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What To Expect From Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night's New Update

For the most part, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has successfully filled the gothic platformer-shaped void left by Konami and its apparent lack of interest in Castlevania. Bloodstained had to sacrifice some DLC plans along the way, such as roguelike dungeons, but the game is moving forward with other modes, and you can play the latest one today.

If you boot up Bloodstained on any platform, you will find that Artplay updated the game with a brand-new way to explore Gebel's demonic castle: Classic Mode. Instead of utilizing the game's normal metroidvania method of traversal, Classic Mode takes a dip in a time warp and copies Castlevania's original gameplay style. Players have to fight through five grueling levels with only a sword, a whip, and whatever sub-weapons they can find. No save points — just you, your wits, and your reaction time against a retro challenge. And should you overcome this mode, the game will score you on your proficiency. Try again on a harder difficulty for a higher score, and try not to die so much next time.

Granted, this isn't the first time Bloodstained ventured into retro game country. The franchise received two 8-bit-esque spinoffs, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and Curse of the Moon 2, but Classic Mode marks the first time the main Bloodstained game attempted this style of gameplay.

Normally, a brand-new mode would be the only standout addition in an update, and many gamers would be fine with that. But, the developers went above and beyond to also add a new area to Bloodstained's main game. But it isn't just any old area. No, the new level is one big crossover with Kingdom: Two Crowns. Last year, Kingdom's developer Raw Fury released content that starred Bloodstained's main cast of characters, and now Artplay is returning the favor.

The new Kingdom Crossover area mimics Kingdom's pixel art aesthetic and features a new boss. What boss lurks in this level? No idea, but once you kill it, you will obtain a brand-new Familiar Shard that lets you explore Bloodstained with an archer buddy. But, you can't visit this new area any time you want. To unlock the new grove, you first need to beat the boss Bathin and find/wear the Crown of Creation. As an added bonus, the crown turns your gold into a damage-reducing shield, so try to maintain some deep pockets.

While the new update is the latest addition to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, it won't be the last. Koji Igarashi and Artplay still have a new playable character and two new modes in the works, as well as some unannounced surprises. Don't expect Ritual of the Night 2 for quite a while, but with free DLC like this, that's hardly a problem.