Are you hungry for a Castlevania game with modernized graphics but maintains the same iconic gameplay? Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night captures the very essence of that beloved franchise with Koji Igarashi giving fans exactly what they want.

The graphics are in 2.5D and they’re outstanding. With enemy designs beautifully details and bosses that showcase the creative talent, the developers of this game have. With unique fighting patterns that can easily land you in the grave if not taken seriously.

The starting stage does a great job of introducing the basic mechanics of the game. Health potions for healing, weaponry that each have distinct animations based on their type, magical attacks, exploration, leveling, and equipment. If you ever played a Castlevania or Metroid title the mechanics will instantly be recognizable.

The story is told in a mixture of classic cutscenes both in animation and pictures. Voice-acting is average and it’s too early to tell if the characters will become anything compelling. However, the character models were very well-made with smooth animations throughout.

Stages are set in both vertically and horizontally layered environments. With treasure chests hidden away, save points scattered about, and shopkeepers who appear in specific areas. Encouraging players to hit every corner hoping for a secret item to appear.

Weapons are distinct and varied. During the demo, I tried every type I could get my hands on. Each one, whether Rapier, Claymore, or dagger each had a distinct animation that either showcase the weapons might or speed. Magical spells, while took some getting use to, provided great variety to the mix.

Audio wise the music does a great job of sucking you into the game. Providing a catchy tune as you explore, kill, and level up. However, the boss soundtracks were less than stellar compared to other games in the same genre.

I encountered 2 bosses during my playthrough. A gigantic sea creature that provided a good introduction to harder fights after facing a lot of cannon fodder enemies. Here the use of the sliding mechanic was paramount to dodging its attacks. Many will remember a similar ability used by Alucard.

The second foe was a humanoid using a sword. Here dexterity was my focus. Forcing me to change tactics from a heavy weapon to a more lightweight tool for quicker attacks. I didn’t really notice the difference from the Cursed Crystals, which serve as a primary upgrade for the game, but it these bosses was easier than expected so it’s safe to assume the more challenging foes will require the diligent use of specific crystals.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night delivers exactly what was promised and does an excellent job doing so. The customization, progression, level design, and gameplay all capture the feeling of playing an authentic Castlevania game right down to the animation style But it still carves its own identity by providing distinct characters, environments, and bosses.

After the many failed stories following Kickstarter video games Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night may be the champion crowd-funded games need. It’s stable, beautiful, but most important fun.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set to release in 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac.