Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a pure passion project that's positively oozing with talent, dedication, and attention to detail. Iga's team are the masters at these types of unique slices of retro gaming, and everyone on board clearly knows what they're doing. Everything in Bloodstained has been meticulously crafted to empower players and resurrect the beloved old-school flame of classic explore-and-slash experiences of yore.
It has the pedigree and scope of a AAA game squeezed into an affordable indie package, and proves that after all these decades, gamers do indeed still want these kinds of titles. Bloodstained adds fuel to the Metroidvania flame to make it a roaring inferno, reminding billion-dollar publishers what games could and should be.
If you've ever had a passing interest in Castlevania, or have fond memories of the series, definitely buy Bloodstained. Trust me. It's not Symphony of the Night. It's something more, something different and new and greater all at once. But at its heart, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is bloody good.
+ New innovative shard system
+ Deep RPG mechanics
+ Combat is fluid, intuitive, and fun
+ Exploration is rewarding
+ Chaotic boss battles
+ NewGame+ and tons of upgrades offers massive replayability for completionists
+ Isn't devilishly hard like NES Castlevania games
- Jumps can be a bit clunky
- Load times aren't great
- Easy to get lost and stuck
The Bottom Line
Ritual of the Night is a must-have for any Castlevania fan, and is almost better than Symphony of the Night.