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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

18 June 2019
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506 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#1,030 All-time
#38 for 2019
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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Nintendo Switch
This game is fantastic. An amazing return to the SOTN style Castlevania games. Tons to explore, extremely fun. I love dressing up the main character with stupid hats. This game is great!

However, I am reviewing the Nintendo Switch version, and my god, what a messy port. While it has been getting consistent updates to help it run better, it's still a pretty muddy looking version. There's still a ton of lag, like that spiral tower section still plays at half speed. Wish this version would've met the standards of how great this game is.
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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was never supposed to be groundbreaking. Like its 8-bit predecessor Curse of the Moon, its appeal was to bank on the whims of people who yearned for the bygone Castlevania franchise that Konami had forsaken and reap the benefits of nostalgia. This time, Bloodstained would be attempting to replicate the magic of Symphony of the Night, the seminal Castlevania title that ushered in a new era for the franchise and instituted the Metroidvania subgenre along with Super Metroid. Even with the countless Metroidvania Castlevanias that spawned from Symphony of the Night, none of them captured that game’s imposing spectacle. Hence, this creates an impetus for a spiritual successor like Ritual of the Night. However, we can’t expect eighth-generation audiences to be wowed by the same feats of excellence that marked the fifth-generation. Gaming is a burgeoning industry whose trends and technology change and adapt as quickly as those of the fashion world. Considering all of this, why did director Koji Igarashi uphold Ritual of the Night as the second coming of Christ? I love Symphony of the Night, but treating it as a deified figure seems absurdly hyperbolic. Ritual of the Night’s preemptive press is somewhat indicative of Igarashi’s former rockstar status at Konami, touting his brilliance to reform his former glory. However, monumental hype for any release mixed with the ego of its creative director always results in a gigantic, disappointing flop. Just ask John Romero. The reason why Curse of the Moon exists is because Igarashi was worried that fans would be so excited for Ritual of the Night that they would start foaming at the mouths with rabid anticipation if they weren’t given any material to hold them over in the meantime. We were led to believe that Ritual of the Night would not only fulfill our expectations as a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night, but transcend its source entirely.

I was a bit skeptical of how Ritual of the Night was going to compare with Symphony of the Night, much less overthrow it. How is Ritual of the Night to surpass its source when so much of its foundation was shamelessly copied from it? Using Ritual of the Night as the title of Symphony of the Night’s successor already signifies a sense of familiarity, as if the word “Symphony” was crossed out with “Ritual” written underneath to fool us. None of us Castlevania fans minded that Ritual of the Night was a shameless clone of Symphony of the Night because we like Symphony of the Night. However, it’s not as if us fans don’t have access to Symphony of the Night, either the original of the bevy of modern consoles it’s been ported to. That, and Symphony of the Night has aged as well as a fine cabernet sauvignon, except for the sparse instances of questionable voice acting. Igarashi had plenty to cash on by putting his name on a new project that sparked a sense of conventionality, but Ritual of the Night’s existence didn’t seem to have any merit on an artistic scale. Taking the template of a flawed, rudimentary game on the NES and treating it with the sheen of modernity with Curse of the Moon was easy, but Symphony of the Night did not need a thorough refurbishment. However, with over two decades of hindsight since the release of Symphony of the Night, perhaps it’s best to give Ritual of the Night the benefit of the doubt.

A simple way to give Ritual of the Night some discernibility is a graphical rehaul. In this context, one couldn’t enhance the already spectacularly crisp pixel-art of Symphony of the Night, and copying it would prove to be too uncanny for comfort. Instead, Ritual adopts a rounded, cel-shaded 3D style. Using this visual aesthetic makes the graphics of Ritual of the Night pop with the same sublime, effervescent glow of contrasting lights and darks that made the original Castlevania games so striking. All the while, the cel-shading isn’t so overwhelmingly cartoony like it tends to be in other games. Normally, I’d claim that emulating Castlevania with this kind of art style would be inappropriate, but everything from character models to backgrounds and foregrounds artfully balance the bright roundedness with that notable gothic mystique. It’s difficult to state whether or not Ritual looks better than Symphony because its graphics are so dissimilar, so the developers at least achieved a distinct style. Sadly, Ritual of the Night is not exemplary of modern 3D graphics. It seems that 3D games spurred by Kickstarter campaigns can’t hide some awkward, unrefined textures seen with various objects and character models. The Glutton Train boss looked so unprocessed that I questioned if it was finished. I noticed this while playing fellow crowdfunded 3D game A Hat in Time, and I suppose this amateurish graphical quality can be expected of all Kickstarter video game projects with Ritual’s example. It is by no means jarring or unpleasant to look at, but Symphony bestowed the finest pixel art of any game at its time. You’d think offering better graphics would be the easiest aspect to improve in succeeding a two-decade-old game.

Really, the appeal of the cel-shaded graphics is bringing the pixelated characters from Curse of the Moon to the rounded third dimension. Given that Curse of the Moon predates Ritual of the Night only by a year, it’s not as if we’ve yearned to see this visual upgrade for long like other iconic characters jumping to 3D. Nevertheless, my piqued interest is a testament to the wonders of vague pixel art. All of the familiar characters we’ve come to know over the short course of a year all make their multi-polygonal leap into Ritual of the Night. One would expect that our favorite stoney-faced demon hunter Zangetsu would resume his role as the frontman of this operation, but he’s relegated to a supporting position. Instead, the protagonist of Ritual of the Night is Miriam, the high-hopping whip-wielder who is the first member of Zangetsu’s party in Curse of the Moon. I guess Miriam serves as the prime emulatory character for the franchise, imitating the typical Belmont whip in a pixelated 2D Castlevania and taking the role of the more nuanced, RPG character Alucard from Symphony of the Night. Wizard master Alfred plays a supporting role along with Richter and Gebel has taken on an ambitious new stance as the main antagonist of the game. Many bosses from Curse of the Moon return like the twin dragon Andrealphus and the debonair poker king Valefar, and now the third dimension allows us to marvel in their massive, screen-spanning glory. A presentational addition that Symphony of the Night added was a textbox with an icon of the speaking character during dialogue, and Ritual of the Night amplifies this with fully-rendered character models conversing on opposite sides of the screen. These instances are the best way to get a glimpse of Bloodstained’s returning characters in their full 3D glory, As for the voice acting, the most painfully amateurish quality in Symphony of the Night has reached a point of adequacy. Even indie games whose budget consists primarily of crowdfunded donations offer better voice acting than the triple-A titles of yesteryears did, a prideful sign of how far we’ve come.

