Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has a had a rough go of it on Switch. The game, while largely liked on other consoles and PC, included surprise tricks like input lag, poor frame rate, and long load times on the Nintendo platform. That was all the way back in June. Now the developers have finally released a Halloween treat for patient fans: the long-awaited Bloodstained Switch update.
“There are four areas of improvement in version 1.03: Input Lag, Visual Quality, Crashes and Load Times,” says the a blog post that included the patch notes. “First oﬀ, input lag has been eliminated throughout the game. You will ﬁnd the controls more responsive, making the game easier to navigate and enemies easier to ﬁght. There are still a few areas that need optimizing that will be included in update 1.04.”
Okay. So it doesn’t sound like the game is completely perfect. But that’s true of all the versions, if you ask me. I just wrapped up Ritual of the Night a few days ago and found it to be a charming, but still fairly unpolished and clearly low-budget affair. Although it does capture the spirit of those portable Castlevania games that came out after Symphony of the Night just fine. And, at the very least, this Bloodstained Switch update sounds like it will put the only portable version of the game on closer to even footing with its siblings.
Interestingly, or perhaps just strangely, the load time improvements don’t appear to be uniform. That is to say, the game has 70 percent faster load times in some areas. The developer plans to continue improving on that “on a room-by-room basis.” That definitely seems odd to me, but then again, I’m not a game developer! I just, like, write about how I play dress-up in Final Fantasy 14.
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Besides performance, update 1.03 also promises visual improvements. The patch notes include direct comparison shots to that effect and some of the textures do indeed look sharper. The backgrounds are clearly more detailed, as well, which is important in such a colorful game.
But the biggest news came from the official Bloodstained YouTube channel. There is another one of those goofy live-action trailers, specifically for this update, that I enjoy oh-so much. It’s not the most elaborate one the developer has ever done, but it still has the sly wink and nod humor that I’ve come to enjoy. You can watch it in the embedded player above!
Now what’s next for the game itself? The blog post also mentions playing as Zangetsu: a boss in the game that was promised as an alternate playable character during development. Sadly, while the devs know their fans are curious about this upcoming feature, they “don’t have speciﬁc dates yet for Zangetsu or Xbox update 1.04 (including the IGA’s Back Pack DLC) yet.”
Besides the Nintendo Switch, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. In fact, as part of the 2019 Halloween sale, you can get the game for 20 percent off on the good ol’ personal computer. Otherwise it normally runs $39.99 USD.