I’ve been playing the Switch version of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for the last few days now. Technical issues aside (it crashed on me today for the first time), I’ve been having a blast with it. The fact that I didn’t want to stop playing barely an hour an a half in is probably the highest compliment I can give a game after hitting a gaming slump (this is my first game purchase this year).
Being “taught” in almost every Metroidvania that Save Rooms are one of the few constants found in just about every game, I rushed to find the closest one to call it quits for the night. After some lengthy dialogue introducing me to the shop and crafting workshops, I saved and opened up the menu and noticed an extra option I didn’t expect to find: “Suspend.”
With many devices now offering a Sleep Mode or similar, this may seem a little redundant. However, as someone who typically powers down all of his devices when they are not in use to save energy/battery, and as anyone who has ever depleted their device’s battery life at least once in their lifetime without a nearby power source, this is a godsend.
Though not the first game to include this option, it’s a feature I don’t see all that often in games that utilize a “save room” mechanic. Metroidvanias, in particular, are very unforgiving when it comes to save points. Although some might argue it takes some of the appeal of the genre away, there is nothing quite as frustrating as having to track down a nearby save point when the closest one requires you to backtrack through several dangerous obstacles or go out of your way and take the long route and you have places to be in the next half hour or you die during the attempt and lose time and progress.
For a game that’s largely a throwback or homage to the games before it, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s suspend option is one of the few modern conveniences that the genre could take a page from. It’s a small consideration, but one that goes a long way to respect’s the player’s time.