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  • hello Internet users and welcome back to another video.

  • Once again, we're returning to Dracula's Castle in order to talk about another castle Vania Game.

  • This time the one will be looking at is the second of the D s titles.

  • Castle Vania.

  • Portrait of Ruin.

  • This one is a very interesting entry, every one of the metro in vain.

  • Ia's has their own little gimmick that you'll constantly be using as you explore in defeat enemies, for example, Circle of the Moon has the D.

  • S s cards and the sorrow Games have a collectible monster souls for a portrait of ruin.

  • The focus of the game play this time is that your plane with two characters instead of one each with their own set of strengths, abilities and even equipment.

  • The game also attempts to go for an entirely different approach to how you explore Dracula's castle, offering some very unique locations that you'd never see in any of the previous games.

  • To this day, Portrait of ruin is considered by many to not only be a pretty solid Castle Vania game, but also one of the best in this series.

  • So let's take a closer look and see just how it manages to make itself so fondly remembered.

  • The game begins with a brief intro establishing the setting.

  • The year is 1944 during the Second World War.

  • All the suffering and despair in the world has once again summon Dracula's castle back to the earth.

  • There are two people that have set out to defeat Dracula this time Ah, young man named Jonathan Morris and a young woman named Charlotte Allen.

  • Being a member of the Morris family, Jonathan is the current successor to the legendary whip the vampire killer.

  • However, it's quickly revealed that he is unable to make use of its power.

  • Despite this, though, he's very confident that he can still defeat Dracula.

  • Charlotte is the childhood friend of Jonathan that's here to assist him.

  • She also apparently has a reputation for being a powerful magician despite her age.

  • By the way, if it's not obvious by the year this game takes place.

  • Jonathan is actually the son of John Morris, one of the protagonists from Castle Vania bloodlines.

  • Although Bloodlines was a stage based castle Vania game with very little emphasis on story, Portrait of ruin is actually a follow up to the events of that game anyways, getting to the actual gameplay.

  • Like I said earlier, what sets Portrait of ruin apart from the rest of the hand held castle, Vania Sze is its focus on using two characters by pressing the X button while on the ground, the player can quickly swap between Jonathan and Charlotte.

  • Each of them have their own stats and play styles, but at all times both will share the same HP.

  • An MP Jonathan plays the most like a traditional Castle Vania protagonist.

  • His ability slots are similar to the usual set of sub weapons that have been seen throughout the serious, depending on what you have equipped, pressing up on why can have him throwing things like knives and axes.

  • And although his starting weapon is a whip like Soma code in the previous game, Jonathan can pick up and use several different weapons, like short swords, claymores and spears.

  • Charlotte is a character who was more centered around using magic.

  • She could only pick up a few different weapons in the game for her standard attacks.

  • All of these are magic books that have an interesting look to their animations.

  • When used for example, when she uses one of the tome of arms she'll attack by opening the book and having weapons shoot out of it.

  • These attacks aren't very good, though.

  • What you obviously would want to use the magic user for is her spells these air done by pressing up and why you can also hold down the input for her to charge, which will unleash a stronger version of the attack.

  • Throughout the castle, you confined quite a few different spells for her.

  • There is the standard stuff, like fire pillars of ice and gusts of wind.

  • But there are also ones that can temporarily buff certain stats, whether it's Jonathan or Charlotte, though most of their combat skills can be obtained as enemy drops.

  • This is essentially the same idea as Soma soul gameplay, except here it's a bit more limited with the types of abilities you can obtain.

  • Not only that, but not every single enemy is able to drop a skill or spell this time, either something else that you can also do while fighting is pressed the a button to some of the second character to attack with you while in this follow states.

  • If this character gets hit instead of losing HP, you'll lose MP instead.

  • If your MP gets entirely drained this way, then the character will be stunned and unable to help you for a moment by summoning the other character.

  • You can do a lot of extra damage, but if you're not careful, then you won't be able to keep throwing out your strongest attacks.

  • And Peter charges on its own over time.

  • But it's easy to quickly use it all up, even when you're not calling out the second character.

  • By the way, a little bit into the game, you'll unlock the ability to use the R button to call the other character in for an assist the pop in just for a second to use whatever ability has been set toe up and why.

  • However, you can't charge any of Charlotte spells when they're used this way.

  • And finally, by pressing up in X, both characters will unleash a full screen attack that does a huge amount of damage.

