Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Reviews

AuthorReview
Fatal x Blade
1,165,659 (756,822)
Fatal x Blade
TA Score for this game: 771
Posted on 07 August 19 at 02:02, Edited on 07 August 19 at 03:42
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.


Bloodstained Ritual of the Night is the spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night, you know that old classic Castlevania game. This shouldn’t be surprising seeing as it was created by the previous Castlevania series producer. It is also one of the most backed games ever to come from the kickstarter program. And, It straight up looks like it could be a part of the Castlevania Universe except they swapped Vampires in favor of Demons.

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Personally, I am in favor of this games art style; which sees 3D character models, and environments blended into a 2D perspective. This is the best attempt I’ve seen at this style. There are segments of the game that cleverly take advantage of this unique camera perspective, to manipulate the players view in a more 3D way, even though it still controls like a sidescroller.

There are going to be people out there who may be disappointed that the art style isn’t something more reminiscent of a classic Castlevania game. Using pixel art or something less daring. And, I wouldn’t blame them. Nostalgia is something to crave for.

I played the Xbox One X version of this game on a nice 4K display. The art style does truly come to life with vibrant colors and some pretty lighting effects. I have heard that the Switch version of this game has a lot of performance issues and is a definite downgrade. So, if you have the option it’s probably best to avoid that one.

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Although, even playing on the X I suffered from an extremely annoying glitch. Even with the numerous patches that have came out since launch it still hasn’t been addressed. Basically, when entering the inventory my game would fail to load all the way, and I would see my character in an endless state of decapitation. With the only fix being to reboot the game, which is a severe issue. Especially, considering the game is old school, and only let’s you save in a save room. So, I’d say about every 2 hours this would occur. Each time causing me to lose time and progress. A couple times I was irritated enough to just play something else.

The first play through of the game will take you somewhere between 10 – 20 hours to finish. And there’s plenty of incentive to continue playing, with all the different secrets hidden about. Plus, the constant urge to fully complete the map percentage. Also, there is a new game +, and a couple other game modes such as a Boss Rush and timed mode.

The actual gameplay has a fair amount of diversity but as to be expected not much depth. By that I mean the moment to moment gameplay is fairly mind numbing, you can attack, jump, dodge, slide, and use a couple special abilities. Which for a Metroidvania sounds like quite a lot, but essentially it amounts to run into a room repeat the same most effective move you have kill the random mobs and move on. Most of it just comes down to your character build which is where the diversity comes in. There are hundreds of different combinations of Shards (which are like abilities), clothing, and weapons. All of which are completely upgradable and can change up your move set, and damage output. This is where most of the games intrigue comes from trying to get your stat numbers as high as possible and finding either the coolest or most effective abilities that suit you. This also means that if you want to get the best gear possible you will have incentive to grind, in order to be able to upgrade everything to the MAX. Which brings me to this game’s best feature and that is the option to bring up a snappy submenu that let’s you switch between 8 different saved loadouts. Something that should become standard in more games. This becomes particularly helpful as you gain abilities used specifically for progressing to new areas.

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I mentioned how the moment to moment gameplay can be repetitive, but luckily the numerous boss battles add a bit of challenge, and their attack patterns are fun to memorize. Plus, you get to see a naked vampire lady come out of a bathtub full of blood. I cannot possibly fathom why this boss has one of the most cinematic intros. 😉

There are not actually very many full-fledged cut scenes. Most of the story is told through dialogue boxes, that are fully voiced. But I found the atmosphere much more interesting than the story itself. Perhaps, because I have a hard time getting invested in a non cinematic story.
If exploring a huge fully fledged Metroidvania game with RPG mechanics sounds like your cup of tea, then I wouldn’t sleep on this one.

Blood stained Ritual of the Night gets an

80 out of 100.


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