We can be thankful that the voice acting in Ritual is sufficient because Ritual is much more dialogue-intensive than Symphony ever was. None of Ritual’s dialogue is worthy of being preserved through tongue-in-cheek internet memes, but those celebrated quips from Symphony would become insufferably grating if they were as commonplace as the dialogue in Ritual is. The more vocal lines delivered in Ritual is due to the narrative having a weightier presence. Symphony’s story was yet another escapade in defeating Dracula like in the classic Castlevania games, but in a more roundabout trek to reach the peak of his castle. Ritual, on the other hand, takes the basic lore and narrative of the Bloodstained world established plainly in Curse of the Moon and inflates it to the scope of an epic gothic tale. Bloodstained sets itself 2,500 kilometers away from the Carpathian terrain of Romania and takes residence in the Anglosphere of the early industrial-era England in the late 1700’s. The clergymen that dominated social and economic influence with the religious powers of the church for centuries express anxieties about the influx of capitalist ideas and practices running rampant throughout England, undoubtedly rooted in real-life parallels from this time in history. In a desperate measure to retain their mighty, fearful eminence, the alchemists abduct two orphans and transform them into demonic mediums known as “shardbinders.” Miriam is one of these orphans whose transformation goes awry as she succumbs to a decade-long coma. Gebel’s ritual, on the other hand, proves to be successful as demons arise and destroy England to an apocalyptic degree. In the wake of the alchemist’s poorly conceived plan ten years later, Gebel plans on using his shardbinder powers to enact his revenge on the alchemists. Miriam arises from her slumber to prevent Gebel from making a fatal mistake. Curse of the Moon initially separated Bloodstained from its source material by explicitly branding their monsters as demons. That separation coupled with the fleshed out story Ritual provides truly makes a substantial stride to branch itself off of Castlevania. Just because Dracula is a public domain character doesn’t mean the developers of Ritual should liberally implement him as the backbone for another series.

What did the evil forces in Castlevania do to brandish their prominence over the realm they reside in? Like the Count always did as his first step in reinvigorating his prestige, the alchemists have erected a gigantic, ominous gothic castle. Presenting the monumental eyesore from its front view has always been a tried and true method of evoking a sense of sublime intimidation, and Ritual achieves this in theory. However, the threat that the view of the stupendous estate is intended to implicate feels a bit lacking because the direction of the sinister aura feels off kilter. Besides Alfred and the uncharacteristically pleasant Johannes, the alchemists are an enigmatic group that we only hear of only when prompting the plot with lore. The peak of this nameless manor does not house a round table of bearded old men in robes that Miriam must defeat one-by-one. With all of the demons running amok through the castle and along its perimeter, the player gets the impression that the demon plague is a rampant disease that illustrates how badly the alchemist’s plan got out of control. A state of anarchy among the demons may signify the unclean, profane pandemonium surrounding the castle, but all of it has less of a weight when these creatures of the night are not housed by Dracula. I assumed that each enemy that resided in Dracula’s Castle in Symphony was one of Dracula’s underlings, his “children of the night,” so to speak. Without that governing force of Dracula serving as a looming, imposing threat, the demons as a whole feel nebulous. Gebel serves as the similar climatic figure, but his more complex villain role as opposed to Dracula’s imposing, all-encompassing evil doesn’t exude the same presence.

Perhaps it feels like this because Ritual can work outside the confines of the castle. Other levels themes often seen in Castlevania games like cemeteries and forests had to be scrapped in Symphony because offering levels that existed outside of the castle’s perimeter would compromise the integral design of the enclosed castle setting. Castle settings in Curse of the Moon didn’t seem all too pertinent to Bloodstained’s identity, so the game could emphasize locations beyond an indoor setting. Ritual continues to provide a comparatively abundant level variety set by Curse of the Moon while using the same Metroidvania design philosophy set by Symphony. The different areas inside the colossal castle and all of its connecting mezzanines are situated in the center of the game’s world map, with many outside areas branching from the castle’s exterior. Ritual’s first level is on a galleon sailing out at sea, docking at the shores of the castle’s residence of Arantville once the player defeats that area’s boss. While this area feels “completed” after arriving at the castle, they can still explore the decks of the ship whenever they please as it is still connected with the rest of the map. However, this only to a certain extent. The map of Ritual is a shameless copy of the map from Symphony, complete with the same rudimentary, rectangular blue grid with the usual red and green upsets that signify the locations of save and teleportation rooms. For some reason, to illustrate that areas like the galleon and other places like the train and the Sorcery Lab are removed from the castle, looking at any of these areas on the map are colored in with a deep, opaque indigo color. I was irked at the lack of areas outside of Dracula’s gothic estate in Symphony, but perhaps they got it right the first time. None of the areas outside of the alchemist’s castle are lackluster or anything on their own merits. Still, their lack of connectedness is indicative of a lack of cohesive design presented in Ritual’s world. Many individual areas of Ritual’s map like the sunken grotto of Forbidden Underground Waterway, the tall, winding Towers of Twin Dragons, and the cluttered bookshelves of Livre Ex Machina are obvious which Symphony areas they mirror and they reside in the same architectural space of the castle. As a whole, however, the more sprawling design of Ritual’s map is a little too immense as opposed to Symphony’s comparatively restrained architecture.

Ritual’s gameplay also treats Symphony’s gameplay with some expansive, creative liberties. However, Ritual manages not to bloat Symphony’s template in this regard. Miriam expectedly is a gender-swapped version of Alucard, more so with the adaptable magical powers aspect and less of Alucard’s deep-seated daddy issues. Miriam is situated to be a RPG character, becoming more powerful through an combat-oriented RPG leveling system and accumulating more sustainable armor and weapons. One extra perk that overlaps with Miriam’s progression throughout the game is the collectable shards that give Miriam a myriad of different abilities. While this mechanic was not present in Symphony, it is not a new idea the developers conjured up during Ritual’s development. The idea is taken from Aria of Sorrow, the other most critically acclaimed Metroidvania Castlevania title. On rare occurrences, defeating an enemy will cause a shard to erupt from their disintegrated bodies and rush through Miriam as she shrieks on its cathartic impact like Link’s transformation sequences from Majora’s Mask. The enemy roster in Ritual is vast and most enemies will drop a shard for Miriam to integrate into her combative prowess. Three of six types of shards will be assigned to three buttons/triggers on the controller, one will enhance a single statistic, one will summon one of six familiars, and the last one unlock an innate ability used for the Metroidvania hindrances in the areas. The sheer volume of shards allows the player to mix and match a myriad of different combinations. I recommend a defensive ranged shard mix due to the spry enemies causing too much contact damage. If this shard meld does not suit your needs, fortunately, there are so many more to choose from. This mechanic may only serve as an additional perk to the gameplay, but it greatly impacts Ritual’s expansiveness.

