Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night steelbook – Review
While I had never heard of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night at the time of its release in June 2019, many fans of the Metroidvania genre had. Not surprisingly when you see that the development was led by the producer of the Castlevania series. However, despite that, there was never much hype surrounding its release. The steelbook, however, did receive quite some attention, especially amongst collectors.
There is only one steelbook version available of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and it’s not even a Scanavo steelbook. Although this isn’t at all too surprising as many video game publishers opt-out of the high-quality steelbooks for steelbooks that are meant to be given away as a pre-order bonus. What is most mind baffling is that there have been advertisements of there also being a Switch steelbook. In case you are wondering about this, there isn’t. The Switch steelbook is simply the same G2-sized steelbook, with a plastic insert but I’ll describe this in the proper section.
As this is star metal pak, you don’t see the spine when opening it up. This is a great choice as the graphic design they have chosen works excellent with a spineless steelbook. Both front and back is one image, namely the international packaging art that features the game’s protagonist Miriam. She is holding her sword, which lines up perfectly with the edge of the front panel. This creates an almost seamless design. As most of the design is on the front panel, they added more flower petals on the back panel. A sound choice if you ask me.
The Bloodstained steelbook is glossy, and that makes it prone to fingerprints. There is literally not a single part that is matte. Despite that, there are still some minor difference in the glossiness as certain areas have a holographic sense to them, such as the flower petals. This certainly spices up the steelbook.
The inside artwork is lacklustre. On the right panel, below the disc insert, we have the same artwork of Miriam but in a red tone. On the left panel, there’s the logo of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night in the same red tones. The repeated image and choice of red tones make the inside simplistic and less than admirable. Additionally, there is a FuturePak logo.
As I mentioned before, there were advertisements that the Nintendo Switch version of the game would come with a Switch steelbook as a pre-order bonus. Those that received the steelbook, regardless of what platform they pre-ordered, were slightly confused by what they found inside. A thin plastic insert. The insert has two open slots, which happens to coincide with the plastic tabs for paper inserts. This means that the Switch cartridge insert will always be loose, and that’s not something you’d want.
Overall, I really like the design of the Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night steelbook and the usage of seemingly holographic areas, but I despise that it’s so prone to fingerprints. While the artwork is great, I do feel that it is used far too much. Having a design specifically created for the steelbook would’ve made this steelbook so much more memorable. It is still a great star metal pak, but it is subpar when compared to other steelbook designs.