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  1. #1
    Moderator WhiteX's Avatar
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    NDS: Castlevania - Portrait of Ruin

    Castlevania - Portrait of ruin

    CV-Por is the secong CV game to appear on the DS, as the others portable CV games post Symphony of the night, it is a "Castleroid" or "Metroidvania", where you are lost inside the castle finding powerups that allow you to acess more areas to it, but this one has a little tweak to that formula, also particular to this game is that this is the celebration for 20 years of Dracula getting his undead arse whiplashed.

    Presentation/graphics 10

    It is a 2d action adventure game, no 3d movement and no railed 3d, but we do have very cool and very present spriting techniques, several special effects and 3d entities blended to the 2d characters and BGs, even some enemies are 3d, all of this with no sense of displacement, it is a very nice achievement for a portable game and a slap in the face of the 3d graphic *****s out there.



    As far as presentation goes, the game is superb, all backgrounds are beautifully crafted, all characters are amazingly drawn, all enemies die in a different way, CV-Por is indeed a rest to sore eyes.

    Music/sound effects 9


    Once again a beautiful soundtrack to a CV game, all songs are gorgeus, mood setting and creepy to its own right.

    Sound effects are very nice, with monsters screaming, dubbing for the magics and weapon clashes with just the right power.

    Gameplay 8

    It is WW2 and a new vampire is out to take on humans using Dracula´s castle, he is Brauner and with the help of his daughters he is there to your demise, so using both vampire hunter Jonathan Morris and Spell Caster Charlotte Aulin, you´re all about the Allied Assault, on the vampires i mean.

    You go about the game changing characters, using them both, solving puzzles, jumping on each others heads and so on, this mechanic works all right but the main issue with that to me is that you do most of those things after acquiring power ups that enable you to do them and, for the sake of getting the most of said mechanic early in the game, you end up getting most of the power up relics very early in the game, making the trip to the castle short and kinda easy but in order to increase the castles size, you go inside paintings made by Brauner that lead you to another locations with their own maps, those maps are short compared to Dracula´s Castle but make some length to the exploration.

    A point to be noticed though is, same as any RPG or RPG related game, that you collect a great deal of items, weapons and so on and it is only natural to sell these items on the game´s shop if you´re on a budget to get some potions, but beware, the game has a number of sidequests and some of them require some items to be presented the fact is that you don´t know what items are these before the related quest is opened but you may very well have the item and sold it already by the time it opens, the shopkeeper do not sell it back to you so the only way to reacquire it is by going to shop mode online, i found it unforgiving and plain dumb for a game that is not even all that hard to finish.

    Aside from those points, the game is funny and fast paced, all you want from a good action game.


    DS factor 3

    you play on the lower screen with some gimmicks to it but nothing mandatory, WiFI is used for shop mode and co-op, no mic usage.

    Learning curve 8

    you will play very well if you played any videogame in the last ten years, 15 min to tame.

    Lasting appeal/game modes 6

    It is very short if you want it to be but you can make it twice the size by unlocking the "good" ending and kinda lasting if you want all 1000% the game has to offer, online is nice too, although i haven´t seen many ppl playing it yet

    Final considerations

    A sure purchase, a beautiful and solid game with some annoyances as all games have.



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    Last edited by WhiteX; January 17th, 2007 at 04:17.



  2. #2
    ????????????????????????? Doomulation's Avatar
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    I cannot say I agree with you on this one...
    For graphics, I found the 3D annoying. The 2D was good, of course, ala Dawn of Sorrow. However, the typical blur effect that trails the character in Dawn of Sorrow was a nice effect, which has been removed in Portrait of Ruin. Even the 3D backgrounds are annoying.
    Music is good, though not as good as Dawn of Sorrow. Sound effects are terrible compared to Dawn of Sorrow. Not only is the game dubbed, which Dawn of Sorrow and previous castlevania games (well, at least Aria of Sorrow) wasn't. Thankfully, the original japanese effects are still in place, and you CAN access them. Still, the effects are NOT as good as in Dawn of Sorrow where you could hear typical Japanese sound effects.
    Gameplay was a failure too. You play using two characters, as mentioned and switch as you see fit. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Jonathan is your typical Castlevania hero, who can wield all sorts of weapon and sub weapons. High defence and high attack. Slow MP regeneration. Charlotte is a spell caster, which means low attack and low defence, but high MP regeneration. You can also play as one character and summon the other as your partner. However, the AI is very lacking (big surprise), and when your partner gets hit, you lose MP. Still, this system allows you to play with different styles. You can also use Combo attacks, which uses a lot of MP, and both partners attack for massive damage to enemies.
    It's really a shame that you can sell quest items. If you do, then you're pretty much screwed and can't complete some quests. And the game never tells you what items are important.
    As all Castlevania games, this game is very hard. Even more than previous games I think... Every boss will be a chore, even with lots of Potions. Try beating them without potions! Though some bosses are very easy to defeat using combo attacks. Kinda of cheating... And believe me - the last boss for "good" ending isn't easy. I haven't beaten it yet!
    And getting all relics at the beginning of the game just isn't fun at all... Furthermore, Dracula's castle is very small compared to previous games all thanks to the stupid paintings. I hate that. It's more fun to explore Dracula's castle than other world paintings. Due to the few moves available, you can pretty much go anywhere and take any path any time you want - NOT Castlevania style!

