In the age of Kickstarter or populist financing, we are seeing the return of many classic games, especially those whose publishers lost hope and locked them away in a warehouse full of dust. Some developers found opportunities to come back with their games in these funding campaigns, and while the results were mixed, that didn’t stop others from trying their luck. One of these developers is Koji Igarashi, a former Konami employee known for developing the most popular Castlevania games. Through the Kickstarter website he received one of the most successful financing for the development of his next game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and this game promised to become the spiritual successor to the famous Konami series Castlevania, which was retired. We waited a long time and experienced more than one delay until we reached the point where we could fully experience the game.
Castlevania Who doesn’t know Castlevania? It is a classic action game series from the beginning of the video game world in which you walk along a straight path, fighting enemies in their various forms and using the weapons at your disposal. The series later underwent a major change in direction when it morphed into Metroidvania, borrowing a number of key ideas from the Metroid series. The most important of these is returning to old areas via the upgrade system, which gives you new abilities. Bloodstained doesn’t deviate from the old path and presents the same basic ideas that we know from Metroidvania games. You will see this complex map and fight against many enemies and then bosses to gain new abilities that will open paths that were not available to you before. An example of this is the double jump ability, which allows you to reach high areas that you couldn’t reach before.
Many things are returning from the old archives, including clothing, drinks and other items. Various weapons, armor and rings return, allowing you to jump into different items. There are also some new elements that I found had little impact on the experience. For example, the ability to grow some crops to learn some cooking and then replace them with new tools. In the game, as in some parts of Castlevania, killing enemies gives you some special abilities based on them. There are several side characters, and one of them, for example, gives you side missions, most of which depend on killing a certain number of a certain monster in order to receive a gift from the tool list. As for the characters, whether supporting or main, they all lacked mastery. I felt like they were empty and indistinguishable.
Art of Fighting In Bloodstained you will find many combat options, and here it is similar to action RPG games that offer you multiple options to build your character. For example, you can focus on increasing your attack power if you’re good at dodging enemies, or you can focus on defense to play safer. When it comes to weapons, you can choose weapons with long range and weak effects, or you can choose heavy weapons that can hit effectively at close range. Even the monster abilities you gain give you many attack options to choose from depending on the type of danger you face. One of the most important things in Castlevania games in general is fighting bosses. What frustrated me about this game is that for about the first half of the game, fighting bosses was very easy thanks to a special long-range weapon, and this is where I feel strongly that the development team didn’t find the right balance in the game .
One of the options I liked in this game is the ability to equip more than one combination of your weapons and armor, and you can quickly switch between them throughout the game. This will be important when we return to the previous paragraph where we talked about different fighting styles. Now you don’t have to go to the menus every time you want to change your playing style, just save the most frequently used menus and quickly switch between them.
Holding on to the past Since the release of the last Castlevania game and in our current times, many games inspired by the Metroidvania style have been released, and we have seen many wonderful ideas among them. The problem with the Bloodstained development team is that they are so stuck on some of the ideas of the past that perhaps they should have continued. For example, some of these ideas involve suffering damage by simply touching the enemy. For example, one of the leaders takes a strange step back in a tight spot and you have to take two to three hits in a row before you get out of the situation. A large part of the reason for this is that the game doesn’t leave much room to get out of the situation after you get hit, as you can strike one at a time and quickly. A game like Dead Cells has proven that touching the enemy doesn’t have to be a hit to get a game that offers an excellent and entertaining challenge. The same game also introduced the ability to roll dice, which proved to be a very effective addition. In “Bloodstained” I remember entering one of the narrow corridors and there was a horse continuously running towards me and I had no other way to avoid him but to return to the last room. Here, through the rolling element, it was possible for me, for a trivial reason, to continue on my way and fight against it in some way without being harmed.
In general, the game will appeal to anyone who loves EGA’s Castlevania series and doesn’t mind seeing things as they are. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from the series, with some new, understated touches. It’s not the best Castlevania I’ve ever been to, but it offers that experience. But for the gamer who likes to see their games progress and change, this experience was somewhat disappointing and didn’t benefit from the many developments we’ve seen in modern games, despite many years invested in development.
Pros and Cons of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night PC Game
- Successful Kickstarter campaign: The game received one of the most successful financing campaigns on Kickstarter, showing the strong support and interest from fans.
- Spiritual successor to Castlevania: Bloodstained promises to be the spiritual successor to the famous Castlevania series, which appeals to fans of the classic action game.
- Metroidvania gameplay: The game follows the Metroidvania style, offering a complex map, various enemies, and new abilities to unlock, providing a familiar and enjoyable experience for fans of the genre.
- Multiple combat options: Bloodstained offers multiple combat options, allowing players to build their characters according to their preferred playstyle, whether it’s focusing on attack power or defense.
- Ability to equip multiple combinations of weapons and armor: Players can quickly switch between different weapon and armor combinations, enhancing gameplay flexibility and allowing for different fighting styles.
- Unbalanced boss fights: Some players found the boss fights to be too easy in the first half of the game, which may indicate a lack of balance in the difficulty curve.
- Underdeveloped characters: Many of the characters, both supporting and main, lacked depth and felt empty and indistinguishable.
- Stuck in the past: The development team seemed to be too fixated on outdated ideas, such as suffering damage by simply touching enemies, which may not resonate well with players who prefer more modern game mechanics.
- Limited innovation: Despite years of development, Bloodstained didn’t incorporate many of the advancements seen in modern games, which may disappoint players looking for more progress and change in their gaming experiences.
In conclusion, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night offers a familiar and enjoyable experience for fans of the Castlevania series and the Metroidvania genre. However, it may not appeal to players who are looking for more innovation and development in their games. The game has its strengths, such as a successful Kickstarter campaign and the ability to customize combat options, but it also has its weaknesses, including unbalanced boss fights and underdeveloped characters. Ultimately, whether the game is worth playing depends on personal preferences and expectations.
1. What is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a PC game developed by Koji Igarashi, known for his work on the popular Castlevania games. It is considered the spiritual successor to the Castlevania series and follows the Metroidvania gameplay style.
2. What is the gameplay like in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?
The gameplay in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night follows the Metroidvania style, where players explore a complex map, fight enemies, and defeat bosses to gain new abilities. The game features various combat options, allowing players to customize their character’s playstyle.
3. Can I equip multiple combinations of weapons and armor in the game?
Yes, one of the features in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is the ability to equip multiple combinations of weapons and armor. Players can quickly switch between these combinations during gameplay, allowing for different fighting styles.
4. Are there side missions in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?
Yes, the game includes side missions that can be obtained from certain side characters. These missions often involve killing a certain number of specific monsters to receive rewards from the tool list.
5. Does Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night offer a challenging experience?
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night provides a challenging experience for fans of the Castlevania series. However, some players may find that the game holds onto certain outdated ideas, such as taking damage from simply touching enemies. Despite this, the game still offers an enjoyable and nostalgic experience for fans of the series.