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  1. #1

    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night [XB1/PS4/NSW/PC]

    Is there seriously not even a thread for this?

    Koji Igarashi & team's spiritual follow-on from his explore-em-up Castlevania games was a Kickstarter mega-success, and eventually launched earlier this year, following after the rather fab 8 bit-esque, more traditional platforming & level-based sideshow, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. Perhaps not the smoothest of launches, what with some game-breaking bugs at launch, the Switch version getting a fair bit of stick for reduced visual fidelity, poor frame rate, and input lag, and the Japanese version getting delayed for 4 after the rest of the world. But now it's out everywhere, reduced to < 30 on most platforms, and patched up the wazoo. You're good now.

    First impressions: straight away this feels very much like you'd expect it to. Miriam moves about like a protagonist from any other Igavania game, enemies are varied and telegraph their attacks, and the controls feel very right. There's a wee bit of it's rather hammy story before you first go stomping about, but all of the tutorials in the opening area are subtle and non-instrusive. Voice acting's a bit off in places, and I'm still finding the move to 3D all a bit jarring, but it's 100% got the heart of Castlevania pumping through it.

    I'm about 4 hours in now, have got myself a double jump, have committed a few particular dead ends to memory that clearly need another way to travel through them, and a few items on a mental checklist that I'm looking out for.

    Some things I'm really digging so far: the village quests are very Order of Ecclesia, which breaks things up nicely. There's a crafting system, which allows you to power up your shards (read: souls in Aria/Dawn of Sorrow) but also allows you to craft meals from food items - and the first time you eat one you gain yourself a permanent stat increase. One of the passive skills you get allows you to configure load outs you can switch between super-quick by holding one button and then using the left stick.

  2. #2
    Still enjoying this, but progress has slowed down a bit. Currently at about 75%, and though I've got most of the traversal shards there's one area that I can't get to on account of spikes. Stop me if you're getting deja vu...

    (reality is: this has *very* similar beats to SotN, more so than any of the others that followed)

  3. #3
    I played this earlier in the year after not being excited by any of the development videos. It looked bad for so long then the release buzz was really good so I gave it a go. Absolutely fell in love with it. It is my GOTY because I was surprised at how much I loved it. A really nice surprise.

    Right up until the last bit it had a really good flow and pace but finding

    the armour

    you need to progress presented a huge stumbling block that drained some of the fun. It's also super grindy if you want to do all the side stuff and it would have benefitted from trimming some of that.

    Love the game though, great weapon variety and fantastic pacing for most of it.
    Last edited by chopemon; 17-11-2019 at 09:41 AM. Reason: Added spoiler tag

  4. #4
    Yeah - I've been really enjoying this. Would agree that the flow goes from quite handhold-y to totally hands off in a rather clunky way, but it also still has lots of room to be much worse about it. I think good gear could do with being a bit better spaced out though, once I got to the end it felt like all of the stat leaps I could make were all of a sudden twice as impactful as any others I did throughout. These are nit-picks though, and more to do with comparing the pace to countless games doing something similar.

    I've now finished the game, got 100% map and bestiary, but now am working on items. This I feel may be the slightly more painful part of things, but what I am enjoying is how there's quite a lot of room for you to really push your stats far beyond normal parameters. Loading up on books, food passives, turning passive shards to skills etc, zooming about with ridiculously strong skills and with drop rates at an absurd level... this is my castle, now!

  5. #5
    All cleaned up! Found the slog for items wasn't so bad, given there are some really solid money-making routes, and then using that it was fairly trivial to buy previously-crafted weapons and armour, and dismantle them for the mats needed for the other rarer pieces.

    I dug this a lot - it's still a long way from perfect, but it did have a lot of positives about it. Given how heavily Iga's work at Konami relied on recycled assets, starting from scratch here gives this quite a clean breakaway feel.

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