Our weekly dose of hot takes, occasionally well formed opinions, and fevered outbursts is back; yup, it’s the Question of the Week! Although E3 festivities are kicking off in high gear, so far there isn’t much to talk about on that front – unless you enjoy the Elder Scrolls card game I guess – so we’re sticking with some big crowdfunding news. Earlier this week Koji Igarashi and team released the most complete look at Castlevania successor Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night we’ve seen yet. The question for our writers, as well as you, dear reader, is:
What’s your take on the Bloodstained gameplay trailer?
The trailer’s a nice window into the development process but it’s kind of anti-climatic. There’s no good close ups to get a good feel of what’s really going on. It feels like, the way it’s presented, it would have been better to do most of this in written form and then give people a short clip to better appreciate the work that’s gone into the game so far.
It’s hard to really get excited about a 43 second trailer showing a character jumping around. The only real takeaway here is the background art, as this is the first time we’re seeing it in game. In that regard, I have to say I like what I see so far. As I stated in my article, the art has a more hand drawn look to it than the bland, computer generated images in Mighty No. 9.
I’m sure they’re saving the big stuff like combat, more advanced platforming, and story elements for the demo and E3, but it would have been nice to see something more in this first “gameplay” trailer. Still, it’s nice to see they’re giving backers a little something before its shown to the general public.
Honestly, I’m not that excited after seeing the trailer. Sure, it’s a spiritual successor to Castlevania games made by Mr Igarashi and company – apart from that though, all I’ve seen gameplay-wise is the main character running jumping around a pretty environment, which as far as I’m concerned should’ve been shown back when the Kickstarter got launched. For me, the exciting bit is the fact that we finally see some real gameplay footage after the project got funded for almost $6 million on the basis of concept art and names alone. With the risk of being too grumpy, I will say that I’m intrigued to see the reception towards the game and its demo at E3, hoping that it’ll have some sort of combat in it at the very least.
Is it sad that a sub-one minute demo reel of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s development looks way better than that highly-produced Mighty No. 9 trailer? Most definitely. On the plus side, it’s good to see that thus far Bloodstained has at least an adequate visual styling which is reminiscent of the original concept art (if a bit drab in comparison). It’s a shame that we don’t get to see any fighting – or really – any action aside from the protagonist running to the right. I’m not going to say the music really inspires me with classic Castlevania awe either, but who can say what the rest of the soundtrack will hold. Mainly, I’m looking forward to see Bloodstained as it nears completion to see how it all turns out. If late-stage videos continue to show as little content then that might be cause for alarm.
I hadn’t been keeping tabs on development for Bloodstained Ritual of The Night, so I had to go digging to find the newest trailer. Before I found the right one I came across a development update the devs had published on YouTube (https://youtu.be/TU-NF6SJxps) which showed Koji Igarashi playing through a level and commenting on the character’s movement speed. I was frankly, unimpressed.
Luckily, I went back and checked the video in Josh’s update because Bloodstained looks way better than I’d been lead to believe. The level design packs so much life into the 2D backgrounds. I even got to see the improvements to character movement Igarashi had requested, and yeah he was right, it does look substantially better. Hey, the guy knows what he’s talking about.
I never got my hands on Castlevania, which is supposedly the “spiritual predecessor” of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as per Kotaku’s latest article, so I don’t have thoughts in the way of continuity, similarity or anything like that. That being said, I am a fan of the 2D art style with an added layer of depth, which gives off a quasi 3D feel (if that’s even a thing). The slipping, jumping and sliding reminds me of the smooth side-scrolling mechanic in Assassin’s Creed China, India, and beyond, but the character animations do look rather clunky at the moment.
As a long-time fan of Castlevania, I’ve been pining for a good 2D action-platformer that followed the formula that catapulted it into greatness. After watching the most recent gameplay video delivered by Igarashi and Team, I literally got weepy. The gameplay and art style reminded me a lot of Dracula X Chronicles on PSP, and that excellent score alone sent me right back to those glory days of my gamer past.
The original screenshots were enough to get my attention the first time, and I feel that Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night can find itself standing tall right next to Rondo of Blood, a game that I absolutely covet beyond words. In order to make a video game great, everyone needs to lovingly craft from the heart every aspect of the game itself, from art to music. From the bottom of my heart, I believe that Bloodstained will make history by shaking down the very pillars of a greedy industry and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that video games are relevant on many different levels.
From staunch European history buffs to rabid anime fans and discerning audiophiles, Bloodstained appears to be on track to make heads explode all across the industry, because mine already has.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate the footage shown so far, but I’m irritated and disappointed. With over $5.5 million raised, Bloodstained is the most funded Kickstarter videogame campaign that didn’t have the power of a multi-billion dollar company advertising for it. With that success comes greater scrutiny and higher expectations; folks want to see what kind of quality games Kickstarter funded developers can pump out. The Bloodstained footage doesn’t look bad, but is it five million bucks good? Unfortunately not. While the graphics are decent, the controls look mushy and floaty. If it was a $250,000 game I’d say it looks impressive, but I’m still waiting to see where all the money went.
But hey, it’s only a 45 second video, so we’ll have to wait and see how it progresses.
Have a question you’d like our panel to answer? Post it below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your most pressing crowdfunding questions! If you’d like to check out some of our previous Questions Of The Week, then go right ahead!