Monday, November 7, 2022

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Part Two


Miriam chases the moon.

Previously on Bloodstained: I faced Zangetsu in a FULL-ON DUEL. Today: More of a game that turned out to be an incredibly good surprise.

These stained-glass portals are your fast-travel points for the game, and I'm usually happier to see them than save points even. Basically means you aren't gonna have to back-track and can go resupply.

Did a bunch of back-stepping in a row to see if it was a faster way to move around, and got a trophy. Note: It does seem to be faster, which means that like SOTN, speedrunners for this game are probably gonna be moonwalking everywhere.

Trying on different boots, no big whoop

Was pretty excited to find a whip. Unfortunately it doesn't function in the traditional 'Vania-style forward-stab way. It's more of a down-forward round slash. Didn't find it too useful and stuck with swords, but everyone else's mileage will vary. Never made use of any of the two-handers or guns either and some swear by those.

One of the trophies (the biggest one, by far) involves collecting all the items, so I started being thorough from an early point (even though I wasn't really planning on getting the plat). Sadly, none of the outfits seem to change Miriam's appearance (with two lategame exceptions). I think one thing that would have improved the game is if Miriam could change outfits more.

Wait, what?

Oh, you mean on the CARRIAGE, right.

Miriam: "Indeed"

Those are called tattoos.

In any case, I got completely lost for a while at this point. That's another minor issue with the game. At least early on, it's very easy to get lost. Turned out I had to find a giant Grabbyhands McGee boss and defeat it to get a giant grabby-hand power that let me move a block so that the carriage could actually transport Miriam to the next area.

Giant cats start appearing as foes now. They're also...ornery.

Here's the barber (no relation to Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake). He's all about scissoring.

Know who else is all about scissoring?

Billy Gunn, whose hands were tragically broken so he can no longer scissor.

Luckily, we now have GIANT FOAM SCISSORHANDS so he can scissor again!

Man, this guy desperately wants to scissor Miriam. So does everybody else, get in line!

Miriam finally agrees to partake in scissoring.

We get options for a full-on makeover. This is actually pretty awesome. I should have taken the hat off for this though.

Only one alternate hairstyle available...for now. You can find books scattered about that add more hairstyle possibilities.

I made Miriam's outfit and hair both more reddish and called it a day.

For men, he also specializes in circumcisions. Today's special: Half off!

The game has some nice 3D backgrounds, like this cathedral.

I get the new ability that lets me move giant blocks around...and had no idea what to do next, again. I didn't see the block in the carriage's way. Well, glad that part is done.

Miriam rides the carriage in the pale moonlight.

This leads old train subway? This game has some really interesting environments.

Next are these gems that you activate by waving your hand towards them. I could see this being another thing people get stuck on.

A few rooms later I find myself stumped again until I realize that...

...waving your hand also affects background objects. Now that that's out of the way...

Not sure what's up with all of the (unique) paintings scattered around this game. I suspect they're pictures of high-tier funders.

At the top of the machina library, we find...


???: "Or perhaps you'd like to torture me instead! Go on, see what you can fit in there!"

OD, huh?

Unfortunately for him, Miriam isn't going to torture him. He serves a valuable purpose:

You can check out stat books here that give significant bumps to specific stats. Some of these are huge. It's an extremely difficult choice which to go with. As the game goes on, the lending limit increases to 2 and then 3. Once you achieve 99% or more map completion, you can fight this guy. Win, and the lending limit increases to ALL OF THEM which is insane. Less insane by then since you're at endgame levels, but still.

For a second I misread this as "giant orgasms"

Perhaps just wishful thinking with Miriam in the frame here.

This is probably the best activate-able defensive spell. Gives Miriam a shield of...paintings?

Works pretty well for repelling smaller enemies entirely and doing extra damage to larger enemies while meleeing.

For distance/range spells, I liked Void Ray the most, but it doesn't drop until the 2nd to last area.

Next up, I visit Todd the Barber again.

We've got one new hairstyle available. I would have liked this more if they just gave you the full range of hairstyle choices right from the get-go. Also, I don't think any of the alternate hairstyles really look better than her default hairstyle, at least in motion / from a distance.

The next boss is Deoxys, of Pokémon fame.

No, that really is Deoxys. WTF. I unleash damaging paintings and quickly get the win.

This is HUGE. Almost feels like the game hadn't even started yet without it. Total game-changer and now you can move around the world the way you're meant to.

Got a trophy for running 40 miles or something like that. TBH I don't know how that's possible so soon, but I'll take it. Will I go for the plat?

The next part had me wandering lost for a while, until I found out that I needed to find this well to proceed. One issue I've had with the early to mid game is that it's really easy to get lost. Every time I defeat a big boss or get a big powerup, I usually find myself having no clue what to do next. It gets better as the game goes along and your objectives seem more and more clear.

In this watery cave, we find...Shovel Knight? COULD IT BE?

Defeat him enough times to get his shard, and it's this fun one that sics him on enemies. Only for one attack though, not a summoned pet.

I continue farming and get the Shovel weapon, which... a pretty good spear with high damage and reach.

You saw it here first.

Miriam can even make a shovel sexy.

I farm more, enough to get the knight's super-rare drop. This armor is one of two armors in the game that change your appearance.

This can also be paired with the Shovel weapon for full mimicry. That's right, I am now...

...the Shovel Knight. My God. The magnificent bastards really did it! A Shovel Knight crossover.


Lastly, I climb this tower that actually rotates as you run around it (while taking up only a small area on the map). I haven't seen this particular effect since Skyblazer.

At the top is a dual-headed dragon boss. Pretty bad-ass fight here.

More later.

Video time! Miriam rides the carriage. Look at that twirl.

Revenant - This optional boss is interesting because it's an undead vampire hunter with some of the moves from the old Belmont clan. Sort of like the game is shedding the old Castlevania skin.

8-Bit Nightmare. This place is awesome, just wish it were longer. The music is catchy AF, as the kids say.

Next up: Third and final post.

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