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In this review of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, the reviewer writes:
The dramatic score is enough to send a chill up your spine, although the vocals are a little on the sparse side.
...okay, I'll agree that the score is dramatic and sometimes chilling, but...why was this reviewer expecting vocals? I mean, game soundtracks don't typically contain vocals (unless you count synth choir). Even if you're gonna say "but this is the mid-noughties and later; big-name games generally have songs", still, this is not the kind of huge-budget cinematic game where songs would fit, and besides, it's on a handheld system.
Plus, Oscar-bait songs are the realm of movies. Only one Castlevania game has ever had that and that's the legendary Symphony of the Night. And while that song was fitting and worked well, it wasn't far and away the best part of soundtrack.