The video game section of Kickstarter is, for some years now, populated by a substantial amount of titles. It ranges from small (ssimi) team projects to more structured proposals, with budgets ranging from a few thousand dollars up to hundreds of thousands. A remarkable variety, with results that range in the wide spectrum enclosed between the words failure and success.
Between unforeseen events and problems of various kinds, we have seen a bit of everything. There was no lack of bitter disappointment. And there was no lack of satisfaction. This category could be ascribed to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. If that’s the case, we’ll find out in a month, of course the prerequisites for doing well are all there…
IN THE WAKE OF THE TRADITION
Say Koji Igarashi and think of Castlevania. Father of some of the most important and appreciated chapters of the Konami saga. After leaving the Japanese house, the good “Iga” has carried all his knowledge in Bloodstained. And he didn’t do it alone. He was accompanied by several experts in “vampire things”, such as Michiru Yamane (composer of the soundtracks for Bloodlines, Symphony of the Night, Lament of Innocence, Curse of Darkness just to name a few) and Shutaro Iida (programmer of Order of Ecclesia, Portrait of Ruin, Dawn of Sorrow and Aria of Sorrow, among others). A team with a remarkable track record, which has channeled all its energy to create a gaming experience that will satisfy fans of the genre. As far as I could see in the Milan offices of Digital Bros, the result seems to have been achieved. A target hit in full. The version I tried, practically definitive, has in fact shown everything that a fan can expect. Both in terms of structure and aesthetics.Bloodstained preview
Let’s start with the look, because as they say the eye also wants its part. The first images and videos of Bloodstained, I can say without hair on the tongue, had aroused more than one perplexity. There were interesting stylistic solutions and a rather inspired character design, but the visual rendering was not convincing anyway. Characters and settings lacked cleanliness and detail. I don’t go so far as to say that it could be considered a “running project”, but the overall impression was that it was an unfinished work. The situation that was revealed before my eyes, already highlighted by the latest trailers, has put things back in place. I felt more heartened and relieved in my raid as Miriam. Well the protagonist, well the many enemies that I met, well the “special effects”, well also all the places that were the backdrop to my test. Spaces in some cases simple and poor, in others more opulent, all characterized by a well-defined style. If what we saw in the first hour and a half of the game is indicative of the average quality level (and I do not see why it should not be so), there is to be reassured.
A CONSOLIDATED STYLE
As already mentioned above, Bloodstained convinces with its stylistic solutions that follow traditional and consolidated schemes. There are all, but just all, the elements that characterize Castlevania. The feeling is that you are in the hands of an adventure partly already experienced, but still able to give emotions and satisfaction. There are areas to explore, objects to recover, there is a system of rescues that requires the achievement of specific rooms and there is a level of difficulty that, even at “normal” setting, seems to propose a challenging challenge. Between jumps and fights I moved in a small portion of the map (the largest ever created by Igarashi for his title) using swords, axes, the inevitable whip and a whole series of elemental spells. At first glance, the diversification of weapons and spells is appreciable, with variable characteristics (weight, damage inflicted, reload time) that are not limited to mere statistical values but that seem evident once you enter the action. The enemies are numerous, varied and bad at the right point. I got into a fight with a boss short of potions (automatic regeneration of life energy? No thanks…), and the result was traumatic. Mazzate. So many mazzate. One after the other. And then dead. So many deaths. One after the other.
In the course of my test, for obvious time limits, I was only able to scratch the “management” component, relating to the enhancement of Miriam, inventory and the creation of potions. Here, too, the impression is that the amount of options proposed by the development team can be more than satisfactory. There are many ingredients available, there are many unlockable alchemical formulas and the arsenal is quite rich. Added to this is the presence of different slots to modify clothing and accessories, as well as crystals with magical powers divided into five different categories.
AWAITING FOR THE NIGHTLY RITUAL
The flesh in the fire therefore seems to be a lot and, for all players who look with nostalgia to the historical chapters of the saga of Castlevania, the time may have finally come to the rescue. The wait is now running out, since it’s just before the release of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. A launch that, strangely enough, will take place in stages over a period of time that lasts for about ten days. From June 18 will be available in online stores versions PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For the “packaged” copies of PS4 and Xbox One instead will have to wait until June 21. Two days later it will be the turn of the digital edition for Nintendo Switch, while the physical edition can be purchased from June 28.