Shovel Knight (2014) Review

One Knight, One Shovel, One chance of success

Was Shovel Knight an epic masterpiece or were Yaught Club Games digging them selves a very deep hole?
Cover Shovel Knight and Shield Knight are two adventurers who formed a strong relationship with each other, together they would adventure across many lands and discovering many treasures on their travels, one day they tackle the tower of fate seeking a magical amulet, unfortunately the amulet is cursed and upon its discovery Shovel Knight  blacks out and awakens outside only to notice that the tower has been sealed and Shield Knight was no where to be seen.

shield knight sadGrieving the loss of his beloved, Shovel Knight gave up his life of being an adventurer and went on to live in solitude, with Shovel Knight gone an evil sorceress called The Enchantress gathered the Knights of the Order of the no Quarter and they started to wreak havoc on the land, Shovel Knight discovers that The Enchantress had unsealed the Tower of Fate and is using it as her new castle, Shovel Knight decides that the only way to save the land is too defeat The Enchantress in the Tower of Fate and to hopefully reunite with Shield Knight.

2014-06-19_00003

Shovel Knight plays and feels very similar to three very popular old school Nintendo classics, Duck tales on NES, Mega man and Super Mario Bros 3.

shovelknight

The game is a 2D action plat-former, players will need fight there way through each world using their shovels to their advantage, unlike a traditional Mario game players can not defeat enemies by simply jumping on them as this will cause Shovel Knight to take damage, instead you will need to use your Shovels to bounce off of your enemies you can also hit enemies with your shovel similar to using a sword.

shovel_knight_relics_by_pokesega64-d92tjop

Of course your shovel isn’t the only weapon Shovel Knight can use as there are also items called relics which can prove to be quite useful in the more tougher areas of the game, you can either buy these items from a merchant in town and some items can only be bought by secret merchants hidden each knight level.

My three favourite relics are

Flare Wand: A magic wand which allows Shovel Knight to shoot balls of fire

Dust Knuckles: This item allows Shovel Knight to punch through blocks of dirt and enemies quickly and effectively

Propeller Dagger:  Allows Shovel Knight to temporarily dart through the air for a short distance

overworld

Shovel Knight uses a map system which draws inspiration from Mario 3, this doesn’t surprise me as Mario 3 perfected the formula for over world maps in video games and in turn many developers choose this style due to that games success, with that in mind it should be no shock that Shovel Knight follows this formula having the player needing to defeat certain levels to unlock new paths, bumping into other adventurers who want to duel and entering towns to stock up on items.

shovel-knight-boss

There are eight knights that  you will need to defeat before you can gain access to the Tower of Fate Spectre Knight, King Knight, Treasure Knight, Plague Knight, Mole Knight, Polar Knight, Tinker Knight and Propeller Knight, every time you defeat of one of these knights a new path on the overall map will open allowing you inch closer and closer to the Tower of Fate each time.

You may also bump into wandering travelers on your journey, these travelers will fight you if you cross paths so be wary of which path you take.

usgclub-shovelknight-spot3

Towns will prove to be very important pit stops on your quest as they will allow Shovel Knight to buy new weapons and armour as well as to increase his maximum health and magic, it is also a good idea to speak to the town bard as he will buy any music sheets that you have found while adventuring.

Troupple-King

Meet the Troupple King this cross between a trout and an apple will surely prove to be the most useful stop in the entire game, the Troupple King has the ability to create ichors which Shovel Knight can drink.

These ichors come in three colours.

Red: replenishes full health and magic

Blue: become temporarily invincible

Yellow: Absorb all near by treasure

Make sure you choose your ichors wisely as you can only hold two at a time, also in order to use ichors you must buy a Troupple Chalice or two from the apple man in town.

2650167-4314298550-shove

Visually Shovel Knight is stunning it has a similar art style to the Nintendo Entertainment System using what appears to be 8 bit visuals, of course there is no way Shovel Knight could run on the NES due to how fast the game runs as well as its large color palette.

The soundtrack is absolutely perfect for this style of game, its beautifully composed and there is not a single track in this game that I do not love, its not just the composition of the soundtrack but its also the direction that really helps create such a wonderful game play experience, each section of the game has what I consider to be the perfect choice of music for example when the game is intense the music is intense, when shovel knight is dreaming the music is still a lot of fun but its much slower and when your in towns the music is cheerful and a little silly which suits the towns superbly as the towns people are wacky and unusual.