Ritual’s imperative to ascend over Symphony is ostensibly through expanding its RPG elements. Besides the shard system, Ritual also offers side quests, an RPG staple meant to prolong the experience. In the sanctuary hub of Arvantville seen before the entrance to the castle, a number of refugees will congregate around a rustic bunker to shelter themselves from the demon scourge. Most of these survivors will offer extra objectives for Miriam to consider which can either be completed at the same time or done consecutively. Lindsey is feeling quite vindictive and has Miriam play bounty hunter, avenging the deaths of the village’s fallen denizens by defeating a number of the same type of demon that slayed them. Abigail in the field rather chooses to tribute the deceased with a commemorative item that Miriam has to retrieve. An old woman named Susie will have Miriam fetch an abundance of intricately-prepared foods. In any normal survival scenario, this feeble old bat would be expunged for being dead weight and taking advantage of the hustlers. Acting as this woman’s Uber Eats driver would have been more of a pain in the ass if not for Arvantville being the one-stop emporium for everything to do with the materials. Dominique and her little apprentice Anne sell any conceivable item and Johannes is the man to seek for anything relating to crafting (weapons, armor, food, etc). Unlike the Master Librarian in Symphony, the territorial nature of the merchants/quest givers is not a hassle because teleportation rooms are as common as safe rooms are in Ritual. A hub in Symphony could not be feasible because of both the enclosed design and the constant feeling of hostility within Dracula’s walls. Arvantville is the one area outside the castle that is a welcome addition to expanding Symphony’s map without adulterating its cohesive form.

Some could argue that it doesn’t matter that Ritual augments Symphony’s design without impunity because Ritual’s progression through the map is nothing like its source. The most impressive aspect of Symphony is how free the player was to explore the entirety of the castle with only a few roadblocks to uphold the Metroidvania gameplay. Ritual, however, presents so many snags in the road that it becomes obvious that there is a singular path that the game forces the player to adhere to. At every corner, it feels like Miriam has yet another shard ability to gain to hurdle over another obstacle, and it becomes tiring. Of course, a bigger emphasis on linear progress is emblematic of modern Metroidvania game design. Still, considering Ritual is intended to be a nostalgic lark that unabashedly emulates Symphony of the Night, one would think this would’ve been another facet of recreating it. Ritual would have benefited from it greatly, but perhaps the developers felt that Symphony’s unrestrained nature was too antiquated for modern gamers. They’d be wrong. I would forgive the prohibitory design of Ritual if it wasn’t leading me to failure. After following the game’s intended path, the player will come across an area called the Hall of Termination positioned at the top of the map. The player might get the impression that the “final boss” is here, and they’d be correct. Gebel, this game’s Richter, is positioned at the peak of the castle and is ready to duel Miriam despite his selective inhibitions about doing so. If the player defeats Gebel, they will be reprimanded with a game over. Sure, in Symphony, defeating Richter without the right circumstances will result in an inefficient ending, but at least the player won’t feel as if they failed. In my defense, the narrow trajectory of Ritual led me to believe that I had completed everything up to this point.

One reason why I also subscribed to this belief was because of a lingering possibility that I kept considering: is the second half of Ritual going to be a reversed version of the castle like in Symphony? I wished the developers would scrap a flipped castle portion because it didn’t prove as a necessity in making Symphony feel whole, rather an addendum to the normal castle. However, I still fully expected the developers to reinstate this, for a game that tributes Symphony wouldn’t feel complete without it. This is why I figured the second half of the map would be inverted, but all Ritual does is grant Miriam the ability to invert the map and walk on the ceilings on her own volition as a cheeky reference. It turns out that I should’ve been more observant, and the many sections I seemed to have missed are what I will refer to as “Ritual’s second half.” I’m delighted that the developers decided to expand the map with more areas on the upside world map (even if it further compromises the already questionable world cohesion) instead of retreading levels with a newfound sensation of vertigo to boot. The areas of the latter half have a peculiar Mario influence judging by the fire, desert, and ice level themes. If that’s not the case, explain Den of the Behemoths to me.

These areas also serve as the point where Ritual’s narrative loses itself. If one couldn’t tell from the misleading ending of failure, Gebel is but a red herring intended to distract Miriam from the real antagonist of Ritual. Of course, anyone who has played Symphony will know this by Richter’s example, and those who played Curse of the Moon know that Gebel is not a villain. The second half is dedicated to uncovering who among the characters should not hold the mythical text of the Liber Loagaeith. Miriam fights a revamped Zangetsu along with Alfred, who is the Micolash of Bloodstained bosses. Again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that neither of these two is bad guys if they’ve played Curse of the Moon. Is Curse of the Moon not canon or something? Tracking down Curse of the Moon’s final boss, Gremory, becomes a prime objective, but she is only the Shaft of this operation. One should be suspicious of Dominique, the one new character we have no previous reference to and keeps hinting at signs of malevolence. She's the one who stole the Liber Loagaeith and plans to summon the grand demon Bael to enact an act of violent revenge against God for letting the demons kill so many people ten years prior. As grand as the duel fight against Dominique and Bael is, the narrative resolution is all too obvious to be as shocking as the developers intended. Symphony expanded on everything from the 2D Castlevanias except the simple story, and Ritual should’ve borrowed the same sentiment.

Five million Kickstarter donations later, Igarashi’s wish to follow up his magnum opus came to fruition and managed not to be a Mighty #9 caliber disaster. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night fulfills its initial promise of quenching the thirsts of Symphony of the Night enthusiasts and reminds us all of Igarashi’s brilliance. That is, it reminds us of how brilliant Symphony of the Night was. Tracing one’s own work and rereleasing it can only result in so much exaltation, even when that same creator adds a few more slight changes to it in the hopes that he’ll distract our accusations of self-plagiarization. Ritual of the Night obviously couldn’t have been a carbon copy of Symphony of the Night, and all of the two decade-spanning advantages of hindsight and technical progress meant there should’ve been no excuses that it should be a shameless clone. Curse of the Moon proved to be the best case of a classic Castlevania game, so Ritual should've performed on the same measure. Ritual does expand on Symphony, but all of the augmentations result in the game over-performing. All the while, any of the elements that Ritual improves upon aren’t substantial enough to transcend Symphony’s quality. Does this mean that Symphony of the Night is a masterpiece by definition: an exemplary work that can be imitated but never replicated or surpassed? Yes, it does. If Ritual of the Night’s intentions were to remind us how good Symphony of the Night is, it passes with flying colors. Keyword: if.
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Erockthestrange 2022-10-31T00:54:08Z
2022-10-31T00:54:08Z
8.0
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Didn't quite beat it but played a good deal - enough to know that it is a fantastic metroid-vania that makes me want to play Symphony of the Night. Love the character and enemy design, even if the story is lacking and a bit confusing. Getting around the map can be a pain at times too, but besides that the game is really, really good and well-made. Couldn't put it down once I picked it up. Some Dark Souls elements that I liked and unrelentingly difficult. Amazing game.
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jerseyscribe 2021-07-15T17:12:11Z
2021-07-15T17:12:11Z
4.5
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Decent igavania, pretty much just Aria of Sorrow but with a female protagonist and an Industrial Age setting. Lasts as long as it needs to, though some of the progression roadblocks are really out there such as having to farm one specific enemy for their shard drop.

