Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is a 2D deliberately-retro horror-fantasy action-platformer developed and published digitally by Inti Creates for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and PC on May 24, 2018.
A companion game to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (and developed as a “stretch goal” for Ritual of the Night’s Kickstarter campaign), Curse of the Moon hearkens back to Castlevania games dating back to the Nintendo Entertainment System and features the system’s “8-bit” aesthetic (similar to Mega Man 9 and Blaster Master Zero, both also developed by Inti Creates). This is in contrast to Ritual of the Night hearkening back to the exploration-heavy Castlevania games after that era.
The game’s plot serves as a prelude to Ritual of the Night (set ten years prior), telling the story of the cursed swordsman Zangetsu as he searches the whereabouts of a great demon spreading darkness throughout the land. Along the way, he rescues two mysterious Shardbinders (Miriam and Gebel, the main protagonist and antagonist of Ritual of the Night) and the alchemist Alfred. Zangetsu can choose to recruit them as playable allies or sacrifice them to gain new abilities.
The gameplay strongly resembles that of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, with a revamped character-switching mechanic (allowing the player to switch between anyone in the party instantaneously) and multiple branching paths (with most paths requiring the abilities of particular party members).
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