Castle Crashers Review (XBLA)
When gaming left the 16-bit era and moved into the realm of 3D gaming one genre of games that I felt unfairly got left behind was the scrolling beat em up. You know games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. Well thanks to Xbox Live Arcade these types of game are making a huge comeback and for me, my personal favourite was this gem released back in 2008.
Castle Crashers basic story is that you are a Knight who needs to save the kingdom from some seriously bad dude, but its execution and art style makes it one of the most memorable games on the Xbox Live Arcade.
From a graphics point of view Castle Crashers looks phenomenal. While the Knights do all kind of look the same except there color they are very well animated and I think that despite just having a different color you do build an attachment to a certain one. As well as the Knights you can unlock and download extra characters such as some of the bad guys and even the King of the kingdom.
The levels are simply fantastic and the variety in them is staggering. At first you will probably think it is all just going to be a medieval style setting which after all as the game is called Castle Crashers would kind of make sense, but this could not be further from the truth. You will battle in rivers, forests, caves and even an alien space ship. Yes that is right your Knight will need to fight aliens. Not only are the levels varied the attention to detail is also great there are a million little things through the levels that will take you multiple play throughs to see them all. Nothing major just nice little touches to the various levels.
As great as the game looks, it is the game play that keeps me and many others hooked to this game. At heart this is a pure hack and slash side scroller where you will take down tons of bad guys before facing an end of level boss. You have a weapon at your disposal. Weapons can be found and bought in the game. And what weapon you have will alter your characters stats (more on that in a moment) you also get various other items like a shovel to dig for treasure, a potion and sandwiches that turn you into a hulking Knight. To add to the charm of the game you will also find little animal helpers in the game. These cute little guys will follow you around and give you certain attributes.
There is also a somewhat RPG style element of leveling up in the game. You can level up your Knight and doing so makes him stronger. So you may find yourself having to do some grinding to level up, because trust me when I tell you that some of the later enemies can be really tough if you are not leveled up enough. Also you get stat points to dish out as you wish. You can make your Knight faster, stronger or maybe even have more magic power.
In all Castle Crashers is a fantastic game and while it is four years old I still really believe that it is one of the very best games on the Xbox Live Arcade. It is a ton of fun and has a ton of replay value. Check it out on the Xbox 360.