Metroidvanias are all the hype right now but some people have asked me what is the difference between a Castlevania and the Metroidvania genre? Bloodstained Ritual of the Night is a Castlevania genre but also a Metroidvania, in my opinion, Castlevania is a subgenre of Metroidvania but what makes it different? In a Metroid game, you won’t level up and you won’t have stats to upgrade but you do find better weapons and armor. In Bloodstained Ritual of the Night, you will kill enemies to gain experience points and level up your stats, this is what makes it the subgenre of Castlevania but the focus is still very heavy on exploring the complete castle while obtaining new upgrades to reach different parts of the castle.
You play as Miriam and you can absorb crystals of the demons that inhabit the castle to gain their power, this reminds me a lot of Aria of Sorrow! The game features a 2D world but there are also 3D elements that can be seen in the castle in areas like the twin dragon towers. There are also quests to accept and complete to gain powerful items, you can also perform special techniques depending on which weapon you have equipped. In this game, you play as Miriam but there is another playable character called Zangetsu. There are also some different modes for you to try out, as I was typing this review, I just heard that a new mode called classic mode has been added!
What did I think of Bloodstained Ritual of the Night before playing?
This game was requested by Ray Finn and Bloodstained Ritual of the Night also won the poll of the month, I have been looking forward to playing this game for a long time.
Bloodstained Ritual of the Night was founded on a Kickstarter program and it was one of the most successful Kickstarter programs ever.
Metroidvania and Castlevania games have always been on my must-play list but sometimes a game gathers some dust before starting.
Before playing Bloodstained Ritual of the Night I looked up some trailers and tried to find some information on the game, I was amazed to hear that there will be 13 free DLC’s in the future!
Watching a trailer gives you a good sense of what to expect in the game, I saw some reviews that were angry because they needed to explore the castle.
Yes, it reminds me of other Castlevania games like Aria of Sorrow and Symphony of the Night but all games draw inspiration from other games but there are very few exceptions!
I was very excited to start playing this game as will many other people be if they love this genre.
I rate Bloodstained Ritual of the Night with an 8.5 before playing.
The game looked very good to me before playing, this Castlevania like game looks great with some 3D environments! I was very excited to track down all those crystal shards!
In this game, you play as Miriam, one of the two shard binders that survived the grueling trials that were performed on them. The alchemist used them to summon demons from hell to stay in power and all but two shard binders have died. Miriam has been in a deep sleep until a castle appears out of nowhere, with help from the church, Miriam and her friend Johannes reach the castle to find Gabriel the other shard binder. Gabriel wants to release all the demons and destroy England. Miriam wants to track down Gabriel and stop him from taking over England and maybe even the world! Can you uncover all the secrets and find the true ending?
I rate the story of Bloodstained Ritual of the Night with a 7.5
The story was not too amazing but it was fun, the story gives you a good incentive to explore the castle but sometimes there are not enough clues where to go next.
Bloodstained Ritual of the Night follows the Castlevania genre and it copies elements from other Castlevania games while also trying to be new and inventive. You play as Miriam and your goal is to stop Gabriel but of course, you need more power to stop Gabriel. If you are a fan of Castlevania games you will recognize the gameplay element of absorbing shards (souls) from enemies to gain their power. There are multiple shard categories that you can collect and use in combat against the army of demons. Directional shards are usually projectiles and sometimes a beam that you can direct to any point instead of being fired only forward, conjure shard summons enemies or a part of enemies to fight for you. Manipulative shards are rare and hard to collect, these can be used for healing or skills that you need to explore the castle further. You also have shards that augment your skills like increase your strength or make you stronger with swords.
You can also find familiar shards, these can be used to summon a friendly demon, depending on the familiar this demon will either heal you, fight with you or defend you.
Collecting more than one shard is always a good idea because this means that your shard will get stronger, you can also find materials from the demons that you have slain. These materials can be used to upgrade any shard but the augmented shards are a top priority. If you manage to grind enough materials to get that sword expertise to grade 9 it will become a passive skill! This means that you can toggle the shard power on and equip another thus having two augment shards or more equipped at the same time! You can also equip the same shard to get even more sword expertise! You might ask what is the difference between the grade and the rank in a shard? Rank usually increases the benefits of a shard for example the welcome company shard will summon more paintings to protect you if the rank is higher but the grade will increase how strong the paintings are. Upgrading them both to nine will create a very strong shard.
