I love everything about this game, but especially Maria; disparagingly referred to by some as this game's easy mode, when the reality is her more free flowing movement just tests a very different skill-set to Richter whilst acting as the perfect bridge-point between the rigid, planned-out pathing of the Classicvanias and the more fluid motion we'd come to see from Symphony of the Night onwards. Whilst I can respect the strict jump arcs and very intentional movement of the older Classicvanias for what it is, I have to admit I find Maria's more modern movement sensibility here just much more fun to play with in basically every regard.

Shout-out to the kitschy cut-scenes and hyper-kitschy voice acting, and especially the orders of magnitude more kitschy that these get when you're playing as Maria (that ending, gods), and a bonus special shout-out to the stage names which are almost all just metal as hell (Dinner of Flames; The Vengeful King of Bloodshed; Atop the Corpses of Thy Brethren; Hear Now the Requiem of Blood).

Reviewed on May 19, 2022