Portrait of secrets - packed with spoilers

The most obvious bonus feature is the so-called "good" ending. Most games in the series feature a normal ending for those who just hack their way through. They usually result in someone dying or becoming possessed or disappointing you in some other way. On the flip side, dedicated gamers realize that somewhere late in the game is a decisive battle that can unfold in a different way, should you meet certain requirements. In Portrait's case, you need to beat vamp sisters Loretta and Stella by curing their undead status. Intrepid explorers will note the Sanctuary spell and its status-restoring powers. Use Taunt to keep the girls focused on Jonathan while Charlotte casts the slow-burning spell and pow, you've got two gussied up girls ready to lend a hand.

Your reward? A final showdown with the mad painter Brauner and eventually, a balls-out, simultaneous match against Death and Dracula.

Above: One of the best final battles in all of Castlevania

These two make regular appearances in pretty much all the Castlevanias, but this time they're not messing around. Either one is a handful, but together they're a fiery death-scythe nightmare. Loretta and Stella know how to unlock the true power of Jonathan's Vampire Killer whip, but even that legendary weapon can be trumped by more powerful accessories. Can you find them all and blast Drac back into the grave for another 100 years? If so, the good ending can be yours.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.