Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – to steal a Symphony of the Night meme
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is (to steal a Symphony of the Night meme) more than a “miserable pile of secrets.” In its purest form, it is worthy of Koji Igarashi’s legacy and will live on as a strong representation of the genre he helped birth. With matured mechanics with the shards system, options for varied play styles, and the edition of quests, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will join the ranks of high quality Metroidvania titles worth replaying over and over again.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night takes place in the midst of the First Industrial. In the shadows of the development of steam-powered engines, advances in iron smelting, and the invention the screw cutting lathe, the hearts of the people turned from the spiritual to the tangible. In an effort to turn the hearts (and dependance) of the people (and their pocketbooks) back to themselves, the Alchemist’s Guild attempts to perform an arcane ritual to win back their tribute. Sacrificing Shardbinders (children with alchemical attunement to the supernatural) a ritual was performed to summon demons into the world which they would subsequently banish as a reminder that the alchemists were still needed.
As a result, a massive influx of demons began to pour into the world, leaving two Shardbinders left alive: Gebel (who survived the ritual) and Miriam (who was in a cursed sleep). As years passed, a mysterious castle appeared at the epicenter of the ritual site. With countless overrunning the countryside and Gebel’s name on their lips, it is up to Miriam to stop him. Accompanied by a penitent (and reluctant) alchemist Johannas, an exorcist named Dominique, and a handful of other NPCs, Miriam will venture into Gebel’s castle, confront her brother, and restore peace into the world. Admittedly, the themes are a bit “on-the-nose,” – demonic castles, shadowy paranormal organizations, the Church cleaning up demons, a hero/heroine with an axe to grind against the tides of darkness… but that’s why we play these games! As you begin Miriam’s journey, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night quickly introduces you to one of the main progression systems of the game: shards. When demons are struck down by a Shardbinder, the alchemical crystals implanted within the Shardbinders react to the souls departing their vanquished hosts. This reaction has the chance of condensing these souls into a source of power to be wielded by the Shardbinder.
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