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Have You Played... Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night?

A not-so miserable pile of secrets

So that Kickstarter thing eh? People have funded more stinkers than gems, but I think the biggest success was Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night.

In my university years, I didn't have a lot of money to spend on games. My DS soon became my go-to platform, so I played a lot of the Castlevania games from Koji Igarashi's team. I was initially excited when Igarashi sat on his throne, yeeting a wine glass in disgust when recalling what publishers thought of Metroidvanias.

Ritual Of The Night had teething problems to start with, notably the horrendously dated graphics it had during its first beta, but the finished game was good! While I'd have rather it leaned more on monsters and historical time periods than anime tropes, it's still probably the most fun I've had with a Metroidvania in a good long time.

Levels are very well designed and show that Iga's team haven't lost their touch since their Konami days. I'd also say that the bosses are more balanced overall, though I did struggle with the first fight against Zangestu. Ritual Of The Night took me a little over 16 hours to complete, but there's been a lot more added to the game since.

There is now a speed run mode, for example. Randomiser mode also gives the game extensive replay value, and extensive customisation of rules to create your own challenge. Then there's Boss Revenge mode, which gives you control of the bosses against AI controlled player characters.

I would have changed a few things, sure. But if I'm honest with myself, as it's almost a facsimile of how the best Castlevania games played, I couldn't be happier.

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