Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Recently released for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and PC, Shovel Knight is a 2D side scrolling platform game with some impressive depth. Our main character, a knight wielding a shovel with some awesome abilities, finds himself bouncing around the screen digging through blocks of dirt and smacking enemies he meets along his way. He also uses the shovel to uncover bountiful treasure and to throw items into the air, making high jumps a bit easier and creating and extra flying object for the enemies in his way. This game is a type of mashup of the very best old school titles.
My very first impressions took my thoughts back to the original NES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even right down to the music and sound effects, and lets face it, if you didn’t like that game, well then, you might have a serious problem. The boss levels have a kind of mega man feel to them. A smooth challenging wave with retro appeal, the throwback moments in this game never end. Enemies are anything but easy and the combat design creates a cool dynamic for the player to work through the levels. The overhead map between levels is swept straight from Super Mario and the adventures and town exploration bring Zelda to mind. Even Dig Dug comes to mind when shoveling to a new hidden area underneath the ground. There is no end to the 80’s childhood dream here!
With all the ideas borrowed from other titles the game still keeps a new and interesting feel with a spin on things. The level design, art style, and colorful backdrops bring spice and interest to the experience. The controls have excellent response and the easy to grasp scheme makes it the perfect pick up and play title. Shovel Knight is well-balanced when it comes to the characters movements on-screen. Attack, jump, move, a simple combination that has been used in dozens of games with varying levels of success finds its perfect niche here. Some other features will be added as free updates throughout the coming year which are earned through Kickstarter stretch goals including a four-player battle mode, a mission-based challenge mode, an extra mode that swaps all the characters’ genders, and playable story campaigns for boss characters King Knight, Specter Knight, and Plague Knight.
You heard it here first, Shovel Knight is an instant classic and something that will be talked about for years to come. It’s something old for the 80’s kids that reminisce about the glory days of their childhood, and for the youngsters who don’t know what they’ve missed. Every aspect of the game has been carefully thought out and mashed up to create a brand new title for us to love. I for one always appreciate and respect developers who bring us a bit of old-school in a new-school era.
Shovel Knight Gets
Five Out of Five
+Beautiful visuals with an old-school feel
+Easy to pick up and play control strategy
+Well balanced and decently challenging
+Unique music and sound
-No online features. Yet.
If you’re interested in more stunning knights check out our article Play Legit’s Favorites, The Top Knights of Gaming, where we bring you the very best games that knights have to offer.