ArtPlay and WayForward Technologies’ Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has run into some problems. Technically, it has resolved those problems, but it doesn’t really make things any easier for gamers to gulp down, given that in order to fix the issues that the team ran into, it meant dropping two of the promised platforms that were originally pitched during the Kickstarter campaign.
As part of a Christmas update for backers, creative director Koji Igarashi made a post on the Kickstarter page, informing gamers on where the team currently stands with the 2.5D side-scrolling, hack-and-slash spiritual successor to Castlevania. In the post, however, Igarashi explains that in order to keep development on track the team has had to cut support for the Linux and Mac versions of the game.
The news obviously did not sit well with everyone, and was not met with a lot of positive feedback from the community; mostly from people angry on behalf of the Mac and Linux users who are now bereft from receiving a version of the game. Some demanded that refunds be issued, others said that their confidence in crowdfunding had been dampened. However, ArtPlay will be providing Mac and Linux users with copies of the game, just not for Mac or Linux. So if you backed the project in hopes of getting your hands on one of those two versions, you can have that altered to the PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch versions of the game (assuming you don’t have a PC that can handle the title).
Previously, ArtPlay axed the PlayStation Vita version of the game in order to keep development on track. This was also seen as a major blow to Bloodstain’s goodwill, but gamers trucked now. But, we’re now at a point where two more platforms have been cut from the line-up.
It’s sensible to streamline the remaining months of development by having the team focus on the core platforms instead. According to Igarashi, the team is currently in crunch mode, and, back in November, they brought in WayForward Technologies, the developers of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, and another alumni of a successful Kickstarter campaign, in order to help with the art and optimization of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
Some people have expressed their wariness of the project, fearing that this might turn into yet another Mighty No. 9 situation. Others, however, had more faith in ArtPlay delivering on the spiritual successor to Castlevania.
Most gamers still seem excited about it, even though the most consistent complaint about Bloodstained still hasn’t been addressed: the lighting.
The original concept designs and internal demonstrations showcased a more Gothic-oriented lighting scheme with dark shadows looming around every corner (literally) and a lot more detail in some of the texture work. Hopefully, during the optimization process we’ll see ArtPlay manage to bring the project’s design scope back around to what they originally intended during the crowdfunding phase and we see more of that slick, brooding aesthetic and dynamic lighting that was featured during the early days of the game’s promotion.