  • This action uses up a large amount of MP, and you can quickly tell if you have enough by checking to see if the meter is flashing.

  • You may have also noticed that some of these multi character mechanics were actually present in dawn of Sorrow and that game's Julius mood, you were switching between three different characters in a similar way.

  • The main difference, though, was that in that mode, all of the characters had their abilities unlocked from the start and couldn't have any equipment put on them as well.

  • In the main game, Soma would also eventually unlock the ability to use the X button to switch between two different sets of equipment on the fly.

  • It's very clear that they were using dawn of sorrow to experiment with a few things that were planned for Portrait of Ruin.

  • This isn't too surprising.

  • As the two games were released only about a year apart from each other and Don of sorrows, Julius Mode, the character switching also had a slight delay to it.

  • And because there were three characters and only one button for switching, it could be a little sluggish at times when you wanted to switch to a specific character, especially when you were in the middle of a fight in Portrait of Ruined, though it feels ah, whole lot smoother because you instantly switch when you hit the button, you don't feel like you're ever at risk of taking a hit, even when you switch right in front of an enemy's face.

  • I'd say that things worked out pretty well by first messing around with these ideas in the last game.

  • It allowed them to put a new spin on the bonus mode while also figuring out how to polish it up for the next release.

  • And in the case of the main game, if you didn't want to manage two cents of equipment, you simply just didn't have to.

  • It didn't feel intrusive because the gameplay wasn't centered around it.

  • It was just another option you could make use of.

  • Another quick thing I want to mention is that portrait of ruin also makes use of the consul's two screens the same as before.

  • On the top screen, you can view your map, and by pressing select, you can switch it to view your stats as well as info in the last enemy you fought, getting back to portion of ruins.

  • Story.

  • Shortly after Jonathan and Charlotte enter the castle, they come across the ghost of a mysterious man that calls himself wind Wind informs the duo that the castle is currently under the control of a vampire named Brauner.

  • We also get to learn that Jonathan hold some resentment for his father, who would apparently passed away before teaching Jonathan how to properly use the vampire killer in the room.

  • Beyond the ghost, the priest from the start of the game has set up a shop.

  • There's nothing too special about him.

  • It's just your standard shop where you can buy a few potions and equipment that you might want.

  • There was actually an online shop mode at one point, but I couldn't tell you much about it.

  • By the time I got to experience this game for the first time, all of the online features for D.

  • S and We games had already been shut down.

  • This little area of the castle functions as a small hub.

  • In addition to returning here to buy items, you can also speak to wind.

  • Who will give Jonathan and Charlotte different quest to complete.

  • I have to say that I have very mixed feelings about the quest systems that these games try to.

  • D'oh.

  • A lot of them can have you do some very random things, like speaking to when you're D s is set to 12 o'clock or coming to him when the last three digits of your money are 777 and then there's another one where he wants to speak to you when you have no money at all like these aren't even challenging.

  • They're just annoying to do some of the other.

  • Quest will also require you to farm specific enemy item drops, and odds are you're probably just going to have to look up online.

  • Which enemy has what you're looking for?

  • It could be very tedious, and the individual quest often don't feel worth it, especially the early ones, Honestly, and just about every play through I've ever done of this game, I just end up ignoring them.

  • There are some good rewards and benefits, though, like receiving a boost year maximum, hp, an MP and a decent weapon here in there.

  • But trust me, you can get through the game just fine by ignoring this entire mechanic as he progressed with the game, more quest become available, but only five of them are displayed at a time.

  • So if you want to access some of the later quest.

  • You have no choice but to get through some of the really bland ones.

  • Anyways.

  • After Jonathan and Charlotte meet Wind, the next thing they come across is a mysterious painting.

  • It's here that we get to see this game's other gimmick.

  • Broader is apparently using the power of several paintings to control Dracula's castle.

  • And in order for the duo to weaken him, they need to go inside of the paintings world and defeat the boss that lurks within.

  • I don't have a clever morning of 64 joke, but if I don't acknowledge that game in this video, I'll probably never hear the end of it.

  • So these paintings are actually a pretty neat concept for a Castle Vania game.

  • Just about every entry in the Siri's either takes place inside of Dracula's castle or a very similar castle.

  • I can imagine that after doing this so many times, they really wanted to come up with some kind of excuse to explore new areas that you would never see inside of a castle.

  • There are four main paintings in Portrait of Ruin, the 1st 1 you explores the city of Hayes.

