I know this may not be the popular opinion, but I preferred Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon over Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night! I am all in on the Bloodstained series and while at first getting a new take on the Symphony of the Night series was cool. Even cooler, was the throwback to the NES style of Castlevania games that the Curse of the Moon offered.
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The Game Review
I was very surprised that we got a sequel to Curse of the Moon. I can say right off the bat that Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 takes what the first game did and expands on it in every way you can imagine. As this is a throwback style game, you are not getting a deep plot. Basically, there is a big evil and you want to stop it.
Returning from the first game is Zangetsu who is the main character again. Like before you have other playable characters. The baddie from the last game, Dominique is back and now she is good. Robert plays like a soldier as he has a gun and Hachi wears a robotic suit of armor…. Because he is a dog!
The cast of characters is a great mix and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Like the previous game, you can switch between characters when you want (once they are all unlocked) and this is key. Each character has their own attacks, with some being more useful than others.
They also have their own abilities such as being able to go prone in the case of Robert or hover in the case of Hachi. Each character also has their own sub “weapons” these are great! I like how some are actual weapons and others are healing items. As you progress through the game, you level up making you stronger and making your magic meter better.
Speaking of the magic meter. While each character has their own health bar, you do share a magic meter with them all. Thankfully this is regularly topped up as you play so I never found a lack of magic to be an issue. The core gameplay is just like it was in the first game, I would say that Castlevania III is probably the best comparison.
The platforming feels great and I like how the game forces you to get familiar with all the characters. The main game mode is 8 stages long and can be beaten in a couple of hours. That is not all there is to it though as there is a second challenge and you can go back and find secrets and even play as the original other three characters from the first game.
There is much more content here than there was in the first game. There are two difficulty levels for you. The casual difficulty is nice in that you can just keep on continuing and you also do not get knocked back. The harder one is a much steeper challenge and great if you are a veteran of the NES Castlevania games.
The whole game is tied together with some gorgeous 8-bit sprite work. I love the way that this game looks and it is one of my favorite retro style modern games in terms of the visuals. Some of the bosses look great and while the game is done in an 8-but style there is no way in hell my old faithful NES could have handled these!
Overall, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is a better game than the first. It offers more challenge, more levels, more characters, and just more in every regard. It is a fun experience and, in a day, and age when there is no shortage of “8-bit inspired games” I feel this one more than stands out from the rest.
- I like how each character feels unique
- The sense of progression is solid
- The game offers a challenge, but it is a fir one
- The visuals and soundtrack are awesome
- It takes what made the first game good and improves upon it
- If the first game did not win you over, the core gameplay is the same here
- I hope that for the next one they use Super Castlevania as the inspiration, not the NES games