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Dig Dug

Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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Took the plunge on this one on PS4 as I used to love Symphony of the Night (still do) and have been playing the GBA Castlevania's recently too. And so glad I did. Wow what a game. I cannot believe how much I am enjoying this. I don't think I've put as much time into a game since the SNES days. It just totally commands your attention and the systems underneath it are so compelling. It all seems a bit daunting at first but the trick of it is making the beginning of the game so seemingly unfair. You realise quickly that everything kills your character with the slightest touch so you have to delve into the RPG stuff to survive. And that's when you see it isn't complicated at all. I'm typically someone who doesn't much care for trad RPG stuff, but this is right up my street.

 

Can't beat the Death Bringer for walking through the baddies! Just awesome stuff.

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Beat this on switch today. Hilariously the game was less buggy the further you got. Did every quest except the food ones. The Durendal put in work when I was farming for crafting materials.
Overall the game is fantastic, not SotN level but certainly worthy of praise. I consider SotN, OoE and Aria the top 3 of the Iga Castlevania games but this is a good contende thanks to how imaginative some of the powers are.

Decided to download Circle of the Moon in the eshop sale and it's still amusing to me that the demake came out 18 months before the game it was based on. It's a bit easy (need to try Nightmare mode) but as homages to Castlevania III go it did its job very well.

That all said the RotN does have some issues, I found it silly that one of the major powers needed for progressing was hidden behind a normal enemy with the game giving you little to help point you in the right direction. Also I do feel like we've lost something not having Dracula or the big staircase to his room, I always loved that feeling of build up. Compared to Castlevania this final boss was a bit lacking. 

Overall Bloodstained: RotN was £20 well spent. Also shout outs to the guys who pledged money to have David Hayter plug their youtube in sound test. They'd do well to learn from the person who had Alucard read a message for their pet cat.

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I got some stick for being critical of Shenmue 3 and a few people said my expectations were too high for what is clearly a Kickstarted budget game.  I point to Bloodstained, which is my game of the year 2019. Awesome game.  Also, I recently played the GBA launch title  Circle of the Moon and that's an amazing game, now you can play it on a screen you can actually see!

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You can buy Circle of the Moon on the Switch?

 

Or is this on some other system? It’s not on the Castlevania collection.

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9 hours ago, deKay said:

You can buy Circle of the Moon on the Switch?

 

Or is this on some other system? It’s not on the Castlevania collection.

 

It's on the WiiU eshop.

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10 minutes ago, gossi the dog said:

 

It's on the WiiU eshop.


Ah yes, of course.

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Is this acceptable enough on Switch, or is the performance/bugs level bad enough that even with the handheld advantage I'd be better off going for PS4 or Xbone?

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11 minutes ago, Eighthours said:

Is this acceptable enough on Switch, or is the performance/bugs level bad enough that even with the handheld advantage I'd be better off going for PS4 or Xbone?

I'd personally wait until they update the switch version this month. PS4 got the newest update last month and is said to be the best version overall (especially when played on Pro).
You'd think the switch version being capped to 30 fps would lead to more consistent performance but having just beat it with the November patch the first half of the game is all over the place when it comes to loading times, slow down (the tower is the worst for this), sudden temporary freezes, graphical errors, texture pop-in, things clipping through walls and so on.
When you get to the second half of the game however it seems to be mostly fine, the one boss that Digital Foundry said tanked the frame rate on release didn't have any frame drops when I played it.

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1 minute ago, Dig Dug said:

I'd personally wait until they update the switch version this month. PS4 got the newest update last month and is said to be the best version overall (especially when played on Pro).
You'd think the switch version being capped to 30 fps would lead to more consistent performance but having just beat it with the November patch the first half of the game is all over the place when it comes to loading times, slow down (the tower is the worst for this), sudden temporary freezes, graphical errors, texture pop-in, things clipping through walls and so on.
When you get to the second half of the game however it seems to be mostly fine, the one boss that Digital Foundry said tanked the frame rate on release didn't have any frame drops when I played it.

 

OK cool, I'll wait and see what the patch brings.

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Also watching a speedrun right now and the PC version as expected is completely head and shoulders above all the others. Much faster, much nicer looking, no tower slowdown whatsoever.

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I've just started playing it through on the Switch and I'm generally loving it - something about this style of game and the tantalising glimpses of where you will be able to go to once you finally get the double jump or whatever really appeals to me.

 

It has mostly run fine, and looks quite lovely in places. The most serious problem I've had is in the transition times between rooms, which can sometimes take up to 10 seconds. This is particularly noticable in vertical transitions, where you can easily forget to respond once it finally loads in, and you end up falling back into the room below. Minor annoyance, but one that I've noticed.

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I’ve just whacked this on too (got it as a present) and spent about an hour just getting to grips with the controls, menu and things. Can see myself getting quite into this.

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My Switch has started downloading a fairly hefty update for this. I was already on 1.03. I'm not seeing any news in the usual places about a new patch coming out though. Have they stealth released the new graphics update?

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I might buy it for switch if it has instant loading like the Xbox one X version. Don't think I could handle the pauses between sections especially near Endgame and getting accelerator. 

