Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS): COMPLETED!


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

TA-DAAAH! Completed!

I gave up on the Nest of Evil thing, and went back to the game proper. Decided it was time to actually learn to use the Vampire Killer, so set about killing Richiter Belmont. Yes, really. Well, a “memory” of him anyway. Bizarrely, the weapon I killed him with, was the Cream Pie. It dealt a fair amount of damage, and could be thrown at such an angle so as to be just out of reach of his whip.

So he was killed, I had the Vampire Killer, and it was off to kill Dracula and Death. And then Dracula again. One attempt and I died, and then the next attempt – kill0red!

After the credits and all, I found I’d unlocked two more modes – Richiter Mode and Sisters Mode. The former is just Richiter (and Maria) with a cut-down weapon set and no items. Played that for a bit. Sisters Mode is Loretta and Stella, controlled with the d-pad, and they attack using the stylus. It’s totally bizarre. Played that for a bit too.

Then I played online in co-op mode, which is basically Boss Rush (of a sort). The guy I was randomly paired up with was crap though.

Then I went through Boss Rush course 1 in just under two minutes. Go me!

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

Again, the stats: 8 hours 34 minutes in, Level 39 reached, 895.5% explored. Good lord. Who’s betting it’ll be 1000% when all is done?

So I completed the final four paintings. Or at least, what I thought were the final four. The bosses today included Medusa (who was VERY easy, once I realised there was a place you could stand, from where you could slap her about, but not get hit by any of her attacks (well, you had to duck for one, but still). I also had Frankenstein’s Monster, and a Werewolf to kill, neither of which were especially difficult. Oh, and a mummy, who was easy too.

I’ve ditched the Nebula whip in favour of the Royal Sword I got for completing one of Wind’s quests. It’s a little slow, but does waaaaaay more damage than anything else I had at the time of getting it, and even now it’s still my most powerful weapon.

Anyway. After all the paintings were done, the big one they were “sealing” opened, and I went inside to kill Brauner. He was pretty simple once I realised his pattern, and also I found that I’d picked up a Meteor spell somewhere along the way which really helped too. With him dead, the doorway to Dracula was open. So you do have to kill Dracula in this game – it didn’t look like that was going to happen…

But I failed to do so. The reason? You don’t fight Dracula. You fight Dracula and Death. At the same time. Gah!

So I stopped all that and decided to go and do some more quests. Collected loads more items and spells and things along the way, and when I reached 888% explored I opened up a new area and a new painting – Nest of Evil. It’s Boss Rush mode, more or less! I gave it a go, and got through all the rooms of “normal” baddies, only to come across a baddie from Dawn of Sorrow who promptly killed me.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

I will start by pointing out my “stats” at the end of today’s play: 6-ish hours in, Level 30-ish ranked, and (wait for it…) 455% explored. Why bother with a percentage if you’re going to go over 100%? Eh? Anyway.

I finished my fourth painting, and then explored more of the castle. This involved back-tracking into other paintings for power-ups I may have missed (like the Toad Morph one), and then I made it up into the Clock Tower. Every Castlevania needs a Clock Tower!

There, as is usual, I met Death. And, as is also usual, he killed me. A lot.

Then I figured out his weakness (he has two forms – one is weak to magic, the other weak to physical attacks) and pattern, and so defeated him with relative ease. A short jaunt around a bit more of the top of the castle (returning to Vincent and Wind, and finding Vincent was turning into a vampire…), and I found Loretta and Stella. And I (after a couple of attempts) killed them. Oops.

It seems you’re not supposed to kill them. You’re supposed to cure them. With the “Sanctuary” spell that I didn’t have.

I decided to do some more quests for Wind instead, and in doing so, I found Sanctuary! This not only cured Vincent, but saved the twins too. Aces. They then opened up a new room, with five new paintings in. Apparently, I have to close the four smaller ones to open the last one.

