Koji “IGA” Igarashi, the former figurehead of the Castlevania games starting with Symphony Of The Night, is the latest jilted developer turning to Kickstarter to help fund a new project in a time-tested style he helped pioneer. Smartly sticking with his old series’ title template—“Brand: Noun Of (sometimes The) Spooky-Noun”—Igarashi’s new game is called Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night. He will lead the development, which is being handled by Inti Creates, the Japanese studio that is also working on Keiji Inafune’s Mega Man quasi-revival, Mighty No. 9. Michiru Yamane, the former Konami composer who scored Symphony Of The Night, will be creating the soundtrack.
While Dracula and the Belmont clan will be left unresurrected for once, the rest of Castlevania’s trappings are very much alive. The game stars an orphan named Miriam whose body is turning into stained glass thanks to an alchemist’s curse. An old friend—a sinister chap who has the unenviable duty of standing in for Dracula—has summoned a demon-filled castle from heck, and it’s Miriam’s job to battle through it, discovering secrets, leveling up, and using alchemy to craft new weapons along the way.
The Kickstarter has already surpassed its initial $500,000 goal, but don’t worry. It has a ton of stretch goals to accommodate extra cash. Some perks are already announced, like a second playable character and voice work by David Hayter (Solid Snake), but the rest have to be “unlocked” through the Kickstarter campaign’s dastardly scheme to gameify social media engagement. The more Tumblr followers, selfies at castles, and fan-art the game’s social media tendrils receive, the more stretch goals get announced (along with goodies added to the various reward tiers).
As of now, the campaign lists a proposed completion date of March 2017, when the game will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The Kickstarter page also teases a Wii U version as part of the withheld stretch goals. So if you’re holding out for that, you better start taking some selfies at castles.