New Music and Gameplay for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Full Disclosure: I have financially backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Kickstarter.

A new development update for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has been published, and it brings with it some new gameplay footage.

Featured above, the new gameplay shows off a new courtyard area, as well as a battle fought between protagonist Miriam and a mysterious new combatant: Zangestu.

Here’s a rundown on the update, via game creator and director Koji Igarashi:

Courtyards are just as important to an IGAvania as castles, right? Maybe not? Well, this time the courtyard is a very important part of the game, and that’s why we’re sharing a look at this area.

Zangetsu is a samurai character we’ve previously announced. He resents anyone and anything tainted by demonic power. As a result, he’s hostile toward Miriam, whose existence is directly connected to the demon ritual. This is also a new stage we’re introducing for the first time.

Igarashi also shared three songs from the game’s soundtrack, all done by veteran game music composition team Noisycroak:

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is on track for a release sometime in the first half of next year, across PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Tubsiwub

    That jump is awful. The animation is instant, and she almost teleports straight up before hanging in the air.

  • Lone Wisdom

    5 million to look like a marginally less crappy Dracula X Chronicle? Very underwhelming. Hollow Knight blows this game out of the water and it was made with only 57,000 Aussie dollars.

  • Farwin

    Considering the less-than-stellar releases of Mighty No. 9 and Yooka-Laylee I don’t expect this to outperform either.

    Even more so if the video is in any way representative of the final product:
    -ugly looking 2.5D
    -Generic J-Metal soundtrack
    -Jumping more floaty than Smash Bros. Samus

    For a supposed Castlevania knockoff, there’s nothing here that makes me think “This is Castlevania.” Just more proof that Igarashi understands what makes Castlevania good about as much as Aonuma understands Zelda or Sakamoto understands Metroid (or, as previously seen, as mush as Inafune understands Megaman)

  • Mr0303

    Still looks pretty slow and floaty for me, but wearing the equipment you get is a nice touch.

  • iswear12

    I thought it looks okay for what it is.
    The music isn’t great or particularly memorable except for that brief moment when that xylophone(?) starts to hit at around 50ish seconds.
    The movement and jumping animations do indeed look a bit stiff and disjointed. Hopefully they can also make the map design feel a little more tighter and add more motion to the backgrounds. It doesn’t feel like Symphony of the Night in terms of that. There was always something moving in the backgrounds, something that would make the memory of it emblazoned into your head.

    The clouds moving at incredible speeds near the top of the castle; all the gears in the clock tower and the bells, strings and just general enemy movement in that place. The opening and closing windows in the first rooms of the castle and the sheer amount of enemies literally popping out of the ground. When it *was* slow moving or completely lacking in motion was when it was intentional for the area. Or at least it felt that way rather than just an oversight. it also makes sense for areas that are hidden/secrets for them not to be disturbed or have much going on in them; you can see an easy example of this with the floor right above the merman room in the castle.

    I like the boss/miniboss/enemy/whatever that dude was, his attacks seemed to be nice and flashy. One of my problems with SotN was how many forgettable bosses there were, and how easy they were to bring down. There was an utter lack of context for a lot of them as well. I hope they rectify that in this game, and the fact that they made a point of showing the player dying to this boss gives me hope, but I also hope that not all the bosses are just humanoids. Some games can make that work but for something like castlevania, it would take a lot of effort to do so.

    Something I feel a little more shakier on for what’s shown in the demo is how absurd the lighting is on the candles. One of the most important parts about Castlevania games is discovering secrets, and giving them such a crazy color and making them that blatant makes me a little worried that this game might be a more handholdy and its secrets easier to find than other Castlevanias. The fact that they added a prompt to open a chest also gives me that worry; if you haven’t learned to open a chest by that point in the game then… Jeez.

    I do still like the character design though. It is unfortunate about the 2.5D design but I think they might be able to make it work at the end of the day; they’ll just have to make the map and the attacks and animations that much more impactful to make up for the sprites. I personally didn’t like that last weapon’s attack animation though, but I’m willing to bet there are plenty of other weapons to try out and use.

    All in all I’d give it a 6.5/10 in its current state. I think there’s plenty they can improve on, but they’ve got the workings of an actual game here at least. Doesn’t mean its going to be a good game, but I definitely think this won’t be a full on failure like Mediocre. No. 9.

  • InkBrush

    It feels uninspiring still. That isn’t a good sign.

  • 2501

    I love Dracula X Chronicle but even i think this looks underwhelming. For a supposed Metroidvania game it has some pretty restrictive movement, and them moon jumps man…

  • RPG

    That’s more like it!
    The game still looks rough around the edges, (animations for jumping and attacking, and the map design still seems a little stagnant and off), but I like the menu design, and the boss battle seemed interesting. The music was okay, but did not sound like anything stellar at this point. I really hope we will get more atmospheric and emotional tracks a la Symphony of the Night, to make it more diverse and appealing.
    I am maintaining my optimism at this point. They still have time to hopefully iron things out. Plus, Iga and his team seem much more open about the development process and its progression for this game than some other somewhat unsavory kickstarter projects.

  • RPG

    I like your assessment. I especially appreciated the point you made about the vibrancy and nuance to Symphony of the Night’s environments, which I believe really brings out what is currently missing in the environments for this project. There is still time for the game to hopefully be molded in to something closer to what we would like to see. Fingers crossed.

