Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin - multiplayer hands-on

While battling away the hordes of the undead, we did get an eyeful of the unsettling environments John and Charlotte have to run through. The most bizarre was easily the Nation of Fools, a gravity-defying building that had monsters crawling along the walls and obese clowns exploding into red goo. Time seemed to be still here, with pieces of debris floating in the air around crumbling buildings. All this while some kind of creepy circus/marching band music plays.

It was also revealed that each enemy in the game has a set of elemental attributes that make it weak or strong against certain attacks. Charlotte's magic spells tear monster up pretty bad, but against a witch, they're next to useless. John's many material weapons (whips, spears and all the goods you'd expect from the series), on the other hand, rip up those broom-riding cretins rather easily.

With two distinct character types and a proven gameplay formula, Portrait of Ruin looks to be every bit as addicting as the games before it. We're often hard on games that do more of the same, but as one of the last untouchable 2D franchises, we're willing to give Castlevania some breathing room for keeping the faith alive.