goth spelunking
June 19, 2019 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night whips it good [Rock Paper Shotgun] “Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night, the crowdfunded return of Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, is out now. Produced by [director Koji Igarashi] new studio, ArtPlay, it’s a series successor in all but name. There might be a shortage of Belmonts or Draculas, but there’s a big gothic castle to explore, bosses to clobber, and a bundle of RPG elements to pad out the platform exploration and brawling. Below, a very tongue-in-cheek launch trailer, featuring Igarashi hamming it up in front of the camera again, daft character customisation, and free DLC plans. [...] The similarities run all the way down to the primary protagonist having magic tattoos which let her steal abilities from monsters and re-purpose them. Igarashi was just a producer, rather than director on that game, but I’m hoping it manages to recapture that fine balance between RPG flexibility and tricky platform combat.” [YouTube][Launch Trailer]

• So far, Bloodstained feels like a slightly janky but very loving homage to Castlevania [Destructoid]
“On the outside, there's a lot to be concerned about when it comes to Bloodstained. It was delayed numerous times, Wii U and Vita ports were canceled, and early review copies weren't provided. But in not-very-Kickstarter-fashion, all of that has been whipped at launch: it's actually inline with IGA's original pitch of a DS-era Castlevania for a modern time. I'm a few hours in, and other than minor complaints with some enemy AI and a few visual flubs (mostly with environment jank), it's what was promised. It feels good to constantly power protagonist Miriam up and be rewarded for exploration and kills, and although the floaty movement mechanics have been a frequent hot topic, it actually feels in line with some of the source material.”
• Bloodstained Is Goth Fun In An All-Too-Familiar Package [Kotaku]
“Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a very good solution to a problem we haven’t really had for years: a dearth of side-scrolling exploration games with role-playing bells and whistles. The long-gestating, Kickstarted return of celebrated developer and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night mastermind Koji Igarashi, Bloodstained, does fans of haunted cathedrals and combat whips proud. Five years after leaving Konami—where the Castlevania name has languished outside of the odd re-release—Igarashi has returned with a game funded by fans who wanted him to do what he had always done, albeit with the brand names filed off.”
• Wearing a Hat for Your Audience: Koji Igarashi on Why Bloodstained Should Delight His Fanbase [IGN]
““With publishers,” he says, quite matter-of-factly, “I actually felt that there was never too much pressure. I had an amount of freedom to make the games I wanted. With backers, though, I actually think it’s pretty positive: feedback comes swiftly, and this makes it easier to correct things.”He accredits getting the feeling of jumping correct to backer feedback, and this ‘for the fans’ mentality is something that drives everything that Igarashi is doing, to the point where he tells me he doesn’t even consider himself an indie developer because “my definition of an indie is a developer, or developers, who make the games that they want to make, that they want to release.” This really is a key point of difference, as Iga describes himself as “always thinking about the customer, the player, and what they want to play.””
posted by Fizz (9 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm most impressed with Koji Igarashi's cool handling of all the criticism and feedback he received when the demo was first shown back in July of 2018. Igarashi's team fixed those issues and addressed all the concerns from everyone who had backed the game and it's turned out to be this beautiful little gem.

This very easily could have turned into a Mighty No. 9 situation, and that was a fucking train wreck.
posted by Fizz at 6:18 AM on June 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

A good MetroidVania sure scratches a pleasing itch. I'm over 100% completion on Hollow Knight and trying to do it all right now... I should just beat the game but the secret final boss is... a problem. At this point I could just replay SotN which is something I tend to do every 5ish years. It's backwards compatible on Xbox which is cool.

I do not get why Kotaku says there is a dearth of these types of games. There's quite a few that are solid.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:48 AM on June 19, 2019

a very good solution to a problem we haven’t really had for years: a dearth of side-scrolling exploration games with role-playing bells and whistles.

I think it's just phrased oddly, Kotaku is saying this game is an answer to a problem (dearth of side scrolling exploration games) that we do not have as evidenced by games like Hollow Knight, The Messenger, Timespinners, etc.
posted by Fizz at 7:54 AM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm sure this is a fun game, but all of the screenshots I've seen so far look to "busy".

Maybe it's that everything in the background is high res and in focus regardless of distance?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:08 AM on June 19, 2019

Oh yes, they're saying it isn't a problem. Got it. That makes total sense. I was very puzzled.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:27 AM on June 19, 2019

Can I play this if I never played the first Shovel Knight?
posted by egypturnash at 2:16 PM on June 19, 2019

Man I Kickstarted this but I seem to have missed at the time that my credit card was expired so my payment never went through and so I didn't, in fact, Kickstart this, which is a real bummer because I sure would like to not have to pay for this right now and be able to play it.
posted by Caduceus at 5:52 PM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Anyone looking to replay SotN should probably be aware that the PS4 version (based on the PSP version included with Rondo of Blood) includes Maria as a third playable character, as well as a few other minor changes to the locations of some items. It’s a great excuse to play it through all over again.

As for Bloodstained I haven’t had the time to spend long on it yet, but so far it seems like a solid 2D Castlevania only lightly marred by the choice to use 3D rendering.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 6:27 PM on June 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I got this at the beginning of the weekend. I've played quite a lot of it, but am at about 75% on the map.

It's fantastic.
if you like metroidvanias, which this, most assuredly, is.

The only bug/glitch I've really noticed is that drops sometimes aren't collectible, but they open themselves if you wait a little bit.

so far it seems like a solid 2D Castlevania only lightly marred by the choice to use 3D rendering.

It's done very well, though the towers / circular rooms kind of screw with the map.

There is an overwhelming amount of stuff in it, though. I've played basically a single weapon type, and mostly kept my earlier gear, until a particularly irritating elemental area made me upgrade.
posted by lkc at 11:07 PM on June 25, 2019

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