- System: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch
- Developer: 505 Games
- Publisher: ArtPlay, DICO
- Release Date: 2018 (Beta for Kickstarter backers only)
- Pricing:Free for Kickstarter backers
- Rating NA
- Genre: Action, Adventure
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iga/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night tells the story of Miriam who is able to absorb magical crystals to gain powers from them. Joined by an alchemist named Johannes, Miriam—who has been asleep for 10 years prior to the beginning of the story—Miriam must defeat Gebel who shares in her powers but seems to wish to use these powers for evil. The only way to stop Gebel is to defeat him and do it within his castle filled with enemies and threats. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night immediately sounds like any Castlevania game from the past and that is why we don’t need to spend any time further talking about what to expect from it. Your job in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is simple, explore a lavish castle and stop a slew of baddies.
Like most Castlevania titles, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night uses a similar method of gameplay. Players progress through Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by exploring 2D environments and gaining powers to progress through various areas as well as gaining weapons to defeat various enemies. Miriam is equipped with her natural power to absorb fallen enemies’ various skills and utilize them as magical attacks or summons. Also like Castlevania—you’re going to hear that a lot in this preview folks—Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night gives players a slew of weapons to equip to Miriam ranging from daggers to spears and even whips so you can feel like Simon Belmont or his various ancestors from the Castlevania franchise. Weapons feel good and each has different ranges/attack patterns—like the various magical attacks you will get—but this is also where one of the biggest faults of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night comes into frame.
What made Castlevania games simple in the past was that many of the main heroes only used whips as their primary weapons and their secondaries would be holy water, crosses and the list goes on. In Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Miriam can use tons of weapons but some don’t feel that great or feel too powerful. Guns can be used in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night but they need special ammo—as the regular ammo is weak and useless even though it never runs out—and whips have powerful range/damage that tends to make them stronger than swords or even rapiers. We found nearly a dozen weapons in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night—some can even be crafted using the in-game crafting system—but we feel that some tweaks to their stats would help Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night in the long run.
Exploration in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night also mirrors Castlevania by having players run through various areas all while finding secret paths, new areas to progress further and even walls that can be broken for health items. Occasionally in the beta, we faced several big bosses and these baddies were tough and often required us to either create better weapons or enhance our magical abilities—which is done by fusing ingredients and multiple same enemy crystals—before we could come out successful. Be prepared for the typical backtracking seen in Castlevania as you’ll be doing it a lot in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, or at least in the beta this was the case. For true veterans of Castlevania backtracking in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night won’t be frustrating and will just be fun and normal.
Visually and sound wise, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night hits all the right notes of spiritual successor to Castlevania. Character models, art, backgrounds and even the music all remind us of Castlevania games from the past. However, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night looks impressive and we loved the gothic style it utilizes. If we had any minor complaints it would be how characters occasionally looked during the dialogue sections. We won’t list it as a major complaint for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, but it did kind of seem a bit outdated at times. Though the cutscenes made up for it by being semi-campy but all too familiar to us fans of Castlevania.
Let’s wrap up our beta preview for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by stating some comments. In this preview, we have mentioned Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is basically Castlevania in almost every way shape and form. This will no doubt turn some off as games that are considered clones can be seen lacking originality. However, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night plays out very well so far and we think true fans of Castlevania will appreciate a classic feel but in a more modern style. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night might be only in beta form at the moment but we can already see a lengthy game ahead of us that will have tons of enemies, powers to gain and weapons to use. For now though, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s gameplay works wonderfully and we loved every second of the beta because of it.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Awesome art style with beautiful environments, enemies and character models
- Wonderful music
- Mirrors the best elements of Castlevania
- Tons of weapons to use and powers to gain
- Interesting story so far
- Crate boss was annoying (look it up)
- Some weapons don’t feel needed or overly weak/OP
- Plays it very safe by basically being a clone to Castlevania
Honey's Final Verdict: