Just in the nick of time! With my handheld versions of Castlevania having run out yesterday, Play Asia delivered Portrait of Ruin today. Phew, eh?
And… is it any good? Of course it is! It’s ACES!
The first thing to hit me was the graphics. Not the character graphics, as although they’re good – they’re nothing special, but the backgrounds. Several layers deep with detailed parallax. 3D objects in the distance (like a big abbey thing which you see ‘around’ as you walk past). Of course, Dawn of Sorrow had much of this, but having spent the last few weeks with the GB and GBA Castlevania titles, it’s enough to blow you away. There’s also some nice use of 3D on some of the enemies – the Peeping Eye, for example, is fully 3D and swoops and rotates and flicks its tail at you. Lovely.
So progress, then. I’ve found Wind, entered my first painting, found the boss therein (a headless suit of armour and a flying separate head) which was really very hard until I discovered (a) the pattern, and (b) a tag-team giant lightning cross “smart-bomb” type move. Yes, I said tag-team: you control two characters – Jonathan Morris and, um, a girl whose name I’ve forgotten. You switch between them by pressing a button, and can operate both characters at one for pushing things and pulling levers and using each other as a boost up. Anyway, I’m digressing.
I killed the armour boss, and “finished” the painting. I then moved on through the main castle itself, and found another boss (who is a creature that chased me at the start of the game). It was pretty easy, actually. I’m now in a new part of the castle, and I’m looking for another painting. I’m about one hour 20 minutes in, and have explored 112%-ish of the castle. Yes. 112% and I’ve only done two bosses. Hmm.