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Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night Cuts $5 Million Mode

Fans of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night may be in for a bit of a disappointment when it comes to a new announcement from the game's publisher. Backers of the game's original Kickstarter are going to miss out on a gameplay mode that was originally promised to players, but there is some good news. 

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was a critical success when it launched last year, and for good reason. The game's development was overseen by Koji Igarashi, the former producer of the Castlevania series. As such, the game felt in many ways like a true successor to the classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, a title that many consider to be one of the greatest video games of all time.

One of the reasons for its massive success right out of the gate is the fact that the game was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, with new gameplay modes being added throughout it's nearly four year production cycle and after release, thanks to funds and input from fans who wanted to see the game become the very best it could be.

One of the milestones the Kickstarter passed was the $5 million dollar mark, which came with a promise to include a "Roguelike Dungeon" mode for Bloodstained. This mode included procedurally generated dungeons and enemies and would ensure that one death would mean starting the game over from scratch. Unfortunately, Bloodstained publisher 505 Games has announced that the Roguelike mode will no longer be a part of the game. However, the publisher did offer an explanation and an alternative that sounds fascinating.

The next update for the game will not only make the character Zangetsu playable, but it will also include a new Randomizer mode. This mode will allow players to pick certain aspects of their playthrough that can be randomized, including item locations, enemies, treasure chests, and side quests. This will still allow for the kind of fresh approach to a second playthrough, just without the hassle of the game having to generate an all-new castle every single time.

"One of the promised stretch goals for the game was Roguelike. Unfortunately, the code that was created early in the game's development is not currently compatible with this type of gameplay ... Due to this, we regret to announce that we will not be developing Roguelike as part of the project's planned stretch goals," explained Jason Ryan of 505 Games in the Kickstarter update. "We know this is a mode that many of you were eagerly anticipating and we apologize that we will not be able to make it happen as planned."

In addition, it was announced that a previously-teased "Boss Revenge Mode" would be coming to the game in a future update. This was originally announced as part of the update that added Zangetsu. However, according to 505 Games, this announcement was made in error.

The Nintendo Switch version of the game is expected to receive some new updates in the new future as well. The most recent update to the Switch version of Bloodstained brought several improvements that brought it up to date with the other versions of the game. This was much needed, considering how rough the Switch version was when it came out. According to 505 Games, "While this was the last Switch update focused primarily on performance, we are not done working to improve the platform."

Because the most recent update brought the Switch version in line with the other editions, Switch owners who are enjoying Bloodstained can look forward to their version of the game consistently keeping pace with the rest.

"When all the platforms are at the same place, it makes future updates easier to manage," explained 505 Games. "The production teams can ... release updates on a schedule with shorter gaps between them."

While the new content isn't exactly what backers expected, this update kind of continues a trend that Bloodstained has followed since its launch. 505 Games has included a ton of post-game content that was funded by Kickstarter backers. However, Bloodstained has made these new gameplay modes and features available to everyone. This hasn't sat particularly well with many Kickstarter backers, who were under the impression that much of this content would be exclusive to those who paid for a specific tier in the campaign. This led to a bit of controversy for 505 Games.

Still, it's exciting to see 505 Games remains committed to bringing those long-awaited features to players — or, as in this case, replacing an unworkable feature with something just as intriguing. There's no exact release date information available for the update that will include the Randomizer mode, but hopefully we'll hear something soon and can get back to our regularly-scheduled gothic dungeon crawling.