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illdog

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

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So this doesn't even try not to be Castlevania. It's got the same intro screen and everything. Even the C in "Curse" is the C from Castlevania.

 

This is proper old school retroness - 8 bit music, 8 bit graphics and 8 bit gameplay. If you've played any old Castlevania game you'll know exactly what you're in for and if you haven't you're a cunt and you should fuck off.

 

You only get to pick Normal difficulty from the off but you get to pick between two gameplay variants. Casual in which lives are unlimited and enemy hits don't knock you back and Veteran which plays like the old Castlevania games and offers more of a challenge.

 

You set off on your side scrolling adventure from left to right in control of (i forget his name). He has a sword and that sword has limited range and can only be poked in front of you. You destroy lamps (instead of candles) which drops mostly ammo for sub weapons but also yields hearts for health regen and cash for good old fashioned points! Although they are worth bagging as got an extra life at 20,000.

 

I've only played the first two levels so far but each level has predictably ended in a boss fight. Upon defeat of said boss you unlock a new ally of whom you can control. You can switch between allies with the shoulder buttons and each has their own health bar for tactical switching. The first ally I got was a chick with a whip, a higher jump and a ground slide. This new ground slide technique is handy to go under things that the main guy couldn't (cos for some reason he cant slide). I noticed plenty of opportunities to use this slide on the first level so I guess at some point you can go through it with her, maybe after completion, i dont fucking know. She also has a different set of sub weapons also.

 

I've just beat the second level boss and unlocked a third character so i'm gonna go try him out. The game hasn't been too tough so far, i'm yet to lose a life but I'm expecting that to change.

 

I've enjoyed the music so far as well. Do with that info what you will.

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Quick double post. Third level was pretty fun and the boss was quite inventive. The old man you unlock at the end of level 2 has a poor main weapon but his sub is Alchemy which summons a purple flaming shield around him that allows him to walk through weak enemies, destroying them on contact making him kind of awesome. Music again was good and i've just unlocked Gebel. He's a vampire dude who throws bats and can also tranform in to one ala Alucard in SotN. That's gonna be handy for exploring. He also walks with his arms folded cos he doesn't give a fuck.

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Might not be cos he doesn't give a fuck, might just have tired arms, people get that sometimes. 

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11 minutes ago, Sambob said:

Might not be cos he doesn't give a fuck, might just have tired arms, people get that sometimes. 

 

That's why you do it, it's not why Gebel does it. Gebel walks around with his dick out too. And no, it's not because it's tired.

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I just beat the game for the first time.

 

From Chapter 5 onwards it gets a lot tougher and i died for the first time, then lots of times after that. So you have four characters max (but I think you can refuse their help by just not talking to them) but if you die then you die as that character and you continue from a checkpoint witht the other three and so on until you are all dead and only then does it count as a life lost.

 

It turns out the chick (Mirium i think?) is the best, her main weapon has the longest range, she can slide which is great for dodging and most of her sub weapons are helpful as fuck. The problem is if you play as her too much you risk losing her and therein lie the tactics of the game. Save the best character for the boss and have a harder time throughout the level or play as your favorite and risk losing them and potentialy struggle with a boss? An unexpected yet welcome gameplay mechanic.

 

I have to say that the knock back when hit by an enemy can cause some fucking bullshit deaths later on but you just have to man up and except it.

 

8 levels and the last boss is actually a walk in the park once you learn the pattern.

 

Oh yea, the main character is called Zangetsu.

 

 

I've unlocked Nightmare mode upon completion, this seems to continue the story...

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YEAH! I just beat Nightmare mode. That last boss is tough, it took some learning of his pattern gosh darn it. After you beat Zangetsu the old man casts a spell to free Zang of his curse, you and Gemel have to stave off fireballs whilst the spell is prepared. It takes about 10 seconds or so and the first time I got to this particular part I had no idea what to do, obviously resulting in death. Second time I smashed it and the story continues, or so it is alluded to. But so far I havent unlocked a new mode so I'm a little confused as to what conditions I need to meet. I mean i beat Nightmare on Veteran style for fucks sake , what else does it want me to do?

 

As hard as this game can be, they do you a solid by always giving you an extra life at the checkpoint before the final boss battle basically granting you infinite attempts. You need that generous gift, trust me.

 

This is a good game, i'm really happy it turned out like this. I'm not sure how it will leave Castlevania if Ritual of the Night is a Sympony of the Night beater. The King is dead, long live the King?

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I’m well looking forward to the “proper” one but I could be tempted with this, despite having no real nostalgia for the NES Castlevanias.

I presume this is like no more than a tenner?

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I'm sort of hoping they'll release a double pack, or make this a pre-order bonus for the main game (Ritual of the Night?).  So this is made by Inti-Creates and they did a similar thing with Azure Gunvolt.  As well as the main game if you bought it within a certain period they game you a retro version of the game (which was as inspired by Megaman as this is of classic Castlevania).

 

So, I think I'm gonna hold out to see if they do anything like that.

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17 hours ago, Hendo said:

I’m well looking forward to the “proper” one but I could be tempted with this, despite having no real nostalgia for the NES Castlevanias.

