I’m gonna take a break from talking about Aurora’s Nightmare for one more week to plug another in-development game that I’m really excited about. Namely, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It’s the latest project from Koji Igarashi. Igarashi is a former Konami employee and the one behind all the best Castlevania titles (Symphony of the Night, Dawn of Sorrows, Portrait of Ruin, etc.). Basically the “Metroidvania” Castlevania titles. If you’re not familiar with the series, they’re 2D action / adventure titles combined with some RPG leveling and equipment mechanics. Great art, catchy music, and awesome gameplay. But, most of all, huge maze-like castles with a heavy emphasis on tracking down different power-ups and using them to explore every nook and cranny to find even more cool stuff. The first one I played was Dawn of Sorrow, back when the DS was in its early days and I wanted some more games to play on mine. A few hours in and I was completely hooked. I went on to master the game then made a point of both tracking down Iga’s previous Castlevania titles and getting all the new ones as they came out. Unfortunately, despite the success of Igarashi’s games, Konami eventually took the series in a very different direction with Lords of Shadow, leading to Igarashi’s eventual departure. Well, now he’s back with his own indie studio and a Kickstarter for Bloodstained, a clear spiritual successor to previous work. I’m a backer and I highly recommend that any Castlevania, Metroid, or Action/Adventure fans check it out.