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Thread: Game Review: Castle Crashers (XBLA)

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    DCEmu Reviewer fg-54's Avatar
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    xbox 360 Game Review: Castle Crashers (XBLA)

    Developed by: The Behemoth
    Published By: The Behemoth
    Players 1-4
    Genre: Action/beat'em up
    Console: Xbox 360
    ERSB: T: Blood And Gore, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor.
    Prices: 1200ms pts

    $14.99 (USA)
    $19.99 (CAD)
    $19.80 (AUD)

    Overview: Castle crashers is made by the same people behind alien hominid, this title keeps it's roots while giving a brand new experience, alien hominid fans will be happy, and newcomers will enjoy it as well.

    Gameplay: In Castle Crashers, you start out with four playable characters (or five if you have alien hominid, in which case, he will be playable from the beginning as well) each have their own special power, and who you choose may easily change the outcome of how you fight, tho in general, you will be going left to right, killing waves of enemies that come at you, and a boss at the end.

    You can level up your character in strength which will make your character's melee attacks stronger, magic which will make it stronger, and the magic barr will re-fill it self faster, defense which will allow you to take less damage per hit AND you get a bigger health bar, and agility which will make you faster, and will improve your archery skills.

    In castle crashers, after you beat the first level, you will notice that the level selection layout is the same as the one found in "Super Mario World" this allows you to go back to any boss or level you have previously completed, and level up your character or gain some extra cash.

    Money can be used to purchase health potions, bombs, and sandwiches; Potions will re-fill your health, bombs are pretty much useless, they do not go far and don't do much damage, but it is still a nice addition to the game, sandwiches will make your muscles expand to a hulk level, and you can punch and kick, tho you are unable to use magic and a sword for the exact ten seconds it lasts, you will not loose any health for any damage taken.

    Even tho you start out as a wimp, you quickly level up and gain new moves, and depending on which level up route you take, you may find yourself ether flying across the screen doing an incredible combo and clearing everyone out, or making giant clouds of gas appear from your fingertips infecting big portions of enemies leading them to their death, OR you can be a well rounded person and use magic and might together, which ever rout you take, you have four to five different playable characters from the beginning so you can experiment with them all you want, and you will soon unlock more, you can unlock new characters by ether getting through certain levels, or by finishing tournaments.

    These cute looking bears will fool you, they pack a big punch.

    At times, and in certain levels only, the gameplay may become a bit repetitive, mainly in the desert areas later on, even if you DO get to ride a camel that spits, which brings me to a more "special" part of this game which is humor, you will find animals pooping everywhere, and signs that make no sense; Enemies often make funny faces when hurt and so does that old king of yours, you have to be pretty bitter to not even smile at some of the jokes this game is packed with.

    Another new addition to this game is pets! you can choose from a wide library of pets (you start out with none, and move your way up) every pet has a different purpose, whether it rises your defense, suck the enemies blood and hurts them, or take them down with a good tackle, these pets will let you show them off online when you are playing with friends, and it is always nice to have a companion with you when you are traveling the world alone.

    Aside from single player you can also bring up to three of your friends to your town, and they can help you beat that one boss you just aren't ready to take on your on, and are too lazy to go back and do some past levels over to level up, four player co-op is extremely fun, and can get very crazy, you will see blocks of ice rain from the sky, and clouds of gas cover the entire level, also, even if you are 20 levels below you fellow team mates, you can still feel like you are doing something to help them out, since you are free to level up in whatever area you please,you may still be stronger, or have more magic powers then them. after each boss battle, right after you save the princess, you have to fight against any teammate that may previously be at your side, the victorious one gets to kiss her, and there is an achievement for kissing all four princesses in multiplayer.
    And even if you don't have anyone to play with, on certain levels, you will have warriors or even peasants fighting by your side which can always come in handy when fighting bit herds of enemies.

    Graphics: Everything in this game is hand drawn, which has its pros and cons; On the pro side, everything has a great look to it, specially the environment, and if you look closely, the backgrounds are often very well detailed, you might see for example a canon ball come down from the sky, and then a herd of warriors launch into the air, in certain levels you may find animals, and enemies are sometimes doing hilarious things, for instance, you may see a group of them sleeping, or a guard reading the news paper, once you get close enough to them, they will engage you in battle.

    The down side of having hand drawn sprites, is that most of the animations contain very few frames, sometimes so few you can see each of them individually, making them seem incomplete, there is for example a boss later on that gets a cannon ball to its face, and instead of going into a face squishing animation, they instantly replace his regular face with a squished one, so there are no frames in between to make it smooth.

    He should have never accepted that mystery drink from that homeless guy.

