• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Dec 5, 2006
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 72
  2. Negative: 3 out of 72

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  1. Jan 22, 2015
    10
    Castlevania Portrait of Ruin in my Opinion is the best Metroidvania I've ever played. First off the music is some of the best in the entire series with fantastic remixes of songs like Cross your Heart(known as crucifix held close in the game), Iron Blue intention and Simon's Theme. They also have great original pieces like Invitation of a Crazed moon, Gaze up at the Darkness, The HiddenCastlevania Portrait of Ruin in my Opinion is the best Metroidvania I've ever played. First off the music is some of the best in the entire series with fantastic remixes of songs like Cross your Heart(known as crucifix held close in the game), Iron Blue intention and Simon's Theme. They also have great original pieces like Invitation of a Crazed moon, Gaze up at the Darkness, The Hidden Curse, and Jail of jewles. Even though this is not my favorite Castlevania soundtrack its pretty up there.

    Now that I've established the soundtrack but now let's dive into the gameplay. Now since this is a Metroidvania so there is a lot of familiar territory but there are some welcome changes . First off Side quests, for the first time ever you can undertake special tasks in different areas of Portrait of Ruin to get a stat boost, money, a new and powerful item or weapon ETC.. These range from punching butcher's meat, to entering button combos, or mastering a skill. Each new quest has a different fun and uniqe maybe a little difficult task. Unlike Order of Ecclesia most of these tasks are not endless Grind-fests and boring fetch quests and they feel more rewarding as you go on completing them. Now the core gameplay of explore the castle kill enemies collect relics, armor , weapons and leveling up hasn't changed much. Except now you have two chracters to play as that you can switch freely between them at anytime. They each have their own weapons armor and accseories. You can also obtain crush attacks that sap your mp like nothing else but they deal a lot of damage. All these things accounted for this game is actually not very easy especially towards the end. Thankfully unlike games like Harmony of Dissonnance and SOTH this game does get harder and thats a good thing.

    Overall after you beat the game you unlock 2 other sets of chracters a hard mode with 3 sub difficulties and a boss-rush mode. SO all in all for what ever you can find this game at its a really good deal. I will say there is a boss later on that will make you ooze with nostalgia if your a long running fan and its one tough cookie so be ready. But besides that Portrait of ruin is filled with content with 10 maps to cover, a boss rush mode, a total of 5 difficulties, and 3 sets of chracters to play as your gonna be here for a while.
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  2. Aug 21, 2014
    10
    I believe in all rights this is one of the best Castlevania I've ever played, and I've played just about every one of them. (This includes Castlevania 64.) As far as the level designs go it's pretty much Castlevania. Some areas with tons of floating platforms and a segment that always has giant turning cogs. This of course isn't a problem as it just feels like a Castlevania. (Much unlikeI believe in all rights this is one of the best Castlevania I've ever played, and I've played just about every one of them. (This includes Castlevania 64.) As far as the level designs go it's pretty much Castlevania. Some areas with tons of floating platforms and a segment that always has giant turning cogs. This of course isn't a problem as it just feels like a Castlevania. (Much unlike Lord of Shadows which feels like a God of War wanna-be.)

    The two main roles of the game, Jonathan and Charlotte are both interesting characters who play off of one another. Like Charlotte's way of playfully nagging at Jonathan or his insecurity that she helps him with. Charlotte has an adorable way to point out his flaws, and he has an adorable way to point out the horribly obvious. I believe that these two characters are better fleshed out then most Castlevania characters who just kind of waltz around and smack things with a whip in a silent stupor.

    As far as the story goes it breaks away from the generic Castlevania storyline which is nice to see. The main protagonist for the longest duration of the game (Brauner) has entirely different goals then most other enemies. (Who are not Dracula.) Of course for the sake of not spoiling anything I'll refrain from going any further. It was just nice and refreshing to see a new idea for Castlevania instead of some cult raising Dracula. Or some cultist priest raising Dracula. Or some other cult derived from the past cult of cultists who worship a cult of resurrecting Dracula. (See the pattern?) Pretty much...there is no cult.

    Then we boil it all down to the gameplay. Switching between Charlotte and Jonathan is a nice addition. Charlotte's spells make grinding for items much quicker, and everyone who's played Castlevania will be grinding for items. As for Jonathan he's the man you use for the boards you'll be traveling to. Then you switch back to Charlotte to annihilate the bosses. All in all, it's not a gimmick but a new way to play your Castlevania. In the end...the gameplay is pretty much Castlevania. Before it got bad of course. (Insert lame God of War wanna-be title here with giant roided out meathead as the protagonist.)

    So, with that said...if you like Castlevania, if you like interesting plots, if you like engaging characters, and if you like that good old Castlevania soundtrack then this is the game for you. If you own a DS you should definitely get this title. Also, I forgot to mention but the sprites look very nice as well. Pretty game for the DS.

    If you like mashing the square button a hundred times without having to worry about dying...then I feel for you.
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  3. 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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  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. 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.
  6. Mar 6, 2012
    0
    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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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. 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.