Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Nintendo Switch

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  • Igavania Spiritual Successor - Koji Igarashi, one of the renowned godfathers of the genre, is creating a new, modern side scrolling action RPG experience that will satisfy long time Igavania fans.
  • Vast and Deep Gameplay - Unlock spells and powers, find, craft and upgrade several types of weapons and special items to change Miriam's appearance, mix and match gear and abilities to find your playstyle.
  • High Fidelity 2.5 Graphics - Everything in Bloodstained is rendered in loving 3D detail on a 2D side scrolling environment that changes and evolves as you play.
  • Orchestral Music by Industry Legends - With music by Michiru Yamane and Ippo Yamada, respectively, veterans of the Castlevania Franchise and Capcom brand, Bloodstained's music is an unforgettable experience.
  • Iga's Biggest Castle - Bloodstained's game world is the biggest of Koji Igarashi's entire career, with a map size almost 2x as big as past Igavania hits.
  • Multiple Characters to Choose From - Aside from the enigmatic Miriam there are secret playable characters awaiting discovery.

Product Description

Fight for your life in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Nintendo Switch. In this gothic horror action RPG, set in 18th century England, a paranormal force has summoned a demon-infested castle and with it, crystal shards infused with tremendous magical power. You must play as Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist's curse which slowly crystallizes her body, to save herself and humanity by fighting through the castle and defeating the summoner, Gebel.

Collect, craft and unlock a vast array of weapons, equipment and loot to defeat the countless minions and bosses of hell that await!

8.5 Game Informer Must Play

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

A Tribute Worth Its Trials

by Suriel Vazquez on Jun 24, 2019

Game Informer Must Play

At first, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night feels a bit staid. Though the series is new, it sees longtime Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi returning to the formula he helped define over the years with titles like Symphony of the Night. Because Bloodstained overtly draws from that tradition, the opening hours reproduce many moments fans of 2D Castlevania titles have seen before. However, this spiritual successor slowly and surely earns its keep among greats by cleverly mixing familiar elements of the genre.

The sprawling map is the cornerstone of the experience; the giant castle you explore belongs to a demented “shardbinder” named Gebel (not Dracula), and it’s enormous, winding, and a joy to uncover. As Miriam, a fellow shardbinder who can absorb the power of monsters she slays, your path can occasionally be circuitous; I often had to hoof it from a save room to a teleport room to my base of operations to stock up on supplies, then back to a save room before taking on a boss. But slowly filling out the map is a satisfying slow burn. Most areas stick to the castle’s gothic themes, but later locales introduce some fun surprises that kept me eager to see where I’d head next.

You acquire new traversal abilities as you go, though this progression starts off a little slow. The double-jump won’t resolve as many loose ends on the map as you think it might, and sometimes your next destination is too vague. However, you eventually get fantastic abilities that are fun to wield and open the way forward, like a reflector beam you can use to sneak through tight spaces, or the ability to run at ridiculous speeds. By the time you’ve been through most of the map, you feel like you have total mastery of your surroundings, though later areas still provide interesting challenges.

Combat also takes a little while to come into its own. The main hook is that Miriam can equip shards that give her the powers of the monsters she kills. These initially manifest as additional attacks that cost mana or passive bonuses, but quickly offer up a number of different ways to approach combat. Do you tackle a tough area or boss by slowly healing yourself over time, or double-down on damage by creating a copy of yourself?

If you’re familiar with 2D Castlevania games, the tricks you’ve memorized (such as attacking right before you land to get an extra-fast second attack in) still work, and the familiar muscle-memory is a nice touch. But until the additional layers unravel, Bloodstained’s opening sections feel unremarkable, because encounters involve little more than ducking and weaving out of monsters’ attacks to deliver your own. Only when you start amassing interesting shards can you start exploring your options.

A healthy dose of RPG mechanics keeps combat exciting and give you another reason to scour every inch of the castle. As you defeat explore and level up, you find weapons with different ranges and elemental properties, as well as other equipment and items. As these different options compound on each other, I swapped between multiple shard and gear loadouts, since some weapons and skills work better against certain enemies. And while some bosses simply let you wail on them until they’re dead, others require you to learn their movements or try different builds to survive, which means being flexible and experimental with your skills.

The best equipment is locked behind extensive crafting or side-questing. This aspect can be convoluted and prone to grinding; later quests and recipes require you to farm monsters that have a low chance of dropping a particular component, and I wound up with too much stuff that didn’t seem crucial. However, once I found recipes for the most powerful weapons, I held off on finishing the game to go seek out their ingredients and craft them. The power boost you get from these items is worth the time spent acquiring them.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s journey is familiar, but the way it iterates and builds on that familiarity helps distinguish it from its lineage. Its combat, RPG elements, and enticing exploration intertwine seamlessly, and had me obsessively scouring every nook and cranny of a gigantic map for hours, even after I’d defeated the last boss. I enjoyed finally returning to this haunted castle, even if it belongs to a new master.


Create a new franchise that melds the action, exploration, and RPG elements that made Castlevania: Symphony of the Night successful


Characters, monsters, and environments are colorful and distinct, though animations look stiff and clunky up close


The voice acting can be a bit stilted at times, but the music is appropriately gothic, with the occasional guitar thrown in


The accessible hack-and-slash repertoire is complemented by a flexible array of magic attacks, and Castlevania fans will find familiar tricks and maneuvers


Ritual of the Night starts off a little too familiar, but quickly ramps up into an impressive exemplar of the genre it’s retreading



See More Must Play Games



Brand Name 505 Games
GameStop Exclusive false


ESRB Rating Teen 13+
ESRB Descriptors Blood, Partial Nudity, Violence


Number of Players 1
Perspective 3rd Person
Genre Action


Publisher Name 505 Games
Developer Name ArtPlay

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Nintendo Switch
$19.99 - $39.99