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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

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Yoshi’s Wooly World (Wii U) (2015) Review

Box Art

At last the long awaited sequel to Kirby’s Epic Yarn has been released, or at least it has been in Japan and Europe because unfortunately the USA wont be seeing this game until October, but luckily for me I’m not American and I have already played through and beaten the game.

So is this game a beautiful knitted scarf from Grandma or is it a hideous knitted Christmas sweater from Pound Land?

Plot

Once upon a time in a magical fluffy world,the Yarn Yoshi’s lived in peace and happiness, one day an evil wizard called Kamek mysteriously appeared and cast an evil spell which turned the Yoshi’s in to bundles of yarn, two Yoshi’s managed to hide from the effects of this curse and watched sadly as their friends were taken away, Kamek proceeded to scatter the yarn bundles all over the land most likely thinking that he managed to capture all of the Yoshi’s but unfortunately for him that was not the case and the two surviving Yoshi’s traveled all over the Woolly World in the hopes of stopping Kamek and restoring their friends back to life.

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Wooly World plays and feels very similar to most other Yoshi Games but the benefit in this particular entry to the series is the lack of the annoying crying baby that you need to carry around, which is a very nice touch to the series because as much as I love the Yoshi’s Island games that is one aspect that I do not miss one little bit.

Yoshi can run, jump, eat enemies and turn them into Yarn balls, throw the yarn balls and he can even do that weird air running thing he does just like any other Yoshi game, the only massive difference in this game is that everything is made out of yarn.

Obviously the fact that everything is made of yarn does leave the game open to some new gameplay elements which could only be pulled off in this sort of setting.

Some examples of these unique gameplay elements include

throwing yarn balls at platforms

Throwing yarn balls at empty canvases to create knitted platforms

Pushing light walls

Pushing light woolly walls to find secrets

unraveeling loose yarn

and unraveling loose strings of yarn to help you discover secret paths and hidden items.

dark caves screenshotOther aspects which are common in most Yoshi games include finding invisible paths, throwing balls of yarn (Eggs) at hidden clouds to find secrets, collecting the five flowers in each stage and so on.

new yoshi

A new collectible in this game is the bundles of yarn that Kamek Scattered across the land, each stage has five hidden within and if you collect all five of the yarn bundles you will unlock a new Yoshi you are then able to play as.

You can also scan your Amiibo’s to unlock special Yoshi’s based on the character you scanned into the game, but if you scan the Yarn Yoshi Amiibo you will be able to have that Amiibo help you too beat tough stages.

Bonus Level

If you collect all of the flowers in a world then you will be rewarded with a brand new stage, this is very similar to unlocking the bonus stages in the New Super Mario Bros series.Aeroplane Yoshi

If you manage to find some secret doors in certain levels, you will be greeted a small vehicle section this allows Yoshi to change into many different vehicles and other forms, these sections are a lot of fun and my personal favorite of these bonus areas was playing as a giant Yoshi as it reminded me of Godzilla

The game controls wonderfully which isn’t much of a surprise considering that most of the Yoshi games have tight and extremely responsive controls, the controller layout of the Wii U game pad is perfect for this particular game and if you don’t wanna play with a game pad you can play the game with any controller for the Wii U or the Nintendo Wii.

The game can be very difficult at times as the later levels can be very unforgiving and I can see this upsetting some younger players, usually I would for see this as a problem but Nintendo were right on the ball as they included a mellow mode which makes the game much easier and is recommended for the casual gamer’s and people who don’t want too much stress or challenge, personally I prefer the classic mode but mellow mode can still be a good choice for days when your too tired to handle some of more difficult parts of the game.

Power Badge

Throughout the game you will be collecting gems, you can use these gems to buy special one use power-ups for your Yoshi, I personally never used these but my brother did and he said that they proved to be most useful, one of the most beneficial power-ups to me would have been the ability to not die if you fall off of a ledge as this is this is what killed me the most during my play through.

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Yoshi’s Woolly World is a real piece of Art to look at, if you were impressed with the visuals of Epic Yarn you have not seen anything yet, the major difference here is that everything is fully knitted allowing a lot of detail and creative visuals, everything looks so fluffy that I just wanna jump into the game and hug everything, this visual style offers a a few unique and special aspects to the game, for example if you throw a yarn ball at a Pirana Plant it will wrap around it and you can see the plant being slightly squeezed showing that it is only made out of yarn and is not at all solid, and if you eat a water melon you can shoot the seeds at loose fluff to help you gain access to new areas.

The Music is again wonderful, Woolly World has a nice and innocent soundtrack throughout the majority of the game, its very pleasant to listen too and is at times very relaxing, I really hope that Nintendo releases a soundtrack for the game soon.

Yoshi’s Woolly World was the game that made me go out and buy a Wii U, ever since I got the system back in December I have eagerly awaiting this games release and I am mostly pleased with the final product, the only two issues I have is that the game is a bit short as it only has six worlds and I feel that two more worlds would have really benefited the game play, the only other issue I have is the lack of available players, having two people play the game together is great but I am fairly certain that Nintendo could have quite easily allowed up to at least four players at once and this is an aspect I hope they add in the future with an update.

Yoshi’s Woolly World was a fantastic game that anyone can enjoy, it has tight controls, wonderful visuals and audio and is genuinely an adorable treat to play, I only wish that game it self was a little longer.

9.7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Nintendo Wii U

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

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer