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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (213)

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Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5
Star Fox 2 3/5
Metroid: Samus Returns 4/5
Dragon Quest VI: Realms... 4/5
Super Mario RPG: Legend... 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 5/5

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Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon   Nintendo Network 

A Retro 8-bit Style Castlevania-Like Game    4/5 stars

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is an 8-bit retro prequel to the Kickstarter backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. This game plays a lot like the Castlevania games on the NES and provides a lot of replayability.

For those who do not know the story behind Bloodstained, here's a really short summation. One of the producers of Castlevania wanted to make another game and went through Kickstarter to get funding. Over 5 million dollars was pledged so the game Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night got started. That game is more like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with HD graphics and will be on PS4/Switch/XBox One. But, one of the fundraising goals if reached was to make a retro prequel which is what this game is.

Curse of the Moon plays a lot like Castlevania III on NES. There are 8 levels to traverse in a linear way. Along the way there are forks in the road and depending on what character you are and the abilities you have you might be able to go one way or the other. Each level has a boss at the end which plays like a retro NES boss with specific moves and attacks you can anticipate and avoid.

As you play through the game you can take on additional characters. There are four in total. You start the game as Zangetsu, a demon slayer that wields a sword. You then can recruit a character that use a whip, a wizard that uses a magic and a vampire like character that can turn into a bat. You can change characters at any point through any level and each has their own health gauge but they use the same pool of hearts for their sub-weapons. If you die as one of the characters you restart at a checkpoint with the remaining ones.

Each character has subweapons. 3 of them can get different ones through the level while the one who can turn into a bat is limited to that. Each sub-weapon can useful in certain situations and there's some strategy as to which one you want to use. That adds to the quality of this game really. One character can choose from a knife that goes straight, a 3 knife subweapon that she shoots angling upward and a giant powerful axe that has short range. Knowing what enemies you'll encounter will help you decide what to use. The wizard has a ring of fire that helps protect you or an ice attack that freezes enemies or a homing attack that can be very useful to flying enemies. If you use the right strategy almost every normal enemy in a level is easy to kill.

Gameplay is like the NES. When you jump with a character you don't control their fall. So if you jump straight up and down that's it. If you jump forward they will jump a certain amount of distance and that's it. If you're not prepared and thinking about that you will fall into a few pits along the way. You also have to think about it when you attack enemies and you will need to decide what weapon to use on which enemy if you want to avoid damage.

What's great about this game is that there's multiple ways to go through it. Once you beat it the first time, you can unlock Nightmare mode which has you go through the game with only 3 characters and you can obtain the "real" ending (there's a new level as well). Not only that, but if you want you can kill the characters you could recruit and obtain special powers for your original character and go through the game that way. I immediately played Nightmare mode after beating it the first time and enjoyed it again. This game only takes a couple hours to get through so it's not a crazy task to take on.

The story is about demons and has nothing to do with Dracula but in reality this feels just like an old school Castlevania game. The level design, enemies, castle and music will all feel very familiar. And, to me at least, this a very good thing. It's like stumbling on a NES Castlevania game that you've never played before.

I backed Bloodstained on Kickstarter and because of that I got a Switch code for this game for free but to me it's worth the $10 if you enjoy retro NES style games and Castlevania. I had forgotten this game was even coming out so this was a nice surprise to play.

4/5

 

 


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