Dawn of Sorrow ditched the luscious Ayami Kojima in favor of standard anime stylings, which aggravated more than its share of fans. Portrait of Ruin plays the same card, although the artwork is significantly better. There's a lot of lighthearted humor that plays behind the story, which may dishearten fans that like their horror dark and only dark, but the fact that the writing isn't extremely embarrassing is already a step in the right direction for the series. The plot is actually pretty good, once you get into it, at least for a Castlevania game. It's interesting how much Johnny looks like the sprite of the hero apparently designed for the cancelled 32X game, at least with the red vest. The in-game graphics are about on par with Dawn of Sorrow, although there's a wider use of colors due to the wide variety of areas.