    What's with an online shop and beat bosses with multiplayer? It would be nice to be able to play 2 players in the normal game, since there are two characters, but that's not possible... Disappointing.

    I suggest picking up Dawn of Sorrow instead of this one...
    Atashi wa juu-yon-sai no onna no ko! Atashi no namae wa Miizuki. Yurushiku ne!
    Nani? Atashi o shinjirimasen desu ka? Baka!
    "You're all doomed! Doomed, I say! Hehe... are we approaching the end of the world?"

    shikata ga kaite aru - "the instructions are written above"
    Need to download GoodN64 or instructions to use it? Need to check if it's a good or bad rom?
    Download: Glide64 | Hacktarux's wrapper

  3. #3
    Moderator WhiteX's Avatar
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    As all Castlevania games, this game is very hard. Even more than previous games I think... Every boss will be a chore, even with lots of Potions. Try beating them without potions! Though some bosses are very easy to defeat using combo attacks. Kinda of cheating... And believe me - the last boss for "good" ending isn't easy. I haven't beaten it yet!
    Wuss!

    The input is nice and disagreeing is a natural part of the intelectual process, thank you.

    Note to self:
    Lock the thread after posting the review...



  4. #4
    ????????????????????????? Doomulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteX View Post
    Wuss!
    Aw, come on, I beat every other incredibly hard boss without potions. I think that deserves something

    Note to self:
    Lock the thread after posting the review...
    And you failed to mention the difficulty and other... missing factors, so that would be a mistake
    Atashi wa juu-yon-sai no onna no ko! Atashi no namae wa Miizuki. Yurushiku ne!
    Nani? Atashi o shinjirimasen desu ka? Baka!
    "You're all doomed! Doomed, I say! Hehe... are we approaching the end of the world?"

    shikata ga kaite aru - "the instructions are written above"
    Need to download GoodN64 or instructions to use it? Need to check if it's a good or bad rom?
    Download: Glide64 | Hacktarux's wrapper

  5. #5
    Moderator WhiteX's Avatar
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    Just kidding my man, i love the inputs.

    What i missed was to relate this game to the previous and i think this game can be good on its own right, not the comparison with Dawn of Sorrow, i did say smth about difficulty, i thought it to be easy.

    making the trip to the castle short and kinda easy
    But never refrain from disagreeing and inputting your thoughtd on my reviews, it give more to it and enrich the readers experience.



  6. #6
    ????????????????????????? Doomulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteX View Post
    i did say smth about difficulty, i thought it to be easy.
    For you maybe. But for others? I don't think it is. Maybe you should put a note that the game is not for the faint who give up easily. Heck, I had tremendous problems even with the first boss until I learned its patterns.
    Atashi wa juu-yon-sai no onna no ko! Atashi no namae wa Miizuki. Yurushiku ne!
    Nani? Atashi o shinjirimasen desu ka? Baka!
    "You're all doomed! Doomed, I say! Hehe... are we approaching the end of the world?"

    shikata ga kaite aru - "the instructions are written above"
    Need to download GoodN64 or instructions to use it? Need to check if it's a good or bad rom?
    Download: Glide64 | Hacktarux's wrapper

  7. #7
    Moderator WhiteX's Avatar
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    the game is not for the faint who give up easily
    [rant]The problem with games today is that no one tries to challenge you anymore nor does gamers like to be challenged[/rant]



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