    Sound:expect some exiting and sometimes dramatic tunes to match up the game depending on what level or situation you are on, some of the songs in this game can be found in the "Audio Portal" of

    Sound effects are okay, you hear a "Woosh" every time you swing, and a "Pow!" every time you hit, but sometimes, you hear the sound of two metal pieces crashing against one another when beating up an enemy with wooden armor which can be a bit misleading, and if you are a perfectionist, a bit annoying as well.

    Replay Value: With so much to unlock in this game how can you NOT have an amazing replay value, there are tons of pets to unlock as well as characters (around twenty) and they EACH have their own special powers which can be levelled up! there are also multiple weapons to unlock, and you can combine all of this with an exiting multiplayer experience, apart from that there are also numerous hidden items and secrets that can be unlocked.

    Once you have unlocked a pet or a weapon (to unlock them all you have to do is grab them) you can go back to the "blacksmith" there, you can withdraw any weapon you have previously unlocked at no charge, as well as pets, you can also get info on what each pet does through a teacher dressed as a nurse.

    Don't be fooled by their cuteness, the pets you can carry around with you are actually quite helpful, they each have their own special ability, and some may even help you in combat, my goat looking thing saved me from some ferocious bow and arrow throwers back at the arena.

    Also, once you beat the game, a new difficulty mode "insane mode" will be unlocked, this makes you start over from the beginning except this time, the enemies are much stronger, but in my opinion, they felt as hard as they were when you first started to play the game, the only difference is that since the enemies are stronger, you will level up faster. (even if you ARE level 42 *cough**cough*)

    Apart from the main game, there are also two mini games, "All you can quaff" where you rapidly press the "X" and "Y" buttons to tear apart fruit and the one who tears a certain amount the soonest wins, and then there is tournament where you fight waves of enemies.

    You later unlock the ability to play as your enemies which can be a bit confusing at times.

    Difficulty:The game may be hard at some points, but you can always go back and re-do levels to get your experience up, and having the option to have some friends to back you up can make a big difference, specially since when playing with your pals, they can bring you back to life when you die, all they have to do it go up to you, and press the "Y" button a few times.

    Rarely, but surely, you may find your self in a situation where enemies gather around you, and you can't get up, this may sometimes be fixed with a few good bombs, or maybe a sandwich, but when you don't have ether, then you are to be in the ground until you die, which can get very annoying.

    Achievements: Most of the achievements are easily done, a few only take some time and patience, instead of skill, nevertheless, they are fun, and lets be honest, who doesn't like some easy achievements every now and then? (Click on "Achievements" for a full list of them)
    Here is a tip on how to get the "Melee is Best" achievement, level up a few times (anywhere above level ten will do fine) and go to the "Barbarian Boss" stage (that is the first boss you fight) once there, you can finish him off pretty quickly without using magic.
    To get the "Medic!" achievement, play a multiplayer match with your friends, let them willingly die, and then heal them.

    Conclusion: This is a must buy for any xbox360 owner with access to the internet, for only $15 this is a bargain! There is a bunch of content here that will keep you busy for a long time, and i personally recommend it! stop reading this review now and go out and buy it! even if the AI is a bit dumb every now and then, and some more magic spell would have been appreciated (you end up with three different magic spells)
    Also, if you are a newgrounds member and often visit their site, then you will find quite a few references to some of the flash cartoons found in the site.

    *Multiplayer support on and off line.
    *Great tracks.
    *Over 20 playable characters.
    *Many cool secrets.
    *A wide library of weapons and pets.

    *Online multiplayer is virtually impossible unless you are aiming for one of the two mini games, or have friends to invite you to a private match.
    *Gameplay may get repetitive at times.
    *too many characters have the same magic.

    Gameplay: 4.5/5
    Graphics: 4.5/5
    Sound: 4/5
    Replay Value: 5/5
    Difficulty: 4.5/5
    Achievements: 4/5

    Final Score:


    2nd Opinion: By Shadowblind

    You'll laugh, you'll cry, you might even get a chance to blow a hole in your buddy's head while paying Castle Crashers. Despite that previous comment, you won't be crying much, but you may be laughing like a hyena after playing this game. Its stylish flash-cartoon graphics and crude humor will make this a very enjoyable game. Still, as far as gameplay goes, its pretty much the same thing throughout, but 4 player online multiplayer rocks. For the value of 1200 MSP its well worth it, but its not exactly something that goes and breaks thousands of Boundaries of gaming here. If anything, its a step back to the retro days of Golden Axe. But now who ever said that old school is bad school?

    Second Opinion:
    Last edited by fg-54; August 16th, 2009 at 05:37.

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