Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is probably the best Castelvania game that wasn’t. Headed by the legendary Koji Igarashi, Ritual was a spiritual successor to one of gaming’s most beloved classics, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It should be noted that Igarashi also worked on Symphony, making Bloodstained a kind-of passion project. Still, like Symphony, Bloodstained eschewed the Castlevania formula of its halcyon days. But it won’t for long. Classic Mode, a free update to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night coming January 14, will have you slaying demons like it’s 1986.
The concept is about as simple as, well, old school Castlevania. Classic Mode has you playing as Miriam once more, as she trudges through five levels to defeat five bosses. There’s even a Castelvania-style map screen between each stage, much like in the original games. The user interface also sees a retro facelift, complete with Miriam’s health bar, the number of lives she has, the time, and the score. It will come with three difficulty modes and a limited number of lives. All in all, it’s a direct homage to the original Castlevania, which hit the NES in 1986. And I love every pixel of it.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night‘s developer, ArtPlay, released some screenshots and gifs on its Twitter page. You can see a brief gif of the map in action, along with a couple shots of Miriam exploring or fighting a boss. It all looks good, and having it come free is a nice bonus.
Gremory has enlisted five demonic bosses to protect his castle. Can you survive each level and defeat each boss?
— Bloodstained: RotN (@SwordOrWhip) January 8, 2021
More Bloodstained down the road
Classic Mode for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is the latest in a long line of post-launch content for the game. And it’s not over yet, not by a long shot. According to the development roadmap posted by ArtPlay in November, we still have more modes and content on the horizon. Next up is Chaos Mode, followed by a versus game type. There will also be more crossover content, and another playable character. All of which, by the way, should appear in Q1 2021, with even more planned for Q2.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will get Classic Mode for free on January 14.