Thanks to the work of Koji (IGA) Igarashi, the legendary Castlevania video game series has been successfully “rebooted” for the modern generation of gamers. In fact, his distinct style, as seen on Symphony of the Night and Dawn of Sorrow, has led people to coin the term “Igavania” to refer to similar titles. And with original Castlevania owner Konami seemingly sitting the fence for the most part in the video game space, Igarashi is still pumping them out. His latest “Igavania” title, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, has just broken the $1 million funding mark on Kickstarter. And it took less than 24 hours for the title to break that milestone.
Looking at the artwork of Bloodstained, the hallmarks of an Igavania are all in there. The game’s lead character is Miriam, who’s described as “an orphan scarred by an alchemist curse which slowly crystallizes your skin.” And in the dark and gritty theme of Igavanias, Miriam will have to fight a castle full of demons as the story progresses. Igarashi’s new game makes use of Unreal Engine 4, though a potential bummer for fans is the self-proclaimed “2.5D” graphics work – that means it’s somewhere between 2D and 3D, therefore lacking a lot of the crisp details found on the earlier Castlevania remakes/reboots.
According to the Kickstarter page, Igarashi went the “2.5D” route, but ultimately settled on it for “both financial and artistic reasons.” 2D gameplay, he says, is “non-negotiable,” but as far as graphics go, he is “very excited” about the potential offered by 2.5D art as part of the broader Igavania concept. At the end of the day, Igarashi plans to try more things that will improve core gameplay, rather than distract gamers from it.
Bloodstained is due to roll out in March 2017 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and backers can place orders for digital copies for only $28.