E3 was wonderful this year, and while our coverage of it has been minimal, that doesn’t mean we’ve completely ignored it. Well, not all of us anyway.
Among the handful of crowdfunded games on offer at the once largest gaming trade show in the world was Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Igarashi showed off the first in-game footage before the event, but what was shown at E3 marks the first look at actual gameplay.
It’s rough, and it’s surprising to see it at such a big show this early in development. That just goes to show how confident Igarashi and company are though. They’re not going to hide in their studio and say they’re “too busy” to give any updates like so many other Kickstarter developers. They’re going to climb the top of the mountain and shout “this is what we have so far, and we’re damn proud of it.”
And they should be proud of it. While the footage shown before E3 was nice, it didn’t really show anything other than the art style in action. The footage at E3 though shows something else entirely. You can see how the game plays since the level is now fully populated with enemies, obstacles, and some of the different weapons and abilities are demoed too. Did I mention the giant sea monster at the end with ridiculously giant boobs for no explained reason? In short, this is the first time Bloodstained has looked like an actual game, and it looks great.
As I said, it’s a bit rough around the edges. There are no sound effects, no sound at all for that matter. The footage is just a recording of the screen instead of an actual video capture. It’s the first level too, and the person playing isn’t the greatest (as per E3 tradition), so its hard to tell how difficult the game will be.
Yet despite the recording, the glare, and the person walking in front of the screen at one point, it’s safe to say the game looks gorgeous. It appears to be pretty faithful to the old 2D Castlevania games as well. While I never really played them, I can certainly appreciate them. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
I’m sure people will complain about Koji showing off the game too early. The old saying goes “you only get one first impression,” but there’s another old saying that rhymes with “pull of fullbit.” It’s never “too early” to show a game, especially one funded thanks almost entirely to crowdfunding, i.e. fan support. What better way to show appreciation for that support than by showing off the game as early and often as possible, and asking for input along the way?
If there’s anything negative to say about the footage it’s that David Hayter, who voices main villain Gebel, wasn’t in the demo. Nor was he at E3, personally demonstrating the game. He’s not at home either, so I don’t know where he is. That was just a guess by the way, honest.
Video courtesy of Nintendo World Report TV.