Wander around a castle, fight enemies and gain experience levels, get new powers and explore places you couldn't access before, you pretty much know what to expect here, and it delivers.
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Bloodstained Ritual is probably the closest thing we will get to a new Symphony of the Night without actually being a Castlevania game. Bloodstained I guess can almost be considered a spiritual successor to SOTN, it plays almost identical and has the same style, its a typical metroidvania where you have a big map to explore on a 2D grid style and you go to different rooms fighting different enemies and taking out various bosses so you can learn new abilities to help you progress further. Bloodstained is pretty solid early on, you get a variety of weapons to play around with and early on you get some abilities that make exploration fun and open up secrets, but the problem is I really only found 2 or 3 abilities in this game really useful to explore. Those abilities being the double jump and the ray trace, then later on the invert castle. Outside those abilities, the other abilities really aren't utilized and some are only used one time, which is lame considering most of these games are best when you find areas you backtrack to that fully utilize every ability you gain in the game, that's what I love most about the older Metroid and Castlevania games.

A cool thing about this game is every enemy you kill drops a shard that gives you a new ability and there are over 100 abilities you can get in this game, which use your magic bar up. Now there are really only around 10 abilities I found useful, but its still cool having the amount of abilities. Other things the game allows you to use materials to craft different weapons, armors, and even shards through one of the vendors and some of these weapons are extremely powerful and almost break the game. You can also cook foods that when first consumed give you a permanent increase in certain stats.

In terms of design and exploration the game is solid, but it isn't quite as well put together as SOTN. Some areas in this feel like they are almost recycled from SOTN and aren't as original and there are some very annoying areas in this, mostly the ones involving water and lava. When you get to these areas the game almost becomes a chore. There were some parts of the game where I just found it insanely difficult to progress due to the enemy placement or the hazards. The area with ninjas was also especially frustrating because they could do quick attacks on you for massive damage. The boss fights in this game are probably the most tedious part of the game because they are just insanely difficult unless you grind levels, which isn't exactly fun to do in this type of game. I didn't really enjoy most of the bosses because they just had too much health and you practically needed a full inventory of potions and food items that you needed to grind to craft for and get money to make.

The best parts of Bloodstained are early on and I feel after about halfway through the game looses some charm after you got most of the crucial abilities and the game tends to lump most of the frustrating and difficult areas in the second half. The graphics are kind of weird too at first, especially being 3D but I got used to them and well I might have preferred 2D, they weren't anything too distracting, and I did kind of like the character design, they weren't afraid to make her a bit sexual, and there are tons of costumes and hair styles you can customize your character with. I found the exploration and early areas the best.

Bloodstained is an amazing game considering it was pretty much entirely crowdfunded and it was made by the person behind Symphony of the Night and even had the same music composer, and this game does have some cool music, even if it does sort of mostly blend together. Bloodstained is a fun experience that brings back a lot of elements of SOTN and mostly does a good job, it just needed a bit more polishing and a few stronger design elements. I found the lack of needing abilities to backtrack and also the amount of frustrating areas just a bit too high. Plus it just doesn't have as much original design and feels it borrows a lot from SOTN. The enemy design is kind of cool but nothing too special. The bosses just drag out a bit and require grinding and tons of healing items. This is a great game considering the budget it was made on, but I just think much can be improved in a sequel and if the game tried to do more and not use a lot of elements from that game, and also had better balancing and tried to design more around the abilities instead of just having 3 abilities give you 99 percent of the exploration. Plus the story in this is kind of a bit minimal and forgettable.
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jweber14 2020-09-14T05:47:23Z
2020-09-14T05:47:23Z
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I think the first thing I want to say about this game is that I think for better or worse it fulfilled all of its Kickstarter goals, well except for the WII U edition but I was never planning on buying this game on a console, but aside from that and relooking at all their stated goals it seems like everything they listed made its way into the game. Now the second question is does this game live up to Symphony of the N... Let's not even write the whole name out, the answer is no. Bluntly I'll just say up front that this game is not as good as that game was. That being said I think this game has some good qualities and while I don't think it lives up to its predecessor I still enjoyed this game for the most part and I enjoyed it more than Konami's subsequent Castlevania releases after Castlevania: Symphony of the Night [悪魔城ドラキュラX 月下の夜想曲].

Like a lot of people, I was skeptical of the change from 2D to 2.5D graphics. We all know the horror stories pertaining to this type of game and Kickstarter need I even say the name of that other game that will no doubt be compared very unfavorably in comparison to this? Instead of me comparing it to Mighty No.9. I would like to instead compare it to a game much closer to home and that is the 2.5D remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood [悪魔城ドラキュラX 血の輪廻] that you get in the PSP collection .... To the extent that I have ever heard anyone talk about this game, it was always in the slight negative. Well, I didn't think the game looked as good as the original Rondo of Blood, but I did think in almost every regard it was as good of a game as it's original counterpart, in fact, it had controls that were slightly less floaty and more precise which I think most people would expect the opposite. Despite the limitations of the hardware and in adapting a 2D game to an awkward 2.5D I always admired the attempt with that remake to do almost as much detail as the first game with this new take on the graphics.
In a lot of ways BS reminds me of that game but graphically enhanced like a million times. So I think one of this games biggest strengths was one of most peoples biggest concerns the 2.5D looks absolutely breathtaking in some areas. One thing I like about this game's graphics a lot is the way lighting looks in it. It flows naturally from a source and doesn't use excessive bloom shit all over the place like some indie games and attempts "modernize" a retro game like Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty! I would like to point out areas I thought looked particularly good but I would basically just be listing every area in the game. I'll give you two areas of note. I think the spiral staircase clock tower area was particularly good at showcasing how 2.5D can be used in creative ways that odd to the platforming of a game instead of just being a detractor to it. The way the area looked and functioned was great and I wish more areas tried to do more creative things with the graphics and the environments to really justify to people why 2.5D is necessary over a simpler 2D game. I do like the "Oriental lab" part the best of all the areas and the dojo part with the sliding Japanese paper doors was also an excellent use of this games graphical advantages. It reminded me a little bit of a similar level in Super Mario 3D World [スーパーマリオ3Dワールド].
I have to admit a further bias here in that I really like the 32/64 bit era 2D games and their mix of 2D environments with 3D enhancements and production values. I think this overt love for this mix is why Mega Man 8 [ロックマン8 メタルヒーローズ] is my favorite game in that particular series even though everyone else seemed to dislike it if they thought anything about it at all. I love the death effects and the particle effects that come from this mix of graphical prowess. I know there are a lot of Japanese only Sega Saturn games that were 2D with minor 3D enhancements but since the N64 and the PlayStation both primarily focused on 3D there are only a few scant games in their libraries where we got this mix at the time, but every time they did I thought it was awesome. I even praised a similar mix albeit not exactly the same in my Final Fantasy Tactics [ファイナルファンタジータクティクス] review. I love its mix of 2D art with 3D particle effects and lighting. To me, there is just something magical about this and I guess I'm a hobbyist of this kind of outdated graphical prowess that no one else seems to give a shite about or just tolerates.
Now while the areas look good on their own, I do have to knock this game a little for having a bit of a lack of cohesion to the areas of this game. A lot of the areas just seem a bit too unique and jarring when placed next to each other. I think more should have been done to make all this seem like one cohesive place instead of just having random areas connect to one another for no reason.