  • They just need to cancel the Vita port at this point.

  • Joel Leonheart

    Hnmm many have point’s about the movement being stiff/floaty/off/”slow”?? I kinda agree..

    Very worried for this since I…Also backed it…Hoping for a good game

  • SLoWMoTIoN

    We don’t want this.

  • OldPalpy

    They just need to cancel it and reboot it with SOTN style 2D sprites. What was the point of bad 2.5D here?

  • InfectedAI

    Wow, you weren’t kidding about the jumping. It looks very bad. Hopefully that gets fixed. I’m hoping it won’t be terrible, but it’s definitely not looking great.

  • CRES

    I’m starting to feel like everyone is hyper critical of this game. I understand that Mighty No. 9 and Yooka-Laylee being less then stellar has tainted everyone’s perception of Kickstarted Retro Revivals, but I think we are taking things a little too far here.

    I’ve played the previous E3 demo and thought it was amazing. It felt just like an IGA Castlevania game, and that’s what I put money down for. Jumping was a little weird, but I found it’s only because of the hang time you get if you hold down the button (if you let go Miriam just suddenly drops), but attacking and movement is all pitch perfect (you can even Back-Dash cancel your attack animation)

    While I agree the Backgrounds do seem a little lifeless they are serviceable and small touches (which usually come at the end of a development cycle) could help a great deal. The music on the other hand is just what I want from a Castlevania title, a unique mix of gothic orchestra with modern rock is precisely what this game needs.

    I understand being skeptical, but a least hold judgment until the game is released (or at least closer to it’s launch date).

  • Alex Drake

    This theme is a real FACE melter! I LOVE IT

  • Ophel

    WOW way to go Nichegamer…as soon as i clicked int this article….hbpix autodownloaded into my PC.

  • Mighty No. 56008

    Gotta agree. Yeah there’s definitely a lot of things they can do to really improve the look of the game, but it’s not as terrible as people are making it out to be. Also at least I can say that it felt like a Castlevania when playing the demo. I don’t think game will blow people away or bring anything new to the table, but I don’t see this as another Might No. 9.

  • Shattno

    Saying that because Mighty no. 9 and Yooka-Laylee was bad this will be bad aswell is like saying that because I tried apples and oranges and didn’t like them I won’t like bananas either, it’s a logical fallacy.

  • ProxyDoug

    It looks a lot like Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria.

  • heroyaldog

    I’m not sure people realize this is a work in progress…and not a trailer

  • Exien

    Yeah i think that this was a bad idea. You know the awesome 2D background? why don’t we toss it into a bin and make 2,5D that look less than the 2D and just cost us a shit tone of money. Bye the way lets make sloppy Animations, generic music and sounds that have no impact. It’s seems only Divinity had the skill to work with the money they had given from their Kickstater, Because that game turned into a 9/10 every other big funded game is crap ( not into account Star Citizen cause its not finished and a massive projekt ).

  • OldPalpy

    It also comes down to vision, right now there are fuckloads of gorgeous 2D games using HD or Hi-Bit style sprites but you still have a lot of Japanese devs that stubbornly think it has to be lousy looking 2.5D like this game and MN9 which I assume is a holdover from the PS2 when that was the rage.
    The art direction of SOTN given a modern Hi-Bit makeover would be balls out beautiful, Dead Cells gives a good glimpse at what that could look like.

  • OldPalpy

    Maybe when this first started but the more shown the more it fits in with those other 2, there is a definite trend of crowdfunded spiritual sequels to retro games by the people behind those old games falling flat and failing to understand the appeal of those games.

  • Shattno

    It’s still faulty logic, they are different genres, are made by different people and in different engines, and have different budgets. You can’t draw a conclusion about one based on facts about another.

  • OldPalpy

    Yooka-Laylee I’ll give you but MN9 and Bloodstained have a obvious similar mindset (using UE to make 2.5D spiritual sequel, used concept screenshots that featured traditional 2D art that barely resembles the polygonal end product), the latter even had Inti-Creates working on for a time.

  • Shattno

    There are absolutely similarities between no.9 and Bloodstained, but mostly as you say in the mindset. What makes or breaks a game is ultimately how it’s developed, if it was the same people behind both games I would be suspicious, but as it is (mostly) other people working on it it’s hard to draw any conclusions. Personally I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, as I am confident Iga is capable of pulling off a decent metroidvaina.

    While on the subject, I find it so weird that no.9 was so bad considering Inti Creates was involved, as their track record of mega man-esque games is pretty good. I find it more alarming that they are (were?) involved with Bloodstained as they haven’t done any metroidvanias and have no experience with UE4.

  • OldPalpy

    It’s true that is what sets it apart and I think Iga knows far more on what makes Metroidvania tick than Inafune ever did Mega Man’s gameplay.

    It is very odd, I can only imagine that either key staff that worked on the Zero/ZX/9&10 left before MN9 or weren’t involved on it that much beyond doing what Inafuned told them to do. That they were removed from Bloodstained shows that Iga agreed with your assessment, the Metroidvania like elements in Zero and ZX like they’re confusing maps were always the worst parts of those games.

  • Shattno

    Yeah, I blame Inafune all the way, he’s a great illustrator and artist, designing Zero may be his greatest accomplishment, but he was never good at making games, and he definitely helped bring down the Mega Man franchise

  • RetroGamer

    Looks a bit stiff, but still not like a bad game.