Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon 2 Review - Twice In A Blue Moon

The first thing you should know about Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is that it features a playable corgi named Hachi who pilots an enchanted mecha-tank. The second thing you should know is that the classic Castlevania homage is in every way a marked improvement over the first Curse of the Moon. In fact, silly and meme-able as it is, the corgi represents a more playful spirit in this sequel that makes the whole experience richer.
The first Curse of the Moon was a short and sweet diversion, a little treat for Bloodstained backers and a neat idea to contextualize the new franchise venture from Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi. It essentially presented an alternative history, where Bloodstained was a known retro franchise and the then-upcoming Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was a bold reinvention a la Symphony of the Night.
For all its charms, though, Curse of the Moon played it pretty straight with its influences. The tone was moody and gothic and the heroes were stoic slabs of granite. Then Ritual of the Night came out and mixed its macabre and demonic imagery with elements that were self-consciously goofy, like giant kitten heads peeking through the castle windows. In that context, Hachi the corgi feels like developer Inti Creates embracing the cheeky oddball quality of the Bloodstained universe, now that it has been more well-defined. If you happen to die as Hachi--and how dare you, you monster--the game is sure to show a blink-and-you'll-miss-it animation of the little dog bailing out just before his mech explodes.
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