Shovel Knight is a fantastic game and for a project that was only possible due to crowd funding it’s absolutely amazing, make sure to visit the hall of heroes to see paintings of all of the crowd funder’s as well as a secret boss fight.

I don’t what to say apart from that the game is perfect and as an extra treat when you beat the game you will unlock extra challenges that you can complete and in a more recent update a brand new game called Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows has been added for free and is also available upon completion of Shovel Knight.

but I will get to that adventure some other day

FOR SHOVELRY !! 10/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Shovel Knight

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ecco the Dolphin (Megadrive) Review

Halloween 2014 is really close now and since it is already October its time for the traditional Raggle fraggle Halloween blogs.

This years theme is games and movies that you would not expect to be scary but in reality they are.

Lets begin with the first game of the season with the adorable Ecco the Dolphin for the Sega Mega Drive

Ecco_The_Dolphin_Cover

Released in 1993 Ecco the Dolphin is in my opinion Sega’s response to Nintendo’s popular game series Metroid

250px-Smetroidbox

The plot of Ecco the Dolphin is that your family mysteriously disappears in a storm and Ecco travels through the many dangers of the ocean to reunite with his family, while on on his travels Ecco is told to travel to the Artic to speak to a blue whale called Big Blue. Big Blue explains that these storms appear every 500 years and Ecco is directed to the oldest creature on earth the Asterite.

asterite

The Asterite agrees to help Ecco as long as he travels back in time to an ancient atlantian city so he can retrieve one of the Asterite’s globes that is missing (Globes are those multicoloured circles that the Asterite is made of) After receiving the globe Ecco is told that the storm was a harvest of Earths waters and this is a tradition committed every 500 years by an alien species called the Vortex. After learning this, Ecco travels 55 thousands years into the past and finds the Asterite and is forced to battle, after defeating the Asterite, Ecco is granted a power which turns his Sonar into a deadly weapon which he can use against the Vortex, Ecco is then sent foward in time to the hour of the harvest and this time he also gets sucked into the storm and ends up in the Alien space ship, Ecco then fights his way to the queen to save his family.

final boss

Thats right Ecco is a time travelling Dolphin who fights Aliens, That is freaking awesome

Ecco the Dolphin has really awesome game play, The game is level based, each level gives the player a new objective to complete but unlike traditional level based games Ecco the Dolphin feels a lot like Metroid, the player is going to get lost at certain points of the game. This is due to all of the different paths you can take to help you find your your objective and sometimes you need to solve puzzles in order to move forward for example you may need to push a rock to block of a strong water current in order to take a new path or you may need to use clever strategy to sneak past an angry octopus.

octopus

Ecco the Dolphin is surprisingly a really difficult game, this is due to the fact that just like a real dolphin Ecco can’t fully breath underwater and while playing through the game the player will need to find air holes in order to keep Ecco alive, Personally this was the most difficult aspect of the game for me, because finding air is not easy and Ecco runs out of breath really fast.

Also Ecco can easily take damage from enemies as well as taking damage from bumping in cave walls, luckily eating fish replenishes your health so this aspect of gamplay is not something that people will have too much trouble with.

What is an issue is the games controls, due to Ecco being able to move in a 360 degrees pattern the D-PAD on the Mega Drive controller became a big issue as I found controlling Ecco to be very clunky and awkward. I believe the game could really benefit from the use of an analog controller.

Ecco the Dolphin has a really awesome soundtrack, the music really makes the player feel like they are in ocean and the music changes depending on the scenario of the stage, at first the music feels really relaxing but as the games plot unfolds the soundtrack evolves into something more hardcore and dark. I love this soundtrack, it really helps the player feel the atmosphere of the game.

it is one of my favourite game soundtracks on the Mega Drive and I love every minute of it.

Here is a link to a playlist of every track in the game

Ecco the Dolphin is a really awesome game, apart from the  not so great controls it is definitely a game I reccomend to retro gamers but I do feel that it would not be popular with the modern gamers of today.

I also feel that the game would be a turn off to male demographic simply because you play as a dolphin which is most likely why the game did not do as well as the developers hoped it would back when it released.

I may not have enjoyed Ecco the Dolphin as much as I have enjoyed a lot of other Mega Drive titles but I do feel that is an underrated gem on the system and I recommend it to all retro gamers .

A cute little game which is surprisingly a little bit terrifying 7/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Ecco the Dolphin

if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan