The world of crowdfunded games is unique because it attracts developers from all walks of life. Some are renowned creators with vibrant histories in the games industry, while others use sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to jumpstart their career. But a big name doesn’t always ensure a Kickstarter game’s success, as is the case with Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No.9 (at least in the eyes of many). Other creators, however, thrive in the kickstarter environment and produce games that generally please their closest fans and enrapture new audiences.
Among these games is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which is essentially the direct descendant to Konami’s classic Castlevania series. We say ‘direct descendant’ because Bloodstained’s game design is led by one of the Castlevania series’ former producers, Koji Igarashi (also known as IGA), who left the company in 2014 due to differences in directions they wanted to take Konami. Inti Creates (known for Azure Striker Gunvolt) is in charge of developing the game, which uses Unreal Engine 4. Bloodstained also features a soundtrack in-part composed by Michiru Yamane, who is best known for her past work on previous Castlevania games and other Konami titles like Suikoden.
In Bloodstained, players take on the role of Miriam, a girl who is attempting to handle a curse that will eventually consume her body with a crystalline glass. Miriam will explore gothic castles and brooding dungeons like the Belmonts do in the Castlevania series, but Dracula himself won’t be making an appearance. Igarashi wants Bloodstained to stand distinctly from Castlevania, and this is the first step in accomplishing that goal.
A playable demo of Bloodstained was available for play at E3, and is now available to the game’s Kickstarter backers for free. Moreover, the Bloodstained team has put together a video detailing some of the game’s mechanics, which was also shown at E3. You can view it below:
Castlevania fans will notice that Bloodstained features nuanced mechanics from the Castlevania series, like animation canceling (wherein you interrupt the animation of one action with another action to speed up your combos and movement). In particular, backdash canceling is a feature that many players may recognize from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, where it plays a vital role in speedrunning the game. The Castlevania series’ distinctive equipment and RPG statistics system have also returned. Overall, Bloodstained is designed to cater to both speedrunning and methodical exploration, all built upon fluid gameplay and gratifying combat.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is slated to release in Spring 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation Vita and PC. Those interested in donating to its Kickstarter can do so here.