Videogames-To-Flix #29

VIDEOGAMES-TO-FLIX is a JoBlo.com column showcasing reviews of videogame translations of Hollywood films (or games soon-to-become Hollywood movies). With both industries getting closer and closer, and videogames, in general, getting so much more popular, you knew it was just a matter of time before we hit that stuff!



Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Systems: Nintendo DS


The traditional genre of action games hasn't been the central selling point of the Nintendo DS; instead, innovative gameplay has been the primary use of the dual screened system. Luckily for us, Konami has released its second CASTLEVANIA title for the Nintendo DS. CASTLEVANIA: PORTRAIT OF RUIN is a blockbuster title for a blockbuster series of games. This action-intensive title fills the action game void on the DS quite well, so fans of the original CASTLEVANIA should stick around.

CASTLEVANIA: PORTRAIT OF RUIN takes place during World War II and follows the adventures of Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin. These two characters work together to battle hordes of undead and a plethora of bosses as they attempt to save the world from an evil vampire, Brauner. Players will spend hours leveling their characters, gathering equipment, and casting magic spells before their ultimate showdown with Brauner.


The side-scrolling gameplay style of the original CASTLEVANIA is one of the most beloved systems ever developed, alongside SUPER MARIO BROS., THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, and SONIC THE HEDGEHOG in the theoretical Gameplay Hall of Fame. Therefore, the gameplay for CASTLEVANIA: PORTRAIT OF RUIN has an incredibly high bar to aspire. Never fear, because this game not only accomplishes this feat, it evolves and expands it in every possible way.

CASTLEVANIA: PORTRAIT OF RUIN is a co-op game that does not require a partner. The two characters are interchangeable throughout the game and can be used together or independently. In some situations Jonathan's offensive strengths better serve the player, while, in other situations, Charlotte's magical abilities are the only efficient way to kill a boss. The game doesn't always present you with a simple answer and the challenge of this title is to plug away with a preponderance of gameplay theories. Much like the original CASTLEVANIA, you won't be winning this game on the first run through.

Like many of other old school titles from yesteryear, enemies spawn repetitively. While this gameplay design can sometimes feel cheap and uncreative in a 3D shooter, I found no problem with it in this title. Part of the charm of this game is revisiting a design from 20 years ago, but without any of the glitches or failings of its predecessors.

Gameplay: 9.6/10


While 3D graphics are quite a sight in PS3 and XBOX 360 games, the Nintendo DS cannot compete in this realm. Fortunately, the system delivers 2D characters and levels vibrantly and with beauty. Character design shows a lot of love and thought, while backgrounds have incredible depth and support the experience to the fullest. The graphics of this title rival the best this system has seen and are easily on the same level as NEW SUPER MARIO BROS.

The gameplay graphics are supported by anime created exclusively for this title. This added touch adds volumes of detail to the 2D character models, applying facial expressions and clothing detail. Any compression or pixelation was nonexistent and the anime was presented uninterrupted.

Graphics: 8.9/10


The majority of sound in CASTLEVANIA: PORTRAIT OF RUIN is score and sound effects. Levels vary in their specific score but consistently share a repetitive theme. Like many old school titles the songs just loop onto themselves and, fortunately, never grow tiring or irritate.

Sound effects are simple and straightforward, matching the proper sound to the action. Whips crack, axes chop, and crashing things rumble. Included in the effects are various character vocalizations that neither add nor take away. The sound in the cut scenes are not extensive but still strong enough to support this game's mostly text-based storytelling.

Audio: 7.7/10


CASTLEVANIA: PORTRAIT OF RUIN is my first new experience with a CASTLEVANIA since the NES. I am impressed by the series longevity and ability to remain fresh in the midst of other poorly maintained franchises (*ahem* SONIC THE HEDGEHOG). This game is a fantastic game on its own and an even better contribution to the CASTLEVANIA series. I can't wait to play the previous title for the Nintendo DS, CASTLEVANIA: DAWN OF SORROW.

Final Verdict: 8.9/10


It was recently announced through Variety that CASTLEVANIA will be coming to the screen some time in the future. Paul WS Anderson is attached to direct, but it is unknown if this is his next project. Check out the story we ran just recently...

Castlevania the movie





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