|Review by WhiteX|
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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.
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 whores 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.
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
A sure purchase, a beautiful and solid game with some annoyances as all games have.