The characters look great in this game and the main character shows almost all of the armor changes when she gets a new piece of gear and through a "barber" you meet halfway into the game you get a lot more customizability options for her. I want you to read the rest of my reviews and guess what I made Miriam look like. Spoiler: If you guessed that she had short hair and was wearing the skimpiest outfit possible you just might have been close to right. Unfortunately, there is no prize for being right on this.
I imagine that everyone's 2.5D erections went full 3D after seeing Dominique Baldwin for the first time. A character who is a vendor for you at first but ends up having a bigger role in the story. She looks like another Umbra Witch in the Bayonetta [ベヨネッタ] universe except even hotter somehow. I guess the game has a positive I never considered could come from a sequel to Castlevania games a new height for the fanservice and sexual appeal of the games. They did it, this is the games biggest achievement over Symphony of The Night. I only ever considered fucking Alucard once or twice every playthrough, but my image folder for these two women grew exponentially in comparison to my time actually playing the game. They came up short on a lot of things in this game, but they knew what us nerds really needed in a sequel. 20/10 best game of the year on the strength of Dominique's outfit alone.
I joke around folks and even though my joke reflects a reality about myself and other losers, I wanted to overdo this little bit here to say that this game pandered a bit. Not just in sexual regards, I mean the whole premise of the game is to pander to people who opine for a game that came out twenty years ago. Even giving it some leeway in that the games whole existence is predicated on a special kind of pandering, I still feel like it went a little overboard in this game. One thing I should do before elaborating on this point further exclude some of the positive ways they did this aside from Dominique's mile-long legs, a positive form of fanservice that is strewn all throughout the game is references. There are a lot of references to previous Castlevania games. The victims in Lindsay's quests are named after Castlevania characters. There a lot of weapons items and locations that are reminiscent of those games. It also surprisingly has a lot of references to Shovel Knight which break out the kaleidoscopic Inception jokes here because that game was a spiritual successor to among other games earlier Castlevanias and now it is being referenced in a spiritual successor to another type of Castlevania game. Any time Shovel Knight is mentioned I'm happy. So the game got some points for me with the inclusion of a Shovel Knight enemy and his armor and weapons. These are all types of fan service that I like and can stomach despite their sugary nature. It's hard for me to pinpoint the exact negatives of this game in terms of pandering but something about the game as a whole just feels a bit too pandering and condescending in it's want to recreate the past experiences of my wasted youth. There is something about it that is too much of recreation and a retread of past ideas. I liken it to problems I had with Dark Souls 3 where the pandering retreading nature of the third iteration of the crestfallen warrior, "Siegward" and the fucking third Ornstein fight started to get on my nerves. Well imagine if a whole game tried to be an already classic game but it comes off a bit like a cheap knock off of that previous game. I feel like that is a harsh assessment given that there is a reason for the games cheapness in that this is coming from a new company and they're starting from scratch on this title, but despite my want to be fair to them, that is how I feel about the title and its attempts to mimic Symphony of The Night. It comes off very overwrought, pandering and a retread to the point of condescension. Which is why it's kind of weird to me that people who I have seen review the game elsewhere have tended to only criticize the ways in which this game was not just a complete retread of SOTN. Like it's 2.5D graphics, the shard system, the missions etc. It seems like everything new they tried is an easy target and I have some criticisms of these things myself, but I think a bigger problem with the game is despite being a spiritual successor to something else I think it needed a bit more of its own identity and a bit less of giving people exactly what they wanted. I can't live on a diet of long anime legs and references to games I already love and believe me I have tried. I tried so hard that instead of being the fourth iteration of Ornstein, I'm the second iteration of Smough. Only even grosser and more detested by my peers.

I know that I just went on a bit of rant that I think this game was lacking its own identity and we should try to praise it where it was attempting to formulate one, but as a reviewer I also think I should explore the merits of this game as a spiritual successor to SOTN and how much it lived up to that potential or not even if I don't personally think the game should be judged that way. Here is what I think are the greatest aspects of SOTN in a nutshell, It's 2D graphics were some of the best I have ever seen. The castle both regular and inverted was one of the greatest locations in gaming history. I don't think any other Metroidvania even Super Metroid which I hold in almost as high of a regard as SOTN had exploration gameplay that was quite as fun as SOTN. The soundtrack of the game is my personal favorite of the series and one of my favorite soundtracks of any game. There are only about five other games that I could say contend with SOTN's soundtrack. The Castlevania games in general from the first game onward always had particularly good soundtracks for their respective generations, even some of the worst entries in the series like the two Nintendo 64 games had good soundtracks.
Well we have talked about the game's graphics and while I think this game looks pretty good I already know other people aren't going to get over the 2.5D change, so this is a point of contention at best, lets see in this review how the game fares in terms of the other four things listed.
Let's say that a company was making a spiritual successor to Crysis. The first thing I would expect to be excellent about a spiritual successor to Crysis is the graphics, I mean if everything else was shit I would imagine that this at least would be a key strength of that hypothetical game. Now let's imagine someone was going to make a spiritual successor to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, well I would expect the game to have a heavy emphasis on storytelling and character development and interaction in particular and a deconstructive look at the genre or series it is a part of. I'm pointing out the rather obvious fact that when something is the "spiritual successor" to something else that I expect it to at the very least try to incorporate that games most well-known aspect. I said all that to explain that normally in a game I would say that having great music is a nice bonus but it isn't necessary for a game being great. This game, however, is a spiritual successor to Symphony of The Night, which is mine and a lot of people's opinion has one of the best soundtracks in gaming history. So I expect the music to at least attempt some modicum of that standard and unfortunately I don't think it even came close to being "good" let alone matching the greatness of the game this is supposed to be a spiritual successor to. You know I honestly liked the music in the eight-bit prequel game Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon more and I wasn't even particularly impressed with that game's music. As I said with that game I don't even think the music in this is as good as other new "retro" titles like Shovel Knight and Sonic Mania. You know I just beat this game and I can't even murmur a single one of the game's songs, it was utterly forgettable in regards to music and sound design.
One thing regarding the sound in this game that is notable is the voice of one of the characters, Zangetsu. He is voiced by a man named David Hayter. David is arguably one of the most well-known video game voice actors because he voiced Solid Snake [ソリッド スネーク] in the Metal Gear Solid [メタルギアソリッド] games until Kojima made a mistake and replaced him with Kiefer Sutherland. Who I don't think did a bad job but it just wasn't the same without David. Obviously, he brings some level of coolness and badassery to the character of Zangetsu in this game that wouldn't be brought from someone completely new to the industry. His character also plays a similar role to that of Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty in that he is overpowered and in a section where he "helps" you on a train the reality is that you're clearly the Robin to his Batman. Aside from him, the general voice acting in the game was ok, The main character Miriam's actor gave the character a little bit of a personality, but a lot of the other actors were "functional." As in they worked for the role given but didn't really bring anything extra to it.

