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Castlevania successor ‘Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’ gets delayed to 2018

What a horrible night to have a delay! Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the Castlevania spiritual successor from former Konami developer Koji Igarashi, will now be arriving quite a bit later than fans had anticipated.

Originally scheduled to launch in March of 2017 — which is still listed in several places on the game’s Kickstarter page — the 2D action-RPG platformer will now arrive within the “first half of 2018,” according to an update video released by Igarashi.

“Things have been progressing with development for Bloodstained, but between our current production set-up and release deadline, I’ve realized that at this rate the game may not end up meeting my quality standards,” Igarashi says. “I’ve decided to add a new development team to the main production and improve our approach so that we can keep the game fully on track for how I envision it.”

Related: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow studio announces multiplayer adventure Raiders of the Broken Planet

That vision is to replicate the look and feel of the Castlevania games that fans have dubbed “Metroidvania.” Focused more on exploration and equipment than the more action-oriented, linear original games or the 3D Lords of Shadow, they’ve attracted a fair amount of critical praise. The most famous of these, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, is often regarded as one of the best games ever made.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is planned for PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Wii U, and Kickstarter backers will have the option to receive a physical copy on all but Mac and Linux. It’s being developed in part by Inti Creates, known for its work on the Mega Man franchise, as well as the recently-released Mighty No. 9.

Unlike Mighty No. 9, however, early fan impressions are largely positive. A demo released over the summer showcases beautiful environments, creepy enemy designs, and crisp combat. We’ll see if the final game can match these impressions when Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night launches in 2018.