Thursday, December 07, 2006

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

I picked up Portrait of Ruin yesterday with my box of preorder goodies which included an artbook, a Castlevania stylus made by Hori, aPortrait of Ruin poster/Castlevania timeline, a soundtrack cd, Castlevania 2-game DS game case. I've played the game for roughly two hours so far and it seems pretty sweet. I was a bit worried that the changes they'd made would be too weird or gimmicky but, fortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case. I was concerned namely with the two characters at a time mechanic, but luckily the developers haven't made playing with both dudes out simultaneously mandatory. You can have one character followed your main one around (a la Ninja Gaiden II shadow guys, though they don't mimic your main character's actions) or you can simply leave the other character out all together and by clicking 'R' have them pop in for a sec to use their special move, which I prefer.
The game seems a tad on the easy side at first (the non-boss regular baddies are pushovers initially) although the first main enemy managed to kill me a few times, he deals a fair amount of damage. I'm now in the second painting and things have grown considerably more difficult, some of the little baddies can piss you off and really eat away at your health, challenge is good. I was trying to just use whips at first (because I greatly prefer the distance and 'feel' of it) but now that I'm in the second area I'm finding I have to use the more powerful weapons, spears and such, just to keep up. For example, the little burning skeletal ghosts (simply called 'ghosts' in game) take three hits with the whip, that's crazy. Tthe second boss, some sort of Egyptian Queen or something, is pretty hard too. She has handed me my ass a few times already...

The soundtrack cd? Yeah, it rocks. I'm listening to it now. Basically the CD has a few tracks from pretty much every Castlevania game from the last 20 years. Plenty of good tracks. The artbook is small but has all of my favourite CV art in it (namely all of the Symphony of the Night style stuff).

So, the game's good people, check it out. Plus it's 39.99 as opposed to Dawn of Sorrow's unbudging 49.99.


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