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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - PC Beta Preview

Castlevania your sister has arrived

  • 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

Who it Caters to

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Have you longed for the original Castlevania format? We feel you readers, while the newer Castlevania games are solid in their own right, the older style and feel of Castlevania is just something we miss so much here at Honey’s Anime. That’s why we’re grateful for a new game that acts as a spiritual successor to Castlevania—being created by a lead behind the series—known as Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Those who love exploring gothic settings while destroying beast after beast will relish in the formula that is seen in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Even if you have never played a single Castlevania game in your life, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will appeal to you if you’re in love with all things 2D and action/adventure related!

What to Expect

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night plays out like all classic Castlevania titles. Players will explore maze-like buildings and castles all while defeating enemies using a multitude of weapons and powers. Along the way you will uncover an epic story that shows what happens when humanity gains powers they can’t understand and control. Defeat bosses, gain new abilities and stave off death by gaining strength in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. If you missed the NES days of Castlevania games long forgotten or just love classic titles with new twists then you’re going to want to read further as we dive further into what is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.


Story

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Long ago, a young orphan named Miriam was used as an experiment for a powerful group of alchemists. During the process, Miriam gained a powerful ability that allowed her very soul to absorb magical crystals infused with demonic powers and abilities. As she absorbed more power, Miriam eventually went into a coma lasting for 10 years...Eventually, a young alchemist named Johannes mitigated the effects of the crystal absorption in Miriam and awoke her from her slumber. Johannes informs Miriam that during her respite, Johannes went against the guild and realized they needed to bring an end to the demons summoned by the alchemist and stop a possible threat in the form of another person experimented named Gebel. The two allies now head towards a menacing looking castle where Gebel waits and bides time to unleash a power no human is ready for…

Gameplay

BD-1-560x315 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - PC Beta Preview
Back in the NES days, a franchise was born called Castlevania. After many years of great—and not so great—sequels, spinsoffs and clone games, Castlevania has remained quite quiet for some time. Though one game hasn’t remained quiet and that is a new creation from Koji Igarashi—former lead of Castlevania games—called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. After many delays and a lot of trailers/previews keeping us Castlevania fans—including us here at Honey’s Anime—we have waited for a chance to play Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and have finally gotten our chance. Those that helped kickstart Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night gained a surprise in the form of a beta preview for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and we got our hands on a copy. Does Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night live up to our hype? Let’s find out in our beta preview of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for the PC.

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:

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While many games have paid homage to Castlevania, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night feels like a clone but not in a bad way. Movement, leveling up, changing weapons, attacking and so forth all feel just like a Castlevania game but that isn’t a bad thing. We loved fighting various beasts and bosses in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and equally were blown away by the incredible level of detail in every faucet of the game from aesthetics to gameplay. There were some bugs we faced in our beta preview of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, but that was to be expected and we do hope that in the final version, some of the weapons/animations for characters are fixed up slightly but as it is now, we think Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is on a good path. If you were one of the pledges for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night then you have no reason to not check out the beta for yourself. We won’t say to invest money into Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, but we will say that from the looks of it, the money poured into it isn’t going to waste at all. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night looks to be an amazing game and we can’t wait to bring you a full review—if we can—when it launches this year.

Honey's Pros:

  • 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

Honey's Cons:

  • 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:

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night might be seen as a clone to Castlevania—though it is being worked on by Koji Igarashi who led many of the Castlevania games prior so it makes sense—but we don’t want you readers thinking this is a bad thing. On the contrary, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night plays it safe by mirroring the greatness of classic Castlevania games while also not taking in the bad elements from the beloved series. The full release of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night isn’t slated yet for an exact date other than 2018, but we think the final product will be awesome indeed. Have you tried the beta for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night? Tell us your thoughts in the comments down below so we can hear from our amazing readers out there. Be sure to also keep coming back to our lovely hive for more game reviews and gaming articles from us here at Honey’s Anime.
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Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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