Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon Review
Quick Glance: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Platform - Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, PC (Reviewed)
Players – 1
Achievements – Yes
Steam Trading Cards - Yes
Controller Support - Partial
Retail Price - $9.99 (Steam)
High Level Premise: According to the dramatic, Star Wars-esque scrolling text intro … “There was once a man who had been given the moon's curse by demons. That man was Zangetsu”. So there you have it. Zangetsu hates demons bad. Real bad. And it’s all the moon’s fault!
Graphics/Style: Return to 2D “platformer noire” in this most satisfying tribute to Castlevania. More than just a spiritual successor, BCotM would be better described as a cooler, spiritual older brother. Inti Creates amazed me thoroughly when I came across that familiar “flicker” when moving through water in the game. I couldn’t believe how they perfectly recreated that innocuous graphics glitch. It really brought home the aesthetic and made me incredibly nostalgic.
Music/Soundtrack: Exactly what you’d expect. Close your eyes and think of the word “MIDI” and I guarantee the music you’re dredging up from your memories is not far at all from what you get with BCotM. The theme is definitely retro 8-bit dark adventure music. Listen for yourself, here’s a link to the OST:
Story: Little to none, but hey, that’s okay! Just like the original 8-bit Castlevania games, BCotM is very light on the story and heavy on the platforming design and punishing boss battles. Basically what we get are snippets of each of the 4 character’s pasts, but not much to tie them together.
Replay-ability: BCotM has multiple endings, depending on your interactions with other characters. Make sure to play through a few times!
Time Commitment: In line with the other games of the 8-bit era, don’t expect to pick up exactly where you left off, but there are save spots in BCotM and you can resume play from the beginning of the level if all of your characters die. Most levels, if you make it on the first try, take about 15-20 minutes for an average gamer to get through.
Value: 10/10, perfect price point for this amazing throwback. I guess all 67 THOUSAND kickstarter supporters help knock that price down. Thanks guys!
Favorite Element(s): My favorite aspect of this game has to be the fact that you really feel like you are playing a brand new 8-bit Castlevania title for the NES, circa 1986. It is so spot on with the atmosphere and controls, that I just bounced around the first area with endless zombie enemies and killed them over and over, reveling in the accuracy and the nostalgia. A close second, is the ability to change characters. I loved the concept of having companions in Castlevania III for NES, but it always felt limited. This is a much better implementation of a hunting party feel, as you share resources, but don’t share HP. Lastly, I love the challenge. Castlevania games have been known for their difficult boss battles and platforming horrors, and BCotM is no exception.