Oh Metroidvania genre, how fast and bountiful you’ve flourished.
Yet for every Hollow Knight and Axiom Verge out there claiming all the praise and awards, it would be nice to see a gothic vampire-laden horror-bound “anime” version of that. Especially from the king of the genre himself, Koji “I love whips & cowboy hats” Igarashi”.
Thankfully, the crowdfunded PC and console game Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is exactly that.
This Metroidvania title takes a few steps forward in improving the formula, yet purposefully retained its trappings and quirks into making it an unabashed Symphony of the Night spiritual successor. Minus all the Konami red tape and nonsense.
We likened Bloodstained to a pair of comfortable jeans fresh out of the factory; it doesn’t revolutionize the genre like the aforementioned Western-made action-adventure games, but it sure as heck still fun to play and experiment with.
Never have I been more invested in a game’s simplistic-yet-rewarding alchemy and farming system than in Bloodstained.
Coming from a guy who abhors this in MMOs, this is a huge compliment to an otherwise great ode to the then new-age Castlevania map-intensive adventures.
I’m still not a fan of murdering giant-headed toy dogs and cats, no matter how evil they are in this title.