  • This world is a Victorian town where the streets and shops are overrun with monsters.

  • Another painting is the Sandy Grave, which is an ancient Egyptian pyramid where you need to climb to the top to reach the boss.

  • Maybe that sounds a little out of place for Castle Vania, but they've always had mummies as bosses and normal enemies, So I don't think it's that much of a stretch.

  • The next painting is the nation of Fools.

  • This is a really weird one where the whole map is this ring, made up of destroyed buildings and parts of a circus.

  • There are also several enemies scattered around that are just casually defying gravity.

  • I feel like this entire world is meant to be some kind of reference, but I couldn't tell you what for.

  • The fourth painting is the Forest of Doom.

  • Well, it's called a forest, but in reality you're mainly just going through these buildings that appear to be some kind of school for witches.

  • These four areas all offer a good amount of visual variety, and they also sort of carry on the spirit of Castle Vania bloodlines.

  • In that game, Dracula's Castle was only the first stage every one of them after that was an entirely different location, like the lost city of Atlantis or the Palace of Versailles for portrait of ruin.

  • It seems like they wanted to recapture the idea of visiting unique places.

  • This time in a Metro and Vania style title.

  • However, there are some things about this that I have some issues with.

  • The first thing that I'd say I dislike is how they're on Lee connected to the castle by a single entrance when I was first getting into the Metro and Vania genre.

  • One of the things I really liked about their design is how you could discover different ways to access an area.

  • As you collected more abilities, you could explore further and sometimes come across a new section of a place you've previously been to in portrait of Ruin.

  • The painting worlds aren't exactly linear, but they are very straightforward.

  • Once you enter, it's not much of a hassle.

  • It all to reach the boss and going out of your way to explore doesn't feel nearly as rewarding as other Castle Vania games.

  • As someone that really enjoys checking out every inch of the map, I felt kind of disappointed by this choice because the Debs decided that there can only be the one exit within the paintings.

  • They really limited what the player confined by looking around.

  • They did bring back the potions that increase HP an MP, but it feels like most of those were hidden behind secret walls here, nine times out of 10.

  • If you decide to backtrack to the small paths you ignored earlier, you're just gonna find lots of weapons or equipment.

  • Maybe that doesn't sound so bad, but I found that most of the time the stuff you find is not nearly as good as the stuff you're already using.

  • This has always been a recurring gripe of mine in this series, but I think it's really highlighted in Portrait of Ruin, since there are two characters that have their own exclusive list of things they can equip.

  • I also think that Dracula's castle itself suffers a bit because of the paintings.

  • Naturally, because of how these worlds are implemented, this castle is much, much smaller than the Dracula's castle.

  • In other games, usually when you finish a painting, you'll gain a new ability that lets you go a bit further through the castle so you can reach the next one now.

  • It really pains me to say this because I love so much of the music that plays throughout it.

  • But unfortunately I don't.

  • I think the castle in this game is very interesting.

  • Don't get me wrong.

  • It's not bad by any means.

  • But all of it's areas feel very standard and don't have nearly as much imagination as what I'm used to seeing.

  • I get the impression that they were so satisfied with the concept of the paintings that they didn't think they needed to do as much with the castle this time around as well.

  • Like the paintings, the castle, while not exactly linear, is much more straightforward to get through.

  • There is an area early on called the Berry Chamber.

  • The first time you visit it, you can actually do everything there is to do here with your current abilities.

  • And then there is never any reason to return.

  • I always forget this part is even in the game, because they didn't even try to do much with it to clarify.

  • I'm not trying to say the design choice of the paintings makes the game bad, but for me, personally, it feels like they sacrificed too much in order to make it work.

  • Overall, it doesn't feel like you're encouraged to explore as much as you would in any of the other games, and that's a pretty big letdown for me.

  • As Jonathan and Charlotte continue to go through, the castle will come across a few antagonists.

  • The first, though meat, is these vampire sisters, Stella and Loretta.

  • They introduced themselves as Bronner's daughters and often show up to taunt the duo and occasionally fight Hm, another character, though Meat is deaf himself, Death was actually unaware that Brauner has control of the castle, and once he learns this, he sets out to defeat him is well.

  • He will also have to be battled as a boss later on.

  • Speaking of which, next, Let's talk about something that I think Portrait of ruin does very well.

  • The boss fights One thing that's always been consistently great about Castle Vania is its bosses.