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Well, it's downloaded and it is indeed v1.04. Very weird that they chucked it out before any kind of specific announcement. Now to find out if it's finally a respectable version of the game.

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After a couple of hours on the updated Switch version last night, I've decided it's just never going to reach the level of polish of a Konami Castlevania. There's a slickness and professionalism about a game like Dawn of Sorrow on the DS that simply doesn't exist here. Environments are ugly. Enemies designs are ugly. Transitions from gameplay to cutscene/dialogue cause the image to blur weirdly. Seemingly innocuous, untaxing rooms cause sporadic framedrops. It's all a bit of a mess in handheld mode really, and when the camera zooms out now and again - during the first boss fight, for example - it's easy to lose track of Miriam's position on the screen.

 

Performance does seem much better overall. Although you do still occasionally get a spinning wheel on a black screen while it loads the next room, loading times in general are hugely reduced. Input lag is fixed as far as I can tell. Although framerate drops persist, I believe this is the case on other versions too. Oh and the typos and missing text have finally been corrected.

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When the game was still running on older versions, I'd read impressions about poor performance in the Towers area. I arrived in that area today and the framerate seemed ok to me. 'Awesome, they really have improved this!' Then I went a little further up the tower and I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing. The game was running in some kind of slow motion. This wasn't the odd framedrop but a consistent treacle-fest across the whole area. At one point I thought the game had actually crashed because nothing on the screen was moving, but it got going again maybe three or four seconds later. This is after three updates to fix performance.

 

The game itself is mediocre anyway. Thirty percent in, there hasn't been a single memorable location, boss or upgrade. Even with input lag reduced, the game is horrible to control, with occasional jumps and swings not registering. Miriam is so sluggish to control that exploration is a chore, compounded further by a map so poorly annotated even names of areas are absent. 'Is that the library area over there?' *closes map and trudges from room to room for several minutes* 'Nope.'

 

It plays like the kind of discount indie game we've all bought from time to time made by a small group of students doing their best to emulate a past masterpiece on a miniscule budget, put together competently enough to recognise as the game it wishes to emulate but missing all the expertise and talent and flourish that made the masterpiece what it was. Except in this case the budget was seven figures, the development team large and professionally skilled, the development time four years and with an apparent giant of the genre at the very helm.

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Appreciate all the updates for the patched version ann. Some polarising views about the game itself it seems, from some comments which refer to it as game of the year contender, to your above comments, which are decidedly less enthusiastic.

 

I bought this along with my Switch last year and I've held off on playing it after reading about the technical troubles which this fabled .4 update would fix. I think I'll jump in now, as it seems the bulk of the problems have been fixed and whilst future patches may improve some areas, the major technical problems have been addressed. Curious where I'll land on it after reading the previous few pages of this thread.

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Must admit, I enjoyed it but didn't love it. I think there's been a run of similar titles this last couple of years and they've all improved and moved things forward in areas where this doesn't. Still absolutely worth a run through, just not as good as I'd hoped. 

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Not my game of the year but the unpatched Switch version is still one of my favourite games from 2019.

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25 minutes ago, ann coulter said:

Out of interest, what did you both think it did better than almost every other game last year?


It played just like a Castlevania game. Nothing else has quite done that since 2012.

 

It was fun. It had the important map-colouring hook. It had awful voice acting. It had lovely graphics and weighty swords and music that’s almost as good as Bloody Tears. It had some great bosses. It had secrets and more secrets and secrets within secrets. It had all of these things and I could play it on my Switch.

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Fair enough. I'd have preferred the kind of secret where you input a string of button presses to turn the 2.5D art into 2D, instead of the kind of secret where you strike a wall by accident and a hidden carrot falls out.

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6 minutes ago, ann coulter said:

Fair enough. I'd have preferred the kind of secret where you input a string of button presses to turn the 2.5D art into 2D, instead of the kind of secret where you strike a wall by accident and a hidden carrot falls out.


Then I wouldn’t have been playing Castlevania.

 

I agree that 2D probably would have been better but I’m not averse to what we got. Remember how awful the original footage was? Thank Christ they redid it all.

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I haven't played it on Switch and have read that it has issues, but on PS4 it is silky smooth, plays beautifully, has great locations, music, graphics.  it's the only game I ever platinumed on trophies.  I played through Dawn of Sorrow on an emulator last week and loved that too.  Bloodstained is pure Castlevania and I really enjoyed every minute, including the grind to complete that item list.  I can only assume the Switch version is really badly converted - on PS4 is was blowing me away, a game that ticked all the boxes.

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By all accounts the Switch version isn’t as nice looking as the PS4 version but I’ve only played the Switch version and it’s excellent anyway. It’s the same gameplay.

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19 hours ago, deKay said:

Not my game of the year but the unpatched Switch version is still one of my favourite games from 2019.

 

I thought patches was supposed to improve the game?

 

 

 


patches-large.jpg

…It didn't cause you any trouble, by chance?

 

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No, just I completed it before any patches came out (bar the day-1 patch).

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