Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

If you’re a kid who grew up with the NES then you know that Konami was a big time player back in the day the came with hit after hit from Contra to the TMNT games and the most famous of them all being Castlevania! In recent years Konami has not been what the were in the early 00s and even the 90s. The reboot of the Castlevania series with the Lords of Shadows series was good with the first two games, it ultimately fell apart with LoS 2 in nearly all fronts and Konami has not mentioned the series in game form since that entry. We got the awesome Netflix animated series but as far as the games go not a peep! That’s where Koji Igarashi and Inticreates steps in with the Bloodstained series and the prequal to Ritual of the Night, Curse of The Moon which is a love letter to those who love old school Vania especially Dracula’s Curse (Iga’s favorite).

In Curse of the Moon we start assume the role of Zangetsu, a vengeful swordsman seeking to rid of whatever demonic entities on a revenge quest, while begrudgingly accepting the alliance of other humans who have gradually afflicted themselves with demonic powers and he will stop at nothing to vanquish evil. But his quest is filled with dangers ranging from demons to ghosts to other spectral forces that will stop at nothing to extinguish his life.

Zangetsu gets a little bit of help along the way, these individuals include the whip-wielder Miriam, alchemist Alfred, and Gebel; who is a vampire. Zangetsu has standard reach with his sword and lacks a lot of mobility yet has the highest health and can deal some serious damage with the right sub weapon attack. Miriam has a higher jump and can use a slide move to get through small passageways while also boasting a Belmont-style whip and some good far range spells (No Belmont Strut though). Alfred has the lowest health of the cast but easily has the best spells ala Sypha Belnades; for example, a large ice projectile spell that can be used for one touch kills on enemies or using them as platforms. Gebel’s main attack is an upwards projectile that can deal with enemies angled above him and as expected of a vampire, can transform into a bat to fly across large pits and to otherwise inaccessible areas. What’s great about Curse of the Moon is that you can switch between any of these characters as they become unlocked. Even if you want to swap someone out after starting the game, you can do so and then flip back over. This is a great technique if you need to use stronger characters during boss fights or have an out-of-reach item you want to obtain.