilities that utilize this new feature. 2) the quest mode can be really frustrating. Sometimes you'll need an item that you have previously sold and can't get back unless you know someone selling it on the WFC shop mode or start the game over. They should've made any quest releated items non-sellable, or allow you to complete the quest even if you do sell them. Also, you can take on 5 quests at a time max, so if you have that quest and can't complete it, you're just stuck and can't pick up any new ones. 3) Selling items is a huge pain, as you are forced to keep one item of everything to prevent the above mentioned quest problem. Even if you did want to sell a bunch of stuff, it doesn't remove your equiped gear from the "to sell" list, nor put an E or anything next to it, so you may accidently sell your equipment if you're not paying attention. 4) Way too many enemies (and bosses) are reused...again 5) The story is really comedy/anime driven and this proves to be a major distraction and seems very out of place given the timeframe of the game (WW2). 6) Promise of co-op play is only limited to boss rush mode. 7) 95% of the items and abilities are worthless or just clones of one another. 8) Re-used stages (or similar looking levels) within the game. You'd think the portraits would bring in some new variety, but the only really different type of level is the pyramid level. Most of the others just look like any other CV castle. While still playable and sometimes enjoyable, this game definitely is the worse CV title since Harmony of Dissonance. Some of the levels and all the new enemies are cool, and so is the dual character mode. But for the above mentioned reasons this game fails to live up to Castlevania's previous body of work. The biggest improvement in this game, though, is it's back to the Circle of the Moon difficulty level. Expand
  2. TracyC.
    Mar 28, 2007
    6
    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.
  3. Oct 4, 2011
    6
    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.
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    5
    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:
    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
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  5. May 7, 2013
    5
    Portrait of ruin is a tonka truck wishing it were a big-rig. It looks, smells, and acts like Castlevania, but at the core it's simply a watered down adventure game derived from more successful ventures of the same franchise. The anime art direction undermines the serious Gothic overtones that should prevail in any Castlevania entry. The characters are surface level and cliche. There isPortrait of ruin is a tonka truck wishing it were a big-rig. It looks, smells, and acts like Castlevania, but at the core it's simply a watered down adventure game derived from more successful ventures of the same franchise. The anime art direction undermines the serious Gothic overtones that should prevail in any Castlevania entry. The characters are surface level and cliche. There is little to no innovation, nor are there any clever game play elements.

    Portrait is frustrating. Not in the sense of difficulty, or boss fights (both can be solved by simply gaining a few levels and trying again not much skill required there), but in that you find yourself meandering around lazy copy-and-paste environments filled with cheap challenges looking for the end of the dungeon so you can move on. Then, the game has the audacity to send you back through those levels on fetch quests for a fat, bald priest and a ghost with too much fashion sense.

    The game's redeeming factor, the boss encounters, save it from a score in the red, but it's not enough for me to recommend this title over others for the DS. The story is lame. The levels are lame. The action is decent. But then again, you can get incredible action, story, and levels with Order of Ecclesia, so go buy that instead.
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  6. AndrewG.
    Apr 2, 2007
    7
    I have never played a Castlevania game before, so I was pretty excited to play this. Honestly though, it's not really that fun. Perhaps I'm just not a faction of the action genre (i.e. I hated the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game on the Wii, etc.). I think POR would have been much much better if a coop option was available in the story mode. I also would have liked it better if the I have never played a Castlevania game before, so I was pretty excited to play this. Honestly though, it's not really that fun. Perhaps I'm just not a faction of the action genre (i.e. I hated the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game on the Wii, etc.). I think POR would have been much much better if a coop option was available in the story mode. I also would have liked it better if the ending for the normal mode weren't so lame. I played through one of the extras as well, and it wasn't really worth it (and still didn't explain more of the story). The other problem I had was with the difficulty level. Normal is way too easy, and Hard is a little too hard for me. Even so, I did complete the game (twice, if you count one of the extra modes), and there's a strangely addictive quality to it. Recommended for fans of the action genre. Expand

Awards & Rankings

#14 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#5 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. A game that stays true to the Castlevania series. [JPN Import]
  2. Nintendo Power
    90
    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]
  3. 90
    A game that not only reaffirms the series' greatness, but is easily once of the best handheld games released this year.