You probably played games like Megaman, Metroid, and Castlevania growing up. If so, then Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is the culmination of one man’s dream Metroidvania and it might be for you. The game has been known as the spiritual successor of Koji Igarashi’s Castlevania series. Saying this game hit the nail on the head is a massive understatement. It’s no surprise that both games were made by the same person.
The game is beautifully smooth with reactive gameplay, not to mention a feeling of progress and constant achievement. Bloodstained has a great loot system and fantastic magic mechanics that remind me of some of my favorite games in the genre.
Gameplay for Bloodstained is very similar to most of the other Metroidvania out there:
What sets Bloodstained apart from other Metroidvanias is the intense amount of action you experience from the very beginning. Not only is there a plethora of regular baddies, but also a few hidden bosses around the game just in case you want to punish yourself a little bit more.
There are plenty of unique items and spells to collect for completionists out there. One thing that sets completion in Bloodstained apart is the crafting system, so let’s get right to it.
Imagine getting just about every pick-up you can grind and then you go to the crafting tables. Lo and behold, you have to smash that pretty mace to bits to make something even stronger.
On top of that are the 8-bit coin items. These are a special set of items that can only be upgraded with rare and expensive coins plus a book, none of which are easy to come by, save for the first freebie. There are also the New Game+ items. That’s right kids, if you want to collect one of everything you have to grind your butt off twice to get them.
Whether you’re saving an idiot from himself, performing hits for an angry villager, or simply cooking for an old lady, you will find yourself rather busy. Aside from that, cooking is also an important and incredibly fun aspect of the game serve two distinct purposes:
1. To get goodies for an ailing old epicurean.
2. To get a stat boost when eating something for the first time.
As you might imagine, there is a hidden item drop stat tied to the Luck stat and these boosts often raise your luck. All these boosts are permanent and you can see a running total when on the appropriate screen.
What would a Metroidvania be without bosses who are weak to specific and often obscure attacks and abilities? Well, Bloodstained has plenty of that for you.
Bloodstained boasts 20 unique and challenging bosses with their own strengths and weaknesses, plus three hidden ones. There are also two even more obscure bosses that you may miss if you don’t know how to unlock them. Now with the DLC released last week, there is at least one more confirmed crushingly hard boss that I truly believe will make any fan’s day.
Personally, I genuinely love this game. I could not recommend this more than I already have. To close this off, I’ll give you my personal rating: five stars baby, it’s that good. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a truly wonderful game with all the nostalgia one could ever ask for, packed with secrets and surprises.
Before I go, here’s a pro-tip: use the fairy familiar, sit at the piano for a few moments, and just wait. You should do this for both the English and Japanese language tracks. I promise it’s worth it.
Alright, folks, that’s it from me. I’ll see you again soon. Remember to keep it cool and play more games. Don’t forget to leave your comments, questions, and complaints below.
YouTube: Bloodstained – Ritual of the Night [Trailer + Footage]
Photo credits: All images used are owned by ArtPlay and 505 Games and were provided for press usage.
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