I presume this is like no more than a tenner?

 

£7.99 on PS4, £8.99 on Switch.

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Played this through again today, did a solo run with Zangetsu.

 

So it turns out when the other characters appear after the first three bosses you can do one of three things each time: accept their help, ignore their request or kill them. The run i just did I killed them all, each time in exchange for a new move. A double jump, anarcing mid air slash with your sword and a ground dash. Those first two moves are super handy and make Zangetsu a half decent character.

 

Beating the game this way unlocked Ultimate Mode which i don't know what is yet and also Boss Rush mode which is exactly what it sounds like.

 

Soundtrack is really good, been listening to it on Youtube. Play this game you fuckers!

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I've played this on and off since it came out. I don't mean this to sound like hyperbole but i think this might be the best 8-bit action sidescroller there is. There's no doubt in my mind that it's a better game than Castlevania 1 and 3 and the OG Castlevania was my previous king. CotM is just so well designed, the levels are challenging, the bosses are inventive, the controls are tight and the soundtrack is the best this year. Plus there are multiple ways to complete it.

 

It's a crime that it's not being played by more of an audience. My only worry is that I like what they've done so much with Curse of the Moon that Ritual of the Night may be cast in it's shadow.

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I've got it and have meant to put more time in to it, but I got it on Switch and those controls are awful. Shame really, being able to dip in and out seems like the perfect way to play this 

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This is one of four games I dipped into on the Switch today (the other three are The Messenger, Yoku’s Island Express and Pool Panic). Playing on Normal - Veteran despite having never played any of the older Castlevanias (only Order of Ecclesia which was great). Agreed about the great music. 

 

Zangetsu is a cool name for a character. I’m not sure if this is the intended meaning but one way of writing Zangetsu in Japanese is 残月 which is like the lingering moon or the moon visible in the morning.

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14 hours ago, radiofloyd said:

This is one of four games I dipped into on the Switch today (the other three are The Messenger, Yoku’s Island Express and Pool Panic). Playing on Normal - Veteran despite having never played any of the older Castlevanias (only Order of Ecclesia which was great). Agreed about the great music. 

 

Zangetsu is a cool name for a character. I’m not sure if this is the intended meaning but one way of writing Zangetsu in Japanese is 残月 which is like the lingering moon or the moon visible in the morning.

 

I played my first playthrough on Veteran.  The knock back when you get hit is an asshole!

 

Loving the Zangetsu fact too.

 

 

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every now and then I go back to this and inch away,  doing a level before putting it back down, it's why I thought getting it on the Switch would be a good idea. Anyway, I've just done the boat level, liked that boss quite a bit.

 

It's a strange game, it's old-school with everything that goes along with that, but it's also fairly easy once you know what you're doing

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I played through the ‘normal’ game last night. Took just over an hour but was pretty easy. I have played it through before on Switch a couple of years ago so a lot of things I was running in to I did remember, although some of which I remembered it just as I was getting smacked by it. Like oh, that’s how that works, that’s right.
 

Really cool game still. It’s not like a world beating video game or anything it’s just a really solid little side scroller that I was really enjoying but then...
 

Today I tried doing the Nightmare Mode which I also did on Switch as well but this time just got my ass kicked. Just totally destroyed. I lost 3 lives at level 3 and turned it off. I thought Nightmare mode was easier because I had all the powers but for whatever reason I just played so terribly. I lost 2 characters to the same trap at one part and times like that are the moments I really consider hiring a professional face puncher who will punch me in the face whenever I do dumb shit. It might be the only way to learn. 
 

I’ll give it another go at some point because I’ve done it before and remember not really having that much trouble with it. But today was demoralising. What a sack of shit. How do you get worse at something the more times you do it?

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Finished the game on Nightmare Veteran after a number of restarts. Wasn’t as bad as the other day when I tried. I had to play the first 3 levels a lot to explore and find the early health upgrades because that makes the game significantly easier. I think I like this play through just as much as the standard game. Both have great last bosses but this has a better ending and the extra challenge just makes it a bit more fun. I do miss having Zangetsu as just a good, all-round character, though. 
 

I had the closest almost near death in this where I missed a jump and fell off screen. Then a mix of instinct and luck took over where I switched to the vampire character and turned into a bat right at the last second to save myself. I was literally off screen and flew back on. Very fast, very funny. I barely knew what happened until after. Good thing my thumbs are faster than my brain. 

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Got my first legit game over on this. Thankfully it only restarts at the beginning of that stage with 3 lives when I thought it would be the beginning of the game so that’s something.

 

I’m trying to do the solo playthrough and this is truly the hard mode. Even though the main character gets unique abilities like a double jump and such none of the abilities grant access to any character upgrades. Trade off is one sided then because + extra moves, - no character upgrades, other character abilities, extra health bars. (A main tactic to abuse is when close to death change to another character who has separate health bar)
 

Still enjoying it a lot. Considering this is my 5th time playing through it and I’ve never played it like this for a short promotional game they did an excellent job with replayability. 

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