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Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin Image
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

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  • Summary: Take control of two heroes, Jonathan Morris, a vampire killer and his close friend Charlotte Orlean, a girl with tremendous magical ability. Amidst the chaos of World War II, two mysterious sisters emerge, working to resurrect Dracula and David and Charlotte are all that stand in their way.Take control of two heroes, Jonathan Morris, a vampire killer and his close friend Charlotte Orlean, a girl with tremendous magical ability. Amidst the chaos of World War II, two mysterious sisters emerge, working to resurrect Dracula and David and Charlotte are all that stand in their way. Two new playable characters, each with their own unique style of play and abilities. Strategically switch between characters in the heat of the action. Call on your partner and execute Summon Attacks to decimate your enemies. Collect items, weapons and magic as you explore the castle. Explore several environments new to the series, such as the Desert, abandoned cities and more. [Konami] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 90
    Easily one of the best handheld games of the year and quite possibly the best Castlevania portable title yet.
  4. 85
    As for the visual experience and the orchestral musical score, I have to say I'm impressed - more-so with the music than the graphics, though both are certainly impressive.
  5. Portrait of Ruin is a great game not because of what it does differently, but because it stays true to the familiar Castlevania design and delivers a fun, lengthy adventure.
  6. 80
    That attitude pervades Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: the idea that a definitely well-done safe idea is better than a possibly flawed risky idea, no matter what stagnation may follow.
  7. 60
    The core mechanics have barely changed since the days of Symphony of the Night and as we pointed out in no uncertain terms when we reviewed Dawn of Sorrow , the format is growing stale now.

See all 51 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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 includesI 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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  2. JakeS.
    Jan 2, 2007
    10
    Fantastic! I got bored with DoS, but I can't stop playing PoR. The dual characters are fantastic. Controls excellent. Story not Fantastic! I got bored with DoS, but I can't stop playing PoR. The dual characters are fantastic. Controls excellent. Story not invasive. Big, and well-done. Gameplay is fun. Expand
  3. MarkV.
    Mar 21, 2007
    10
    FANTASTIC! Despite being not quite as good as DoS, this is still one of the best games for the DS. If you own a DS and like 2D adventures or FANTASTIC! Despite being not quite as good as DoS, this is still one of the best games for the DS. If you own a DS and like 2D adventures or action RPGs, you MUST buy this game. Thank me later. Expand
  4. Mitch
    May 30, 2007
    9
    One of the best Castlevania games. A new level of perfection.
  5. Will
    Dec 18, 2006
    8
    The gameplay is excellent. But several aspects of the game seem a bit unpolished.
  6. 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 toIt'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. Collapse
  7. 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 aPortrait 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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See all 17 User Reviews