Having never played a Castlevania game before, I wasn’t quite sure how I feel about this game. As it turns out, I really liked it and now I want to go back and try older Castlevania games. Earlier this year, the Castlevania Anniversary collection was released and I’m definitely picking that up at some point.
To get back on point with Bloodstained, it is really good. There is something enjoyable about playing something so simple yet so deep. The whole crux of the game is guided exploration if that makes sense. Explore what you can explore, defeat a boss and now you’ve opened up all of these new paths. Rinse and repeat until you’ve beaten the game.
A huge part of why the exploration is so engrossing is the risk/reward aspect. Do I keep pushing forward, not knowing what’s coming next or do I stop, teleport back to the start and save? If you keep pushing forward, you’ll keep progressing through the game and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to stumble upon a save point. However, if you keep pushing forward, you could stumble into a tough room, die and lose a half-hour of progress. If you decide teleport back, you can save and restock but then you’re going to have to spend 10,20, 30 minutes getting back to that point and by the time you do, you could be low on health again. I usually tried to play it as safe as I could because I didn’t mind taking my time, grinding, getting experience and leveling up.
Typically I’m not a fan of grinding but the combat and mobility made the game so much fun to play, I didn’t mind going out of my way to kill enemies. Which sometimes I did have to grind just because I got stuck on a couple of bosses (actually it was the same boss twice) but I could grind my way through the boss battles. That is probably my big complaint, that boss you have fight twice was very difficult. It’s a minor complaint but it is a complaint of mine.
Recap: The Good
Exploration: I loved exploring the castle and finding brand new areas to explore.
Combat: Once I got a weapon that fit my play style, I was hooked.
Movement: Hated the mobility at first as you unlock new abilities the game opens up and becomes fantastic.
Bosses: Most of the bosses were perfectly tuned and fun.
Weapon Variety: Every weapon felt unique and different.
Recap: The Bad
Story: It’s not worth talking, I primarily ignored it. Great podcast game though.
Zangetsu: You fight him twice, I hated fighting him both times.
Recap: The Okay
I liked this game. It was great, moving around and killing enemies. There were a couple parts where I got stuck but I have no shame so I have no problem pulling up a guide.