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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (IGA's Castlevania Successor) [PC/PS4/XBO]

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21 hours ago, KHCast said:

How’s the difficulty? I was watching Jim play it, and it looked pretty...easy. Are there difficulty modes?

The difficulty ranges in each area with the monsters, for example I came across an enemy early that can half your health and kill you on the spot with its assaults. there are difficulty modes in the game but I just went with the default.

Edit: Just a heads up there's a secret enemy that can take you down something fierce later in the game. Stumbled on an easy way to cheese it.

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How close to Castlevania does this game feel like gameplay and atmosphere wise? I'm a metroidvania guy since GBA games to NDS, played a ton of them and SotN.

I read IGA wants to make another Castlevania (or two) if he gets a chance. I think he hinted it could be based on the story of Dracula's death in 1999 (J. Belmont), sort of a 'prequel' to Aria Of Sorrow. 

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Gameplay wise it's pretty similar to the Castlevania games, though your backdash isn't as good as say Alucard's at the beginning. Atmosphere on the other hand is a different matter, in that I think there is more cheese that Bloodstained leans into.

On 6/18/2019 at 9:23 PM, KHCast said:

The fucking shade thrown at Konami haha I love it 

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Just beat the slot machine monster, and... it was something alright.

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Wait, what? It's crazy to the Japanese being treated like this, usually it's either NA or EU that get fucked for no discernible reason. It must sting especially considering it's made by a Japanese developer. This was like the one kickstarter game, from that infamous lot that seemed to have relatively few issues, clearly 505 should have found a Japanese partner if this was going to be so hard for them.

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Out of the blue, a sequel just got announced!  No, not for the main game, but for the retro spin-off, Curse Of The Moon!

Put me down as surprisingly hyped for this.  Curse Of The Moon the first was excellent and transcended its nostalgic roots, and I am very much looking forward to playing a further iteration with new levels, mostly new bosses, and new allies including A DOG IN A MECH SUIT.

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Okay, this was surprising for sure. I sense there's a Rotn sequel in the making some time. I didn't like Rotn and actually never tried Cotm, but I feel like I should give it shot.

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Consider this my own review of Curse Of The Moon 2, which is great; it deepens the careful, multi-layered level design of the original, your allies' abilities are confidently remixed, the bosses are absolute showstoppers - and the way the story weaves together different variations on your ally set-up in mimicry of the original game's choices really feels revelatory (with the Final Episode in particular almost functioning like a Metroidvania).  I do feel that it's a more difficult game, though; the first four stages are fairly easy, but the second half of the game spikes hard and further loops increase all forms of difficulty, and the game starts to feel frankly punishing.  (There is also one fairly unnecessary route split which I would not personally have included.)

I relish the challenge, but sometimes it doesn't feel appropriate; there are some rooms and bosses which feel like they really need a particular character to be winnable, and while repeat attempts at bosses give them an HP handicap based on your prior performance, it's not enough, and if you do worse and lose another character then the boss's health might actually increase again!  Boss HP handicaps really need to be cumulative - or perhaps not there at all.  I also feel that the character Robert feels too limited in strength compared to the others; he's nerfed too much for his infinite-range attack, and his unique mobility moves are the least useful.

But above all, I wish there was a difficulty option which let me just play without lives, but no other concessions; or a customisable difficulty.  I never actually got a game over (save on one (delightful!) late-game genre change), but the threat of it was enough for me to play the hidden Zangetsu-only final boss in Casual, which I regret; but I just couldn't stomach the idea of starting over repeatedly.  The fact that Zangetsu-only feels like such a daunting prospect is probably not helped by the fact that there is no canon solo Zangetsu route - which I would have liked, but it scarcely feels doable.  Of course, there are some real CotM2 aces out there who snort in the face of such challenges, and who've just gotten an added super-hard difficulty mode update which I'm not going to touch; but still, just a little more flexibility in the difficulty would be enough for me, I think.

But overall, an excellent retro-style game which I absolutely enjoyed, and would happily recommend to anyone on the lookout for a tough-but-mostly-fair Classicvania-like.  I can't see exactly how they can top this game or go further, but a hypothetical Curse Of The Moon 3 would be an easy buy for me, just as this game was.

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