Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night E3 Impression 2
Ok, so do we call this one a Metroidvania when it’s from the guy who made the vania part of the Metroidvania namesake? Kidding aside, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night felt very much like your favorite 2D Castlevania games of old.
I started out on a big old boat. The whole experience was very much like Symphony of the Night. Collect weapons and armor that you can choose to equip? Check. Get experience for killing enemies? Check. Have some enemies drop magic shards that you can equip as spells? Check. Voice acted cut-scenes with people dressed up like vampires? Check. It’s all there!
You can choose to wield many different weapons, including swords, daggers, whips, and maces. And you also get to equip those shards that the enemies drop. As an example, two of the slots let me equip spells that I could use to attack enemies, while another slot was more of an augment slot that affected my main attack. There also looked to be a slot where you could equip a summoning attack.
When I finished playing dress up, I kept wandering around the ship until I found myself attacking a giant-sea creature-witch-lady-thing, which also had a second face on her belly. After a lot of fireball casting, whipping, and dodging of blue flames, I was able to take her down and continue on into town. Though not before skipping a long cut-scene with an aforementioned vampire dressed guy.
Inside the town was a nice home base. It included a shop, a place to upgrade abilities, and a place to craft things. It looked like gathering materials to craft items was going to be a big time sink in this game. The home base also included a save point that I presume you could easily teleport back to later, though to be fair, that was not demonstrated in what I played.
Now, obviously Koji Igarashi knows how to make Castlevania games, and this one just felt right. It mostly controlled well, though the 360 controllers they used had a bit of lag which caused me to miss jumps. I found the regular enemies to be fun to fight against. And the boss I fought was imposing but not impossible, having that right mix that equals fun. Sadly, though, my demo time ran out just before the second boss. But I can tell you that I was very much ready to sit there and spend a couple hours exploring the castle. Bloodstained looks like it’ll be a winner when it hits later this year.