Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has been a long delayed release. Funded through Kickstarter way back in 2015 the game was offered as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the Castlevania series. With that pitch as a premise the Kickstarter was a huge success, raising its goal quickly. The subtitle, Ritual of the Night, is a pretty unsubtle reminder this game is aiming to emulate Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Seeing as that’s a game that’s considered the best title in the series, among the best games on the original Playstation and even an all-time great there’s a lot to live up to. It’s arriving 2 years later than original intended, but as of this week Bloodstained is finally something you can go out and buy. At least digitally – PS4 physical copies seem to be thin on the ground.

Early reviews of Bloodstained have been largely positive – not an easy feat for a delayed Kickstarter project. Like a lot of nostalgia-fueled projects, though, its biggest flaw seems to be how closely it adheres to its source material. Like Yooka-Laylee before it runs the risk of not being quite as good as gamers remember it being. Whereas 3D platforming collectathons largely disappeared from the videogame landscape Metroidvania’s have exploded lately. Bloodstained is not only competing with people’s rose-tinted memories of Symphony of the Night but against a host of indie hits such as Hollow Knight. There’s a new trailer to celebrate launch that does a great job of showing off the Gothic aesthetic that makes Bloodstained a welcome sight.

Bloodstained promises a whopping 13 free pieces of DLC. The list really reads like a list of 13 features that couldn’t be included in the game before it shipped. Still, there’s some great features and fan-favourite modes coming so its great to see these being offered for free when there’s at the least the making of one saleable chunk of content there. At launch: – New Game Plus – 8bit Level – Nightmare Difficulty – Pure Miriam Set – Boss Rush Mode

– Speed Run Mode