Game: Castle Crashers Remastered
Genre: Fighting RPG
System: Nintendo Switch (also PS4 and Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: The Behemoth
Age Rating: EU 7+|US 10+
Price: $14.99 | £6.99| €16,99|$25.50 (AU)
Release Date: 17th September 2019
Thanks to The Behemoth for providing us with a review code
Content Warning: While the game is presented in a cartoon style and has a low rating, there is decapitation and blood.
Castle Crashers Remastered is an enhanced port of the original which released in 2008. It is developed and published by The Behemoth. It can be played with up to 4 players, both local and online.
First you pick your Knight of choice, from a starting load out of six. Your home castle is attacked by barbarians, you chase after them and find a wizard has stolen some giant crystal and your King commands you to charge forward. From then on you beat the barbarians and go across the land to find the wizard.
Gameplay is a beat-em-up rpg. You have a light and heavy attack as well as a jump. When you level up you gain new combos and stat points. Sometimes food will spawn that you can use to heal.
After finishing an area you can put those stat points into strength, agility, magic and defense. After a few points in magic you will gain a new spell. There are also various techniques you can apply with your moves. Such as juggling, something I came across on my own accidentally. All the characters have a different default weapon, specialties and magic abilities. Their level progress and stats are only saved to themselves.
There is a world map you will go through if you exit a level, or finish an area. Levels that are in the same area feed into each other, so if you keep playing until you beat it or die you won’t exit back to the map after each level. From the map you can visit shops, the arena or play past levels.
You can gain new weapons as pick-ups, but can also visit the Blacksmith to change your default weapon. Items in game can be bought or acquired. Such as the arrow which is infinite, or potions and bombs which are not. Another thing you can find are animal orbs, these are little floating animals that do many different things. Such as the owlet fetching fruit from trees, or one of my favourites, Rammy who will sometimes attack.
Enemies will occasionally arrive on mounts which you can jump on, and even attack with. However they cannot be kept and if you progress to another level you will lose them.
Arenas and Barbarian
Throughout the game you will unlock new Arenas. When playing in single player you will take on waves of enemies. Winning these will net you new playable characters. If playing in multiplayer you will fight each other. You can also pick this option out of the main game.
Back-Off Barbarian is a new minigame for the Remastered edition. The four buttons are assigned different colours. On the map you will see the colours pointing in different directions around you press them to move around. The aim being to avoid getting squashed by the Barbarian, or at least lasting longer than your opponent. Personally we didn’t really enjoy this, perhaps if instead of colours and arrows it was the button prompts we might’ve. Others may very well have fun with this.
Presenting the Nobility
The game has a really nice presentation. It’s all in a drawn kind of cartoony style, so it was a bit funny to see heads rolling around. There’s a lot of detail in the presentation, such as one Knight giving another CPR or a thief doing his laundry. I find the soundtrack to also be really fun, there’s a few different styles but I liked the more electronica-ish ones. One issue I have with the presentation is that whenever you get a new weapon, animal orb or combo an note will appear on the bottom half of the screen, blocking your vision. The other being the foreground can cover enemies such as slimes so you might get attacked and can’t see what’s hitting you.
The game is on a default difficulty, and you unlock a harder one after completing the game. I found the default to be pretty fair and not terribly difficult for the first half.With the exception of all the archers. Definitely make sure to keep your shield up when getting back up. While one play through may only take around eight hours there are many unlockables and such to keep you interested in playing more.
You can play with up to three additional players locally and online in all modes. One benefit of this is being able to resuscitate each other. Although I would make sure to do it after clearing the screen because if you get hit while doing it you lose your shot.
I also can’t comment on the online quality as I got the game pre-release, and any online play for me isn’t that good when dealing with people outside my region. There are also leaderboards for the three modes of the game. Before I lost my first progress I was third …. out of eight people.
I have since received a new statement that pointed out that you can in fact save more than one players progress. As long as you have multiple Switch profiles you can log in to the other person by pressing X on a pro controller and Y on a joy-con controller. This ensures that their character and story progress will save. Hopefully we get an update to just show that in the character select.
I personally experienced a few technical issues of varying trouble. The first of which was losing my save data. As I played about a quarter of the game with someone. Then we went back in and swapped controllers around. After which even my character (Pink Knight’s) save data was gone and all the game progress.
I’ve yet to hear back on as to whether they’ve found the issue or are fixing it but we will edit for any update. As such the only ways I can recommend to avoid what might cause this is to not change controllers in console settings while the game is open.
Some lesser issues I had that were not nearly as annoying as losing the entire game progress include, being softlocked. As you must beat all enemies on screen before you can move, there are invisible walls to stop you. Except after one battle, and all enemies were definitely defeated the wall didn’t lift. As such I had to exit and restart the level. Just before that I had also nearly softlocked, as an enemy fell off a ledge and I couldn’t go back down it. Luckily I was able to bait him back to the ledge where I could hit him. The enemies sometimes visually skitz out a bit whenever shielding but otherwise work fine.
The issues with the Switch version may be addressed in future but not for now. Now that I know co-op progress can be saved I can wholeheartedly recommend the game just keeping in mind there are still currently some lesser technical issues. The game has great presentation, nice visual humor and fun game play even on your own. Since it’s a digital only game I never had it back on the original release but I wish I did. It’s a great game with only a couple of small bugs.