Before we talk about the gameplay just as a note I played the game on all three difficulties and after playing the first Bloodstained I wanted to go immediately into the hardest difficult after seeing how easy that game was but alas you have to unlock harder modes. I wanted to say this here so that when you hear me say "the game is easy" multiple times throughout this review you'll know that I'm talking about all three of the game difficulties in fact I didn't notice much of a difference between the games various difficulties at all. Which is criticism of mine in that it seems like no effort was put into making the game more challenging as difficulty scaled up.

So now that we got the sound and graphics out of the way lets talk about what I think is the most important thing that it tries to do like it's predecessor, it's exploration. One of the biggest problems with this game and this is something I never would have thought would be a problem with this is that upgrades to yourself don't feel as rewarding as they should. One of the biggest reasons I consistently felt this way is that major upgrades are sometimes hidden among the games shards that you can easily forget about or miss. A key example of this is the ability to swim which you get by killing a random jellyfish enemy and gaining a shard. The problem with this is that swimming is needed to get to a few of the largest areas on the lower half of the map and if you somehow don't get the swimming shard when traversing the area the first time it might lead to you as it did for me hours of frustration not knowing where to go next.
Another example of this that that is bad in a different way is the high jump shard. You don't get this shard until about 90% of the way through the game and by the time you do it has already been made redundant by your ability to reverse the map, allowing you to "fall" upwards. It also is mapped awkwardly on the controller and I found it to be more of a hassle without the Zangetsu sword equipped and subsequently I never used what I consider to be a fairly basic staple upgrade in these types of games. I mean this is one of the first things you get in Super Metroid [スーパーメトロイド] and Symphony of the Night. I think this upgrade should have been given to you before you even got a double jump let alone the reversal ability. Even when you get it is simply crafted using a random item and like with swimming blink and you just might miss the ability to do this. I think that in a Metroidvania like this movement upgrades that allow you to explore more of the area should feel like the most important reward you get. Because what appeals to me in these games is the exploration aspect and I think that is the key appeal of the genre. I remember the first time I got the bat ability in SOTN and instantly I realized all the exploration potential from this one upgrade to my character. I remember feeling a similar way about the Varia suit in Super Metroid. So when I can easily miss a major upgrade in regards to my movement or it doesn't feel special I think that is a pretty big failing of a game like this. Every one of the movement upgrades in this game should have felt as special as those I just mentioned and they just never did.
Bridging off of this criticism I found that a lot of events and items you get pertaining to early quests are awkwardly placed. The "In memory quests" ask for items that aren't always available in the near future. You can't craft a pizza the second food item for that old lady for a long period of time unless you're lucky with some low drop rates and I wasn't and that was merely one item on a long list of them and the subsequent items weren't any easier to find or craft. Which means that a lot of the content of this game is "backloaded" for lack of a better term. There is a lot of things that I would consider minor aspects of the game that you're gated away from doing for long periods of time. Strangely the quests that you do where you kill enemies for Lindsay are actually pretty well-paced and you unlock them organically as you discover more parts of the map. It's weird to me that they can get this right with those quests but not with the other two series of quests.

I mentioned that you get a power called "reversal" and that it allows you to flip the screen vertically so that you fall upwards towards the ceiling. I think this was a neat upgrade for a game like this, only it wasn't utilized as fully as I think it could have been. I think aspects of the castle and the upside-down viewpoint should have reflected this change in perspective more as if the viewpoint is an anticipated normal event in this particular location. What I mean by that is I think we should have seen some upside-down furniture and other things that make sense in this perspective that don't normally from our usual gravitational point of perspective. I think rooms should have been made with the upside-down perspective in mind that doesn't make sense from our normal viewpoint. There was also this game I can't think of the name of right now where you fought in an inverted castle and the way the castle was set up in this inverse version it added more challenges and logically illogical things to spice up the fact that you were essentially traversing the same massive place twice. It managed to have the castle look like a unique and interesting place even when it was merely inverted... Oh yeah, this game is supposed to be a spiritual successor to that game. Maybe they should have taken or had ingrained more of the lessons from that games development than this showed with its untapped reversal mechanic.
There is also another problem with this game, the first area you start out in is a ship and when you leave the area to get to the main hub of the game the shipwrecks against the shores. Only not really, the backgrounds of the ship and what you see throughout most of it doesn't reflect the changes to the ship's position. I think a game like this could do more with the change of the ship being grounded rather than afloat but at the very least it could change its backgrounds to reflect it's new circumstances.
Another big problem with the exploration of this game is that it feels a lot more linear than previous games and it is one of the primary reasons for the bad pacing issues I talked about earlier.
So I guess I knocked the fourth thing out, but let's more plainly state the criticism even further the game's map is not as large or as detailed as that of SOTN's. Some areas are neat and I think they would be great in a larger game but most of it just doesn't live up to that fabled game of legend we all love so much.

