ArtPlay’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night launched as a completely broken mess on the Nintendo Switch this past summer. The PS4, Xbox, and PC versions were serviceable, if not riddled with tolerable bugs, but the Switch version was nearly nigh unplayable. Well, the developers finally addressed the optimization process they’re going through, and it’s a real doozy.
In the developer update #98 post over on the Bloodstained sub-reddit, tucked beneath pleasantries and promotions, there’s a list of performance enhancements and optimization routines the team is applying to the Switch version of Bloodstained in order to bring up the playability to working levels.
The 505 community representative posted a message from the development team, where they explained…
“Work on the Nintendo Switch graphical and performance update continues. We apologize for the long development cycle. Most of the changes are on a room-by-room, enemy-byenemy basis so there are a signiﬁcant number of assets being reworked and it’s taking more time than initially expected.
“We are pleased with the progress that has been made so far and look forward to getting it into your hands. While the teams are working on an extensive list of myriad improvements, their focus is on four principal areas: Visual Fidelity, Loading Times, Particle Effects and Input Lag. […]”
Keep in mind that these issues have been plaguing Switch owners since June of 2019. So that’s three months ago.
When Switch owners complained about the poor graphics, the low frame-rate, the input lag and the artifacts, 505 Games made a post over on the Kickstarter page saying that they would be putting resources toward fixing the Switch version.
Three months later and the game is still a long ways off from being optimized on Nintendo’s little handheld that could.
They explain in the Reddit post how much more work they need to do and in each area, writing…
“Visual Fidelity – The way that backgrounds and environments are rendered are being signiﬁcantly updated. This will result in noticeably sharper environments in most areas throughout the game.
“Loading Times – Load times between scenes are being greatly improved, but are still not where we would like them to be, so work remains.
“Particle Effects – We have already replaced hundreds of particle effects with new assets and more yet remain. The new ones look the same to the user, but are much less impactful on the performance of the game. This has been one of the main culprits for framerate drops during ﬁghts.
“Input Lag – Input lag times have been signiﬁcantly reduced, once work on this is completed the game should feel much more reactive when playing.
“The improvements are expected to be released in two separate updates. The ﬁrst update will contain the vast majority of the improvements. The second update will improve performance with a couple of especially troublesome areas and enemies.
“We expect these updates to be launched by the end of November. We will give more speciﬁc timeframes when we are closer to release.
“After the Switch upgrade is live, there will be a handful of assets/enemies that we want to improve like the Doppleganger enemy for example. These improvements will be part of our regular development cycle and updated when ready.”
That’s right… you’ll have a broken game on your hands up until November (assuming everything goes as planned).
If you bought the physical version of the game and can’t update the game via online patches, you’re just absolutely screwed.
It’s amazing that they were allowed to release this on the Switch in such a broken state. I don’t know if there was a parity clause in place or not, but this really should have been delayed up until it was actually good to go. The fact that the load times are too long, the visual fidelity is far below even the lowest settings on PC, and the frame-rate performance and input lag make the game practically unplayable is just outright unacceptable.
Brad drives this point home in a post on Reddit, highlighting the sad state of affairs for Switch owners who were duped into purchasing a game they thought was complete.
It looks like Switch owners won’t be able to play the right proper version of Bloodstained until this November.
The game is currently available right now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and of course duly broken on the Nintendo Switch.
(Thanks for the news tip Brad)