Monday, October 31, 2022

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Playstation 4, 2019)


Here we go, the main event. This was on a bunch of systems; PS4 is what I'm playing it on.

In this one you play as Miriam and take on the now-nefarious Gebel (pronounced Gee-bul)

Miriam has thigh tattoos, which is kinda like drawing on the Mona Lisa, but to each their own!

This one plays very similarly to Symphony of the Night and has a variety of weapons, including martial arts boots.

Collecting these things is one of the key components of the game. Shards can have a variety of powers attached to them, either passive or activate-able. Almost every enemy has a shard particular to them that they can drop, and you can farm the same shard 9 times to increase its power.

If you love grinding, this is your game. None of this is necessary to beat the game though. It's about 12-15 hours on a regular playthrough and about 30-35 on a full platinum with grinds.

That sounds like drugs. Is he talking about drugs?

Yeah, he's definitely talking about drugs.

No need for alarm, far as I can tell the shards don't actually do anything bad to Miriam.

The first area is this SUPER memorable galleon in the pouring rain.

I really like the martial arts attacks (and it helps that the first shoes you get are sexy high heels). Unfortunately, these shoes quickly become completely obsoleted by new weapons.

The nefarious Gebel!

He beats a hasty retreat and leaves Miriam to deal with the first boss, this pointy-nippled monstrosity.

Every so often she arches back and unleashes a tsunami from her vagina dentata.


I get in there and wail away on said nether-mouth. This is like a Persona boss.

More back-arching. Because it's my post and I can!

Whoever invented the sport of women's back arching was a brilliant scientist.

The galleon runs aground and the storm ends. That was a hell of an intro area. My only complaint is that the first boss is quite difficult. It'd be one thing if the whole game were like isn't though. The difficulty is mostly downhill from here, with an exception or 3 very late in the game. So the first boss being as rough as it is seems a bit out of place. I like my difficulty curves a bit more normal.

Speaking of curves, Miriam now finds herself in the ruins of a destroyed village, at the foot of a huge fortress. It's basically every 'Vania game ever, except the village is over very quickly and from then on it's all fortress.

The blood moon rises.

Somewhere, Toad can be heard giggling.

8 HP, one hit from death...finally HAD to use my potions. Where are the save points dammit? Had to go an unusually long stretch without them early on here.

Of course, there's one two rooms after I finally used up my heals. Usually the game is pretty good about supplying a lot of these safe rooms. I maintain that the game is front-loaded with seeming more difficult than it actually is.

Again, no issues with difficulty here, just the curve of it.

Plus I quickly calmed down now that Miriam is lounging on a couch. What an elegant creature.

Zangetsu is the AFTERIMAGE KING.

This was a full-on duel, and a great fight. The second real boss, kinda the Father Gascoigne of the game.

Break time, let's check out Classic Mode.

This is an extra DLC mode that they added (for free) to the game at some point recently. It's a fairly short, six-stage, NES Castlevania-style game with modern visuals.

You get the life meter, the whip, powerups, and a rigid jump that harkens back to the 8-bit days. All things considered, this is pretty awesome and is basically its own game.

They could have easily sold this separately for like $10 or something. The creators of this game just keep on adding to it and it's pretty amazing in this day and age to see that level of effort. At the same time, I think the fans would be more than okay with it if the devs just put this game down and started working on the planned sequel instead.

The six stages ramp up in difficulty quickly by bringing in verticality. Stairs are the enemy, but not as much so as on the NES. At least you can jump on/off of them here.

The bosses, like this WIDE-MOUTHED BAT~! tend to move in more predictable patterns compared to the main game. They really did a fantastic job emulating an NES game here.

This giant knight boss roars out of the background and reminds me more of something out of Contra III.

Overworld showing the six stages. They culminate in a castle tower, of course. Stage 5 having that huge vertical passage is a little worrying because I'm thinking clock tower and gears.

This really does feel like an HD remake of Castlevania. The first one. I'd say somebody is getting sued, except that this game was made by the same guy. Koji Igarashi saw which way the winds were blowing, much like Hideo Kojima. Speaking of, when's Hideo gonna drop a crowdfunded P.T. or MGS tribute game like this?

Wait a second...a Miriam Clone?

That's right, it's time for a MIRROR MATCH.

Stage 5. Yep, clock tower and gears. Luckily it's nowhere near as bad as these places tend to be in the retro 'Vania games.

Gremory is the boss here, and basically the Grim Reaper boss from the NES. This thing is also a lategame boss in the main game, and possibly the toughest fight the game has overall.

What looks like Stage 6 on the map is actually more of Stage 5, it never actually ends after the boss fight. These rooms after it just continue right on from there. Which means dying enough times in this final area MIGHT send you all the way back to the beginning of Stage 5.

Gebel shows up here in the Dracula role, no bad voice overs though.

It's a good fight, and what you'd expect.

Credits have some artwork of Miriam being intensely desirable and stuff. Basically just Miriam existing.

The biggest protip for classic mode? Get the Dagger. And try not to lose it.

With that done, back to the main game. This game is REALLY good and reminds me a lot of Shovel Knight in terms of being essentially a fan-project with tons of love behind it. I'm going to do more with it.

Video time:

Final boss of classic mode. Absolutely a tribute to the Castlevania final boss.

The duel with Zangetsu, probably the high point of the game so far.

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