Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has some pretty cool and tough bosses. But a lot of thought, sweat, and tears seems to have gone into all of them, as developer Koji Igarashi had a strict rule for the boss developers: you had to be able to beat your own boss without taking a hit, and only using a dagger.
In an interview with Gamasutra, Igarashi discussed the reason why he created such a rule. As it turns out, it was to measure how fair each boss felt.
"We make sure that it's possible to beat a boss without taking a hit regardless of the difficulty and by doing so, we reduce the number of unfair enemy attacks," Igarashi told Gamasutra. "Removing the 'unfairness' allows players to think about what they could have done to avoid a Game Over. It makes them want to challenge the boss again using a different method. It's a golden rule we follow in our games."
He also added at the end that he wouldn't like to complete that challenge more than once, however. Igarashi also discussed the top-down design of Bloodstained, especially in creating a familiar and traditional game. "My focus was to create a familiar game system that would give a sense of relief to returning players," Igarashi says.
It seems to have worked, as Bloodstained is a pretty good return to the well of Castlevania. A few stumbles out of the opening gate aside, players seem pleased overall with the game. But now knowing that I can beat every boss without getting hit is going to make all those wipes feel even worse.