Off I went into the “Dark Academy” painting, where I found an Owl Morph spell, and lots of big, difficult baddies. I think I may have to move past my Nebula whip (which has been great), as it just isn’t powerful enough any more.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

Sand painting boss found! It was some woman who, who had a strange attack – she throws hearts at you, and if you’re Jonathan, and they hit you, then she takes control of you and you control Charlotte. Jonathan then attacks you. Erk.

Luckily, I killed her without too many attempts, and then it was back to the Castle to rest up, and move onwards (and upwards). I found the next painting – Nations of Fools – which was set in a circus, although some of it was upside-down and sideways and all sorts.

The boss there was Legion, the giant ball of people with tentacles inside. He wasn’t too hard, but wasn’t anywhere near as easy as the kill-without-being-hit version in Harmony of Dissonance.

After that, I explored more of the castle and bumped into Stella, one of the twin vampire girls. She attacked me, but was pretty easy to defeat. I got a locket from her, which revealed the true identity of Wind – linking the game further to Castlevania: Bloodlines, which I haven’t completed yet. Confronting Wind explained some more backstory to what happened between Bloodlines and Portrait of Ruin, how the Morris family ended up with the Belmont’s Vampire Killer whip, and foreshadows an event due to happen in 1999. The same event Julius mentions in Aria of Sorrow that Konami haven’t turned into a game yet. I wish they would!

Finally (for now) I spent a while doing quests for Eri^H^H^HWind, gained a few new moves, and figured out how to mince the meat – you need to punch the animal corpses – Rocky style!

I’m just over two and a half hours in, on Level 21, and have uncovered uh, 344.5% of the map. And you thought the 198.8% of Harmony was extreme…

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

And into the next painting I went! One nice thing about the paintings is that it allows Castlevania-ing in locations not normally included in Castlevania. So there’s a bit less castle, and more, well – this painting is in Egypt, so it’s got sand. And sandworms! It adds a bit of variety to the proceedings, anyway.

So I’ve gone though loads of this Egyptian level, and not found a boss yet. I’ve found a few places I can’t yet reach (even though I now have the double-jump power-up), and I have a better whip, which means I’ve ditched the slow sword I was using. I bumped into Brauner and his twin daughters, but they don’t want to fight me, instead wanting to dispatch Death who I’d previously seen poking around.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

Wow. Just wow.

Yeah, so it doesn’t have the soul collecting of Dawn of Sorrow, and the tag-team system ranges from pointless to annoying, but how any reviewer can say this is anything less than fantastic is beyond me. It ticks all the boxes: save points and warps in sensible places, a shop to buy potions, a great (if confusing, currently) story, and excellent graphics and controls.

Today’s play took me back to the City painting, as Wind told me to “find the butcher in town and mince some meat”. So off I went, found the meat, slapped it about a bit, and erm, nothing happened. Tried all sorts of powers and skills and magic and weapons on it, and… nothing. Hmm.

Then I left the painting and went off exploring the castle. I found another painting (which I haven’t entered yet) and another boss (some green goo in a big pot) who was pretty easy to kill. Level 12 and 130% explored now!

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

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.

Contact (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

I found an archaeologist, and led him through the pyramid I could get further through than the other one (if you see what I mean). I then found a secret room, and in it, some panels on the floor – one for each attack type. I walked over them all, and the Striking one disappeared and boosted my stats, but I don’t know what to do with the other two.

I then left, and bumped up my cooking skills to level 23, and I can now cook Rotten Meat, and make Potions. Aces. Problem is, it’s actually easier to buy potions, and you’re hardly saving any money at all from making them yourself.

Then I bought some better weapons, and found a woman in a broken car, which I fixed by buying a spare part. To thank me, she took off her clothes and gave them to me. Then I went for a bath in an oasis with another semi naked woman. This game is wrong.

Eventually, I realised I couldn’t find anywhere else to go, and it seems I need a Monk Outfit from the Ruins to dig a hole somewhere. So off I sailed back to there, killed some of the people (to see what happens), and found a miner who took off his clothes. I then stole them. After that, I gave a girl some flowers, killed a child and an old woman (more wrongness), and set sail back to Aegis. Which takes Aegis. Oho.

