Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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JaySevenZero
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Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and Ritual of the Night for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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The Walking Dad
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Re: 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by The Walking Dad »

Ritual of the Night ended up being one of my most memorable gaming experiences of last year, in spite of the fact that I A) completely forgot I'd backed it for over a year, and B) played the "lesser" version of the game on Switch. The week before it released, I found myself scrambling to find backer information and claim codes because of how enticing the game had become, and when it released, I burned through its multiple endings and much of the highly enjoyable post-game before immediately stating a New Game + file that I've been chipping away at ever since.

Not only that, I found myself so thirsty for more Iga goodness that I bought Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow (having played but not quite loved Circle of the Moon when the GBA launched) and sprinted through both of them while vacationing in Canada (making those long flights and drives far more bearable). I then started searching out games like Metroid Zero Mission/Fusion, Iconoclasts, and Dust to keep the high going. I haven't yet waded more than ankle deep into Symphony of the Night, but that's largely because I feel like saving the best (as I've been told) for last.

The "Greatest Hits" nature of Bloodstained, with its shard-collecting mechanic and side missions and even cooking quests coalesced into a package that finally made me fall completely in love with 2D Metroidvanias, after years of preferring the 3D counterparts. Cheers for a kickstarter that lived up to its potential and here's hoping the team has a few more adventures up their sleeve.

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Suits
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Re: 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by Suits »

The Walking Dad wrote: February 4th, 2020, 7:35 pm Not only that, I found myself so thirsty for more Iga goodness that I bought Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow (having played but not quite loved Circle of the Moon when the GBA launched) and sprinted through both of them while vacationing in Canada (making those long flights and drives far more bearable). I then started searching out games like Metroid Zero Mission/Fusion, Iconoclasts, and Dust to keep the high going. I haven't yet waded more than ankle deep into Symphony of the Night, but that's largely because I feel like saving the best (as I've been told) for last.
Sorry to hijack the Podcast thread, but I just wanted to suggest keeping an eye out for Dawn of Sorrow on the DS too !! For me it’s right up there with SotN and just slightly ahead of Aria of Sorrow.

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Re: 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by stvnorman »

Curse of the Moon is my second favourite old-school Castlevania after Super Castlevania IV! Ive played through it three times, and love the atmosphere, the aesthetic, the gameplay and the clever character switching mechanic.

I think atmosphere is the one thing holding Ritual of the Night back for me. It often looks, sounds and plays great, but throughout my very recent play through I just found myself thinking I’d be enjoying it a whole lot more if it was in Symphony of the Night’s skin, which still oozes atmosphere despite its age. Possibly tries too hard for its own good. .

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Re: 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by andthenweplay »

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night ended up being a much better game then I ever thought it would be. Exploring the castle was always a joy to me because regardless of what I spent my time doing I always felt I was making progression. Whether it was gaining levels or new shards, or finding skills that would help with traversing the castle it was always a joy. The soundtrack was incredibly memorable with a stand out track being Towers of Twin Dragons.

But what surprised me most about the game was the variety in combat and how fun it was to experiment with weapons and shards. I started one play-through with a giant great-sword and ended it with a swift katana. And on a new file I use speedy combat boots while throwing spears out of my hands. It is really fun and engaging stuff. Defiantly Ritual of the Night might be one of my favourite games of all time, and without a doubt my favourite game I own on my PlayStation 4

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Heavener
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Re: 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by Heavener »

I feel quite bad for criticizing Ritual of the Night, because I'm happy it exists. I just wish it were better.

I love metroidvanias, so I thought this game would be a perfect fit. Instead, I found the game to have a forgettable story, boring and generic character & art design in general, clunky and unresponsive combat and severe performance issues. I think it's enough to say that I quit the game after it crashed right before the true final boss. It had crashed twice before too during my run, and it annoyed me to no end (I was playing on a regular PS4 btw). I also found the numerous skills (shards) you can learn from enemies excellent in theory, but awful in practice. Most attacks were kind of similar to each other or simply outclassed by the few that were actually good. This led me to go back to previous shards pretty quickly after trying out a new one. I also found the bosses' difficulty to be either too easy or too difficult, never hitting the right spot.

I really don't get why everyone seems to love this game! Is it because Koji Igarashi was involved? In any case, I'm looking forward to listening to the podcast in order to see what others actually liked. I dislike criticizing games this much, so maybe some of you can change my opinion somewhat.

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Re: 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by Toon Scottoon »

In January I played two games by noted design teams on my Switch. Both games were in familiar genres and both games brought me joy. Neither felt like it broke new ground and neither showcased the graphics of the hardware I ran them on, but five months later only Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon sticks with me as a short, joyful, monster slaying mess around, while its counterpart goes mostly forgotten save a few cool powerups and a character design I found gauche.

