Reviews and Problems with Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
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Realm of Gaming
16 October 2013
Excerpt: By the time Konami released Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin , they had just about run the 'Metroidvania' concept into the ground. Regardless, they decided to release yet another such game, and logically it should have been a complete flub. Somehow, though, Portrait of Ruin manages to work, mostly because it slightly strays from the formula utilized by its antecedents.
Conclusion: I’d almost rather fly solo in some areas, but that’s as much nostalgia as objective criticism. It’s the anime style of the game, too, that will serve as a nice change to some, an unfortunate dilution to the classically Gothic Castlevania spirit to others. I started to warm up to the brighter tones as the game went forth, and in the end, kind of appreciated the change. You can’t fault the grand style the artists have painted into the lovely 2D aesthetic.
Excerpt: I'll start this review by getting right to the point. If you have played any of Konami's GBA or DS Castlevania games, you'll be playing them again with Portrait of Ruin. That means if you haven't liked any of the previous "Metroidvania" games, no need to read further. For the rest of you who are either fans of the style of gameplay or at least find you can enjoy them somewhat, read on.
Excerpt: Although some would argue that Castlevania III deserves the spot, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will forever hold a place as one of the Castlevania series' best entries. Since then, Konami has stuck with the open-ended Metroid formula and been successful with it. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is the series' second outing on the DS and, while it does come up short in a few areas and is really more of the same, it is still a fun adventure worthy of the Castlevania...
Summary: Like I said before, this game is a shining example of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This is what the game is. It's Dawn of Sorrows with a few additives. It doesn’t do much to progress the evolution of the series, but it doesn’t take a step backwards by any means. After two decades they've still got it. Next time, though, we want to see what else they can do. Because if the next installment is just Portrait of Ruin with some minor fixes, then it'll be a bad thing.
Conclusion: The well-implemented dual character setup, semi return to the level-based progression of the classic Castlevania titles, and the return of music and sprites from 20 years of Castlevania history as well as a direct connection to a little-known post Castlevania title make Portrait of Ruin a great way to celebrate an anniversary for a game.