This game had a problem that I quickly noticed as a fan of the Soulsbourne games and that is that bosses that weren't a humanoid shape were easy to kill or I just wasn't impressed with their attacks and their ability to counter. Aside from the two Zangetsu fights, the optional OD fight and Bloodless most of the fights in this game are extremely easy. Now granted SOTN was not the most difficult game in the Castlevania series and balance was definitely not one of its strong points. I actually like that it gave you so many options and ways to beat the game but I know a lot of people didn't but I'll say that even the easiest boss in SOTN was harder than the hardest boss in this game.
Aside from the bosses the game controlled and played as well as a game mimicking SoTN should. Most of the enemies were nicely designed. I like that they went more of an absurdist route with some of them like the cats that were a reward to Kickstarter backers. I think more of the game should have gone with this absurd surrealist route to differentiate it more from past titles.
Now some minor bad things. One thing that this game kept that I would rather not see come back from SoTN was the backdash ability. I think it's a neat ability to have but from a movement improvement standpoint, I would rather have Super Metroid's speed boost. Which you get in this game any way making the backdash a redundant ability. One thing that made me hate the backdash in SoTN was using it and watching it being used in speed runs. I can see why people used it because it gave you a minor movement speed advantage but it just makes the game seem broken to see this stupid ass ability spammed. I wish they would have either made it waste magic or have a stamina bar for this and other abilities so that it can't be spammed stupidly. Its use reminds me of people who bunnyhop in MMO's for a minor speed increase yes it helps but it just makes the game look awkward and stupid to play. I don't know about other people but I always feel worse when not min/maxing my gameplay in every way possible and needing to do shit like this that actively makes the game feel worse takes a little bit of the games luster away for me.
A small concern of mine is that the game had this really ornate UI but a basic font that didn't really go with the ornateness of the rest of the design. It was like seeing a plastic license plate holder on a Rolls Royce with silver trim.


The story of this game is pure mediocrity. Now the story in SOTN was also not the greatest story penned to paper and some of it's dialogue scenes like the opening scene with Richter and Dracula is so over the top cheesy and delivered with such terrible voice acting that it almost loops back on itself and becomes awesome through sheer tacky force of will. I think that scene stands out as being particularly bad though because it's at the start of the game and everyone sees it and because it's the most amount of story you get in the game. People and by people I mean magazine reviewers who were writing reviews on a deadline and probably didn't finish or get to see as much of the game as the average video game player may have noticed that Alucard's voice acting wasn't as bad as the intros and a lot of the other minor characters weren't bad, I particularly like the librarian. The game's acting and story holds up a little better than people collectively remember. Most of your time playing SOTN is all gameplay and to the extent that it had a story at all, it was one-liners spouted to you from bosses before a fight. So the biggest problem with this game is that unlike SOTN where you could ignore most of the story and still enjoy 98% of the title, a lot of this games bad story is forced on you and because you have to interact with vendors more in this game because of the crafting and soul shard systems you're forced to be around all the characters a lot longer. I didn't really mind this much, but I can imagine some of the forced dialogue and added exposition you get from these people sometimes being tiring for other people who play this game. I mean they constantly complained about the story in SOTN and it was almost nonexistent so I can't see them enjoying this, but who knows.
The storyline is also not as straightforward as previous games. When You strip away all the exposition and taunting from the bosses in previous Castlevania games at the core of the story is just a basic fight between you and whatever evil shit Dracula is doing. There aren't any added layers, themes, unfinished or under-explained concepts or gray areas. You gotta kill Dracula and the reason you have to is the guy is an asshole who is constantly doing evil shit with his ever-changing castle. It's like I said about the cover of Diablo, you see the devils face on the cover and you know exactly what the fuck you have to do in the game. Kill that evil sonnofabitch. They try to make things a little more complex in Bloodstained but not in a way that adds depth so much as it just adds needless complication. Miriam and this dude Gebel are humans that have been enhanced by alchemy. Sometimes these enhanced humans go rogue and start fucking shit up, which has led some of the human population to hate them as a whole. I share this same bigotry, as my father was killed by a man who was enhanced by alchemy. Old pap was just going to the store to get the family a new crate of wall meat when he was suddenly attacked viciously by a man with a fire whip. He never saw it coming and he was beaten so badly we couldn't have an open casket at the funeral. So I can't stand the sight of these disgusting creatures, but I tried to put my racist ways aside and judge this game by the content of its characters and not by their glassy and glittery skin. Despite them being perceived as evil by me and most of the human population, Gebel wanted to be the Charles Xavier of alchemical mutants and prove that despite the inherent danger of their massive power and thigh gaps, that they could lead not only a life that makes other humans lives better but that they can be heroes worthy of praise. Miriam despite being treated like she was a second class citizen decided to follow Gebel's lead and use her powers to save humans. So it comes as some surprise at the start of the game when Gebel goes rogue despite his earlier pleas of the worthiness of his race. One of the reasons this happens aside from obvious story convenience is the same shit happened in SOTN. Richter after striking Dracula down with his massive dick a few years later became evil and made the Castle he just emptied of Dracula and his minions his new home. This was as much of a shock to Alucard then as it was to Miriam in this game.
So Miriam is making her way on the boat with some dork named Johannes who was once an evil alchemist that is trying to help her now and make up for his past evil ways. He also later helps her craft things after you finish the small boat section I mentioned earlier in the review. At the end of this stating boat section, you meet Gebel and like SOTN he gives you a speech where he disparages people doing good like Dracula did to Richter. He then leaves and you fight a mermaid with massive scaly tits, which is kind of a weird recurring enemy in a lot of games lately, Cuphead, Shantae the newer Ys [イース] Games. Looking back on my childhood I don't remember mermaids with scaly fish tits being a part of those memories and I think I would and yet somehow these people making games with a retro feel seem to remember something that I don't about those 2D games of the past. The only girl with scales I remember having a crush on in the '90s was Princess Ruto and I'm trying to forget those shameful memories. This fight also reminds me of World of Warcraft: Legion, Helga fight in everyone's favorite dungeon from that expansion Maw of Souls. By everyone's favorite, I mean that you probably thought of this dungeon right before finalizing your suicide note after having to run it thousands of times for minor AP increases.
So after you beat the poor unfortunate soul and leave the boat. You come upon a village and almost all of it is on fire. Which is yet another call back to a Castlevania game, this one being Castlevania: Rondo of Blood [悪魔城ドラキュラX 血の輪廻], which is the game where Richter originated and the one that came right before Symphony of the Night. A lot of the story after this point is you meeting the other characters and trying to get to Gebel for the first two-fifths or so of the game's length. You meet the previously mentioned Dominique Baldwin and she sells and buys stuff. She also ends up being the games primary antagonist and I'll have more to say about that shortly. You meet a monster barber who is really a cursed human and he can help you customize your character. You meet the three people you can get missions from a farmer, some vengeful woman and this old lady that wants you to cook a bunch of shit for her. You also meet this guy throughout the adventure who keeps getting lost and you need to have an item on hand to try to return him to the village but the dude keeps fucking up where he wants to teleport. Throughout the game, all these characters will give you additional dialogue if you come to them at the right time after certain areas are discovered and bosses defeated. I don't think any of these characters are particularly strong which wouldn't be the worst thing ever for some of this side people but with characters like Dominque Baldwin I think a player should feel more strongly about her than I felt in regards to her character and I just didn't. I mean aside from the way in which I did, but we don't need to hash all that out again. Later in the game, you meet the previously mentioned Zangetsu and if I can say the game succeeded with any of these characters Zangetsu was it. He was one of the previously mentioned bigots who hate alchemy mutants. He lost a few body parts to them and he has been at war with the fuckers since they started to exist. With David's voice, the character is just badass and although he hates you at the start, he realizes Miriam is trying to do good despite her alchemical nature. In symphony of the night, you fought a woman named Maria Rennard who was a little girl in Rondo of Blood and she comes to the castle in SOTN in order to find out what happened to Richter. She becomes an ally for Alucard but like Zangatsu she decides to fight him in order to "test" the main character. Just cditing yet another way in which this story is like the previous one. You also meet the old man Alchemist named Alfred who is just kind of a dick for most of the adventure and you fight him at one point, but then in the end through some dialogue, you learn that he was actually trying to do good. Like most of the characters in this story, I don't really think anything about him.
When you finally meet Gebel again one of a few things could happen. Depending on whether or not you know the "trick" to defeat him without killing him you'll either get one of the games bad ending or the fight will stop and Gebel will be wounded enough that he comes back to his senses and now you make your way through a few more areas where you fight the games real antagonist Dominique and some giant three-headed thing she summons. Again this happens in the story because the same shit happened with Richter in SOTN. If you take any deeper lesson from the game, understand that when a character tries to be Charles Xavier the only way to win in this world is to be Magneto and kick his fuckin ass. Violence is the answer and the question was "How do I make the world a better place?"
Everything past this is just getting to the final boss and nothing really interesting happens. The story as I showed over and over again is beat for beat the same story as SOTN's. They didn't follow other aspects of the game that well, but they really followed the story of that game almost to a point of parody. I don't really get why either, of all the things people praised about the original game its story, was not one of those things. Again like other parts of the game, I think the best things about the story was the way in which it didn't follow the story of SOTN. I like that the game had a female protagonist and antagonist. I think the antagonist was a bit of a letdown in that her characterization and motives weren't that interesting, but I think that Miriam has the potential to be a more interesting hero if they decide to make another game with her in it. The idea of alchemy and using it as a way to differentiate this game from the last was interesting I just wasn't particularly fond of the execution of it from a mechanical standpoint and story wise it just more needlessly complicated the narrative. The story on a whole is just a worse version of SOTN's with some minor highlights and sparks of insight here and there. I never thought the story in any of the Castlevania games was particularly good and I didn't really go into any of the previous games thinking that I should expect a great story so I didn't expect that here.