For casting shards you will need mana points, you can increase your mana points through leveling up or finding gear that enhances your mana points. If you manage to collect all the shards in the castle you will find Gebel’s Glasses, these will grant you infinite mana points. Next to your mana points, it is important to keep an eye on your health points these can also be enhanced by equipping items or leveling up. You can find many different weapons that also use different combos and fighting styles. In this game, you can also perform techniques but I did not use them much since that is not my play style. This is also the reason why I have not yet played with the character Zangetsu, I believe he uses mainly techniques instead of shards. The strongest weapons can be made with an 8-bit coin, 16-bit coin, and 32-bit coin. You will also need a special book from the 8-bit world, this is a secret area hidden within the castle. Next to weapons to hit your enemies you can also use guns in Bloodstained Ritual of the Night and different bullets.
There are quests in Bloodstained Ritual of the Night, these either are to bring a certain item, kill a certain enemy or cook a certain meal. Finishing these quest lines can give you very strong rewards. Cooking is also very important in this game cooking can be done in the village with the materials that you find in the castle. When you cook a meal, you can gain first-time bonuses, these might seem small at first but look at the picture below to see how well it stacks when you have cooked almost every meal in the game!
Some of the items needed for cooking can be very hard to find because they only spawn in certain chests, luckily these chests respawn when you exit the area. Try to cook sweet things to increase your luck this will give your more chance at better items and shards. These items can also be dismantled for new items at the same spot where you can cook meals, you will need alkahest to dismantle items. Alkahest can be farmed from Possessed enemies like the paintings in the beginning but near the end, you can kill the ghost called Amy, these can drop 2x alkahest at one time. There is a lot more to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night but this should cover some of the basics.
I rate the gameplay of Bloodstained Ritual of the Night with an 8.8.
There is a lot to do in this game and the replay value is very high. I love exploring the castle and trying to find all the secrets, the extra modes are very fun as well! This game feels like a very expanded Castlevania.
Sound and Graphics
The graphics are great to look at and I think it mixes 2D with 3D very well, I would love to see more Metroidvania or Castlevania games like this! My biggest problem was some platforms were unclear if they were already accessible or not for example in the twin dragon towers. The castle is pretty large and has many secrets for you to find, I still miss one or two secret rooms which I am still hunting down!
The soundtracks are great to listen to and it changes depending on the area that you are in, the voice actors did a great job.
I rate the sound and graphics of Bloodstained Ritual of the Night with an 8.0.
The graphics are great and meld together 2D platforming with 3D environments, the voice actors sound great and I liked the soundtracks!
What did I think of Bloodstained Ritual of the Night after playing?
I had a lot of fun while playing Bloodstained Ritual of the Night, the difficulty is not very high but that is where hard mode and nightmare mode come in.
There is also a randomizer mode that throws the whole game out of whack, this was very fun because it allowed some serious sequence breaking!
You can complete quests in this game to get great rewards, the cooking system also worked wonders along with the dismantling and ability to forge weapons.
It seemed as if it was going to be really hard to farm alkahest in the beginning but in the end, I can manage to get 99 alkahest in a few minutes!
I also saw a new classic mode that has just been released but I have not yet tried that mode but I did try boss rush mode, they never stood a chance muhahahaha!
I wish there were more games like Bloodstained Ritual of the Night, I love grinding shards and items while figuring out the best way to farm them as fast as possible.
This game beat all my expectations and hit a home run for me and I am glad that Ray Finn requested it and that everyone voted for Bloodstained Ritual of the Night!
I rate Bloodstained Ritual of the Night with a 9.0 after playing.
This is a game that I am going to revisit multiple times in the future to try different modes, different difficulties, and much more!
My personal rating of Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
This game feels exactly like the game that I have been longing for, not an official Castlevania but it feels so close to a Castlevania that it does not even matter! I had the same feeling that I got when I play Castlevania Aria of Sorrow!
Did you know that the series producer who calls himself IGA made this game along with almost all other Castlevania games?
My personal rating for Bloodstained Ritual of the Night is 9.0.
I would recommend this game to any Castlevania or Metroidvania lover, I am 100% sure it will scratch your gaming itch!
The final rating for Bloodstained Ritual of the night is …Drumroll…
Let me know what you think about this game in the comments.
I hope that you liked reading this review, I hope to see you in the next review!