Honestly, I was taken with Bloodstained immediately! It has a fantastic art motif, Gothic atmosphere, and fabulous music. As someone uninitiated in the Castlevania franchise, I am expecting great things based on what I’ve heard. I’m not very far yet, but I love what I see so far.
Oddly enough the thing I enjoy most at first glance is that Miriam’s model actually shows equipment changes both on the profile and in game. This is an often overlooked factor than really removes a level of immersion from games when it isn’t there. Mirriam is a lovely character and her voice actress is a great pick, though don’t get me started on the unsupported chestpiece design that would definitely fall right off her bust while running or fighting. She has a spunky, confident attitude and I appreciate that she is not another dark, edgy, stoic main character that you tend to see in a lot of action games these days.
The sheer amount of spells you can learn to use in Bloodstained is staggering, as is the collection of weapon options you’ll quickly amass. You can learn an ability associated with nearly every monster in the game, of which there are many and they can be quite challenging. There’s a robust alchemy and cooking system as well, which from what I understand was not typical in past Iga titles.
Back to Miriam, I find it incredibly appropriate that the protagonist of Bloodstained is a woman, because who else but a woman would be the most accustomed to bloodstains, amirite? Or as our inappropriate magnetic fridge poetry might say…
Sadly, as I’ve been playing, like the rest of the Switch players, I too have noticed that loading times have been growing more and more to the point of absurdity, input lag on actions has increased, and overall the graphics are sub par both compared to the other version of the game and compared to what we know the Switch is capable of processing.
Over the the Bloodstained Kickstarter, it’s already been announced that a series of “ASAP” optimization patches are in the works to be applied as soon as possible to the Switch version of Bloodstained.
Regarding the Switch version of the game; the amazing teams at WayForward and ArtPlay are already hard at work on improvements. Below is a list of what we’re working to fix ASAP via multiple updates over the next few weeks:
– HD Rumble fix (completed!)
– Crash stability
– Optimizing Miriam’s jump
The teams are also at work on a variety of updates to the game and engine, including:
– Optimizing animation for certain enemies (WayForward is testing some techniques to accomplish big things here, but it may be risky and require lots of testing, may need to be pushed to a later update)
– Addressing input delay wherever it occurs
– Switch-specific loading optimizations (this requires a bit more work, and will probably be in the last “ASAP” patches)
Obviously the above plan will adapt as we identify priorities and new tasks and as we add development resources, but we’ll keep you updated as we go.
We’ll also have more to announce soon as we do more to improve the Switch version of Bloodstained. We are committed long-term to making sure the Switch version is just as great and enjoyable as the other platforms, and this is just a window into our immediate action plans.
We apologize again for the inconvenience of the Switch launch not going according to plan, but we really appreciate your understanding and support as we work to make things right.Roberto Piraino “Angel-Corlux”, Global Brand Manager, 505 Games
With this in mind, I’ll be reluctantly setting Bloodstained aside until the game is in a better state on the Switch. I have no doubt the developers will fix the game considering the pedigree of the studio. Instead I’ve finally started the Final Fantasy X remaster and I’m jazzed to back in Spira. Whenever Bloodstained is up to par on Switch, I can’t wait to dive back in and give it a proper review!
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