I started off this review by saying that I think for better or worse this game fulfilled it's Kickstarter goals. Despite it not doing so I think they genuinely did try to make a game that was like SOTN, it just didn't quite meet the mark or their perception of what was great about that game is very different than what most people including myself like about SOTN. As I said throughout the review I think the game would have fared a little better if it changed some things a bit more and aimed for its own identity rather than try to be a copy of something that I don't really think can be completely captured. Even on the merits of this being a modern retro game it just isn't as good as other titles I've played and mentioned all throughout this and the other Bloodstained review. I still think this is a game worth playing and there are some ideas within that show me some of Iga's magic can work again if they really try.
I feel bad that both my reviews of the Bloodstained games came off so negative, but I write what I genuinely felt about the titles and despite my want to see things from a rosier perspective I couldn't deny that these games had some huge flaws. I really want a good sequel or just a Metroidvania that I think finally surpasses the two most iconic games of the genre Super Metroid and SOTN. When I played Cave Story [洞窟物語] for the first time and I saw that "indie" games were becoming a thing and that other freaks in this world wanted to go back to the old testament of refining 2D gameplay I felt hope for video games I hadn't in quite a while. I wanted to see a modern title that was finally bigger, bolder and offered new ways to explore the gargantuan maps of these games. I still believe this is a possibility I just haven't seen it happen yet. I still believe in a thing called love owwwwwwwwww. I like a few of the steps this game took and some other games in the genre like Cave Story, La-Mulana [ラ・ムラーナ], Shantae and the slightly overrated in my opinion but still great title Hollow Knight. I hope they use these two initial Bloodstained games as a stepping stone to really try to build the hypothetical perfect sequel to SOTN that I always imagined in my mind's eye after playing the game non-stop for two months when I initially got it. Some people might find such a devotion to a game a bit slavish. I swear to you though that my intentions are good and my own. *Put's the book made of human leather down and touches the bite marks on his neck as he notices the gallant vampire approaching.* "Oh its you master Alucard... What do you need?"
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paillou Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-06-14T18:26:43Z
2024-06-14T18:26:43Z
4.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
xmd5a8000 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-06-01T00:26:25Z
2024-06-01T00:26:25Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MaestroOak Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-28T05:03:57Z
2024-05-28T05:03:57Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sunseeeeet Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-26T01:47:01Z
2024-05-26T01:47:01Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Maliptail Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-23T00:06:41Z
2024-05-23T00:06:41Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
chojnito Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-16T13:02:08Z
2024-05-16T13:02:08Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
IgnacioMoreno Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-08T21:39:24Z
2024-05-08T21:39:24Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
leftdevices Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-07T14:48:23Z
2024-05-07T14:48:23Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tk_23 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-06T10:54:40Z
2024-05-06T10:54:40Z
80 /100
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kenbenlen Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-05-01T16:05:50Z
2024-05-01T16:05:50Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gloomurai Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-04-30T23:10:34Z
2024-04-30T23:10:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
uten0 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 2024-04-28T22:12:50Z
2024-04-28T22:12:50Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (16) Loading...
  • dr0pside 2020-10-29 20:29:49.701097+00
    The only Igavanias better than this one are SOTN and Aria, and that's saying something. Hope we get a sequel.
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    • warioman 2021-07-05 05:47:42.914157+00
    • DavidthePearce 2022-05-05 17:29:56.144092+00
      Order of Ecclesia erasure
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  • MouthfulofPaste 2021-10-05 19:36:07.361756+00
    This game is great I just wish it wasn’t so ugly
    reply
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  • MouthfulofPaste 2021-10-05 19:39:32.946801+00
    And the endgame is REALLY rough, but I guess that’s kinda par for the course for igavanias
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  • Nordaviento 2022-12-27 01:38:12.362052+00
    i'm glad Iga still knows what makes a classic metroidvania fun, the gameplay is a blast, up there with the DS Castlevanias
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  • Brandon657 2023-08-17 17:45:27.195038+00
    Doesn't flow well, poorly balanced, feels kind of like Shenmue 3 where he doesn't understand where current standards are for a lot of things, it has pretty much all of SOTN's flaws.
    reply
    • rainstorm 2024-06-01 19:57:27.450998+00
      The old school save system killed it for me
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  • Brandon657 2023-08-17 17:58:03.775554+00
    Still think in general the castlevania style of world design doesn't work as well as how they did it in metroid.
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  • TheHonorableMinisterBBG 2023-11-17 06:29:21.15827+00
    boring boss fights
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