Contact (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

Hmm. I seem to be a bit stuck. I’ve explored a load of Aegis, found two pyramids (one of which I can’t do anything in, and the other appears to finish as a dead end), and talked to lots of people, but I don’t know what to do now.

I bought some herbs, filled my bottles with water and tried using my recipe for potions. But it doesn’t work. So I thought I’d use my recipe for Thai curry instead (coconut and spices), but that also failed to work. Bah.

Contact (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

I thought the next boss was going to be Mint, and I certainly met her, but no. It turned out to be a big machine (controlled by a lab technician on the top screen) and a load of soldiers (which kept being “beamed in” by another lab technician). Both were overseen by a man in a hat.

And it was the most amazing boss fight ever. You have to kill all the soldiers before you can attack the machine, but they keep being beamed in by the bloke on the right. If you kill them, then the machine attacks you. Luckily, there are big channel + and – buttons, which control the giant TV set behind everyone on the top screen, and different channels distract different people. Like, the cute animal channel stops one of the technicians from doing his job.

This was fantastic, until I found a channel called (and I kid thee not) “The Pink”, which was full of semi-naked women wrestling, kickboxing, and posing. This distracted everyone, making the boss a complete walkover. Ace!

After that I worked my way back out of the complex, killed the pilots (and got a “Flyboy” suit), impressed a woman with my dragonfly, and then set sail for Aegis and the next Cell. Hurrahz.

Contact (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

Off I went to Ft. Eagle, where there was some sort of military base and loads of soldiers. And some Metal Gear references, not least with the killing of a snake.

And there’s a great bit where you overhear some pilots saying they spent the budget on a new runway and they don’t have any money left for planes, so they practise by running round pretending to be planes!

Killed lots of evil sheep, some snakes, some slime things, loads of soldiers, a clone snake, and then Lester (a boss of sorts, who I’d fought in the caves too), and now I have a load of cubes to get past and kill something else to get the cell. I think.

Contact (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

Finally managed to drag myself back to this game. I don’t know why it’s been so hard to do so, as it’s a great game, if a little hard. Having said that, the baddie that I thought was a boss due to his difficulty last time I fought him, fell to my club with ease this time. Sadly, the real boss (a huge crystal monster) was waaaay harder.

I had to level up my stats (you don’t level up yourself, as such) to do it, and arm myself with a bone rather than my club, but after about 6 tries, I managed it. Then I did a few side quests (finding a lost kid in the caves, and rescuing a man from his own store cupboard), and then did a bit of cooking. Now the route to the next island is open, so I should be off there next!

Contact (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

So I made a start on this today, and so far, I’m really liking it. I’ve done the ‘tutorial island’ section of the game, found some kind of water ninja suit for Terry (the main character) and levelled up a fair few times in most of my stats.

I’ve also been to the island where the (literally) naked chef is, got his clothes back from a monkey, and moved on to the island where the next power cell is. I’ve found it, but was killed by someone else who also wants it. Bah.

Elite Beat Agents (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

This is one of those games you can just go back to for a bit, then stop for a while, then have another go at and so on. With this in mind, I had a go at the three “open” levels in Hard mode.

And failed to complete any of them. I think I need more practice. Which completely negates the thing that I just said just now.

Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS)


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /homepages/38/d70479217/htdocs/lofi/wp-content/themes/kahuna/includes/loop.php on line 295

I forgot to play yesterday to see the “snow blizzard” that was promised, so I set the clock on my DS back a day and went to see.

It wasn’t very exciting. In fact, it wasn’t a blizzard at all – just a few flakes of snow, none of which settled. Went and had a chat with most of my animals (most of whom complained about the cold, or remarked about footprints in the – non-existent – snow). Nibbles is trying to move out. I’m past caring, to be honest.