  • This is where they go all out and throw their most creative and grotesque monsters at you.

  • You've got things like the doula Han, which can actually be fairly challenging for only being the first boss.

  • There's the behemoth what you first get to see when it chases you through the castle's entrance.

  • Another fun boss is this, which is cauldron.

  • It has this demonic looking slime pop out to attack the player.

  • A really nice touch.

  • Here is how, when you defeat it, the cauldron breaks apart and you can see what appears to be a, which is outfit on the ground, implying that this monster had devoured its creator before you arrived.

  • There is also a fight that really takes advantage of the two character mechanic at the top of the pyramid.

  • You have to fight a starting.

  • She's able to use an attack that charms Jonathan into fighting for her.

  • If he gets hit, however, she also has resistance to Charlotte's magic attacks.

  • So you have to be very careful here.

  • If you Russian is Jonathan the deal, the most damage you risk making the fight much harder on yourself.

  • Overall, I'd say that most of the boss fights here offer a good variety and a decent challenge.

  • It's definitely one of my favorite aspects of the game, and I call it a good step forward.

  • And by far the best part is that there is no magic seals at all.

  • If there was one thing I hated about dawn of sorrow, it was that unnecessary touch screen gimmick you were forced to use.

  • Thank goodness they wised up for this game and got rid of them all together anyways.

  • At some point during their adventure, Stella will appear this time wanting to fight Jonathan and Charlotte.

  • When she is defeated, she will drop something during her escape.

  • Ah, locket that shows a picture of the girls with wind confused, the pair return toe, wind toe learn.

  • The full story wind reveals that the Vampire Sisters are, in fact, his own daughters that have been cursed in taken by Broner.

  • Not only that, but he also reveals himself to be Eric Low card, one of the heroes from Castle Vania bloodlines.

  • He also explains to Jonathan the truth about his father's death.

  • Although related to the Belmont family, the Morris family are not truly meant to wield the vampire killer the same way they did.

  • Because of this.

  • John's use of the whip took its toll on his body, eventually killing him sometime after he and Eric defeated Dracula.

  • So John's reason for not teaching Jonathan how to use the whip was because he wanted him to have the skills to not have to rely on its power.

  • So, as you might have guessed, since Erik's daughters are being controlled by Brauner, then there must be something you can do to save them.

  • But before that, there was still a bit to go through and talk about in this game, Portrait of ruin is a game that gives you a lot of options for dealing with enemies with so many skills to collect and use.

  • You can mix up your strategies when using the two character mechanic.

  • Personally, though, I found that Jonathan is the character I'm always mainly using because the best thing Charlotte can uses her spells.

  • Most of the time.

  • I'm only calling in Charlotte for her assist attack.

  • Overall, Jonathan just has access to a way more things than Charlotte by the end of the game show only have a small list of books to equip, but Jonathan will have so many more weapons that it's not even funny.

  • Unfortunately, Charlotte is just not as good to use as the main character.

  • Her standard attacks only exists as a formality and to use her spells optimally, you'd have to play her a bit more slowly.

  • One thing I don't like about Jonathan, though, is a mechanic.

  • He has called a mastery.

  • All of Jonathan skills can actually be leveled up by constantly using them.

  • If a skill lands the finishing blow on an enemy, it will gain skill points.

  • When you max out the skill points of a technique, it will be considered mastered, and it will deal the maximum amount of extra damage Now, in theory, that doesn't sound so bad.

  • But in practice, it's not very fun to mess around with because you only get the skill points from the finishing blow.

  • It takes forever to grind for the little extra damage.

  • Boost it such a chore that it pretty much discourages you from messing around with multiple skills.

  • Odds are you're just going to pick one or two and use them throughout the whole play through.

  • Not only that, but the damage boost you'd get from the mastery hardly feels worth the time.

  • There is even an item you can buy that increases the amount of skill points you earn for mastery.

  • But even with that, it still feels like it takes an eternity to grind any of the worthwhile weapons.

  • I feel like they really could have handled this concept a little better.

  • In my opinion, there's only really two skills worth grinding at all.

  • The first is the dart, since it costs a little MP to use, and you can rapidly fire it by canceling with the back dash.

  • The second is the javelin skill on top of being a decent attack to use.

  • Eric also has a later quest that requires you to master the javelin.

  • Once done, he will give you his weapon, the Allah card spear.

  • And let me just say this thing is powerful.

  • Once I got it, it was my main weapon for