Hey I’m not judging anyone's taste, both games have merit, but the fun of acquiring the full cast of fighters in Curse of the Moon, and then flying, floating and filleting my way through levels meant to mirror those found in Ritual of the Night just got under my skin and into my bloodstream. It was a good reminder that you don’t always need a full symphony, sometimes you just need a nippy little pop song that makes you want to do the dance macabre over and over again.

Three word reviews
Bloodstained Curse of the Moon - Swap to slay
Bloodstained Ritual of the Night - Fun Gothic Fanservice

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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.6.20) - 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
As someone who prefers the Classic-Vanias to the later “Igavanias”, I’m happy that the Bloodstained project also yielded a throwback to this era. And for the most part, Curse of The Moon is an enjoyable riff on Draculas Curse. However, it doesn’t strike the perfect blend of new + old as something like Shovel Knight. Some of the changes are welcome, such as the ability to toggle knockback or revisit past stages. Other times, the game can feel a little overbearing; The optimal route is always obvious courtesy of pointing skeletons, as are character -specific paths. If any paths requires a specific item to access, the game always makes sure to provide it to you directly beforehand. As a result, when I found a path obviously accessible to a downed party member, I would often chuck my remaining characters into the nearest pit in rapid succession in order to start over fresh with a new life.
Also, I know it’s a silly complaint to level at a Castlevania game, but the story is surprisingly clunky; it goes “Zangetsu was out killing all demons. Then he noticed a really big Demon. Then he swore to kill all demons”. All you needed for the old Castlevania games was “Dracula is bad! Go to his castle and kill him” provide context for your journey, but Curse of the Moon had me wondering where exactly I was headed as I progressed through the stages. Still, its a trip worth taking, and I will most likely make at least one more courtesy of the games "Nightmare mode" - its not like I'll miss playing as Zangetsu...

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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.6.20) - 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by duskvstweak »

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon was my favorite game of 2018. I know we're in no shortage of retro-pixel games, but when one like Curse of the Moon shows up and nails it's mission so expertly, it really stands out. I played it on both difficulties, one night after the other, and it was a blast both times. It's got the spirit of those older Castlevania's without the NES difficulty.
Aesthetically, it's a vivid and gorgeous game to play, with my favorite level being the pirate ship during the stormy night. The rain, the wind, the music, it's exciting and feels like the best kind of NES adventure.
I could have played a few more games done like Curse of the Moon before Ritual came out...

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Mr Ixolite
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Re: Our next podcast recording (7.6.20) - 422: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon/Ritual of the Night

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Bloodstained-Ritual of the night
After a Castlevania marathon a few years back, I was pretty exhausted with not just the “Igavanias”, but also the “Metroidvania” subgenre itself. It was only recently that games like Ori and the Blind Forest and Hollow Knight turned this around, and so this podcast was the perfect excuse to see what a 10 year hiatus had done to the Igarashi-formula.
Right off the bat it becomes clear that the “Symphony of the Night” template has been replicated perfectly, as well as my overall issues with these games. The main one is that the moment-to-moment gameplay of what I do in the castle is often not that interesting. Though the backdrops change, the actual level design doesn’t vary much. There may be an occasional hazard, but navigating the areas is rarely that complex, and combat fares similarly, as I spent much time absentmindedly mowing down demons with tried and true attacks. Which is a bummer, because the thing that wowed me with Ori and Hollow Knight was that level traversal or combat, or even both, felt more involved and fun. It felt like a fusion of the Metroidvania format and the dexterity-based challenges of oldschool platformers.

However, Bloodstained has different things to offer. I can play the game with acid-green skin and a perpetual gasmask. I have a groaning little book familiar. Enemies can be disembodied dog heads. Theres a vampire called Orlok Dracul. These games have an endearingly kooky wavelength all their own, and for the first time ever, I even kinda liked the story in a Castlevania game. And though it occasionally feels somewhat mindless, with progression being made for progressions sake, theres no denying that it is addictive. I just wish it took a bit more cues from its level-based ancestors.

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Mr Ixolite
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Re: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Post by Mr Ixolite »

I don't know if this issue is just specific to the switch version but still: Why the hell would you make a boss where you need to do the fiddly invert command on the fly in order to avoid massive damage

Ugh. I absolutely agree with the notion that bosses feel off, at least for how I'm playing; barring a few cases where you end up in inescapable damage zones, their patterns aren't too bad, but they deal such massive damage and take so long to beat that they can be infuriating. Of course, this has a simple reason: I'm underleveled, and I don't have half the equipment and magic guides tell me to use for these battles. Basically, I need to go grind, and unequip all the cool equipment I'm actually fond of in favor of stuff with better stats. But I don't want to do that. It always feels off to me, in the same way it'd feel off if I needed to farm bananas in Donkey Kong in order to take a boss down in 6 hits instead of 20.

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