Author Topic: [XBLA] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon  (Read 5912 times)

Offline ChromeDemon

  • Member
  • ***
[XBLA] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 09:45:33 AM »
Personal Business:

I'll start right off the bat by telling you that I have wanted Castle Crashers to release since the studio (Behemoth) was conceived. However fantastic Alien Hominid was... it never quite tickled my fancy, but I knew that Dan Paladin, one of the single greatest digital artists that has ever lived, and Tom Fulp, one of the single greatest programmers that has ever lived, could make a gigantic leap from a decent game to an amazing one.

Then came the announcement for Castle Crashers.

Across Newgrounds, Fulp's website for budding flash artists and programmers, there was this feeling of awesome. That feeling where you know something is going to happen that will blow your mind and rock your socks off.

I purchased Castle Crashers a small while after it's release, and now I'd like to put my two cents into this mixing pot of gamers. I hope you enjoy the review as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Just so it isn't misleading, only one person can be each character but any player can be any character.

THE REVIEW:

Synopsis:

Castle Crashers is basically what you get when you cross Turtles in Time, Gauntlet, River City Ransom, and just about every other fantastic beat'em up you've seen, together.

There's a neat image at this link, sadly the size was a tad big for the forum, so I'll just link you to it.
http://www.counteragent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/castle_crashers_4_player_coop1.jpg
^^^ Yep... that's about right gameplay wise: If you get the joke, get the game.

The default characters are 4 knights ("Castle Crashers") that go on an epic quest to save the four maidens of their home Castle. With 4 player co-operational play not just online, but locally, this game creates an atmosphere unlike one ever made by the genre.

PRESENTATION:

Castle Crashers has a very slick presentation, with pretty menus and funky waiting tunes to short load times. The entire Heads Up Display doesn't block the gameplay, and the character selection screen looks exactly like Gauntlet (So basically really sweet) The map system runs like Super Mario World, and normally cumbersome tasks like shopping, and rummaging through old items, are completely handled in-game and not in shoddy menus with confusing controls. Also, as I may mention later, the skill point allocation is extremely well sewn into the experience.


Old menu build, but its mostly the same as the new one

However, I will sadly Admit: The online mode is having a TON of server-side issues, lagging out of games is way too common and the game sometimes gets stuck in a transition menu when you try to join a match or party. Along with that, (I'm not so positive this should go here but oh well..) the game sometimes gets stuck in an area, and the camera won't pan even though all the enemies have been defeated.

And so: The game works really well, and you'll never have to complain about load times.... EVER!


GRAPHICS AND SOUND:

Graphics: Dan Paladin is a beastly artist. I'm not positive that he drew every single thing, but the game wreaks of and drips his style. It's fantastical, colorful, and not pixel-y like a lot of Xbox 360 games with terrible aliasing.

Every single character, enemy, weapon, menu, and background looks incredibly detailed and unique. I seriously sit there staring at the screen sometimes thinking "Wow, I have absolutely no idea how they came up with this."

And just so you know it's unique (Spoiler?): one of the boss fights includes a dragon and a giant sock puppet.

However: Everything in the game is 2D, oh what a shame.... NOT!!!


*GASP, the shading is beautiful! Oh, and there's some blood, which is pretty common in the world of Castle Crashers

Sound: Let me first say to anyone that owns the game, the music for forest entrance is absolutely the greatest thing ever, ci? Anyway, that's basically how I would go about describing the music and sound effects to you. It's absolutely stunning how awesome the soundtrack is, and there's a huge multitude of sound effects that all sound crystal clear and perfectly fit their uses. The tunes are really inspiring and leave not a single thing to be desired.


GAMEPLAY:

Controls (Boring):
The player starts each level facing to the right, which is basically where they'll be going for the next few minutes. Moving is mostly simple, with the left stick for moving your character left and right, as well as up and down on the 3 dimensional plane. Jumping is handled by the A button, and light/heavy attacks are mapped to X/Y respectively. Magic can be used by holding the R trigger and using the attack buttons while L will "Block the baddies." Right bumper and left bumper are used to sift through extra items and the B button activates the item that is currently chosen.

Game:
Castle Crashers is your basic beat' em up in this sense. Ultimately, you're going to be running in a single direction and tapping all the attack buttons like mad to use combos on incoming hordes of peons. However, as you play it more, the usually mundane gameplay will grow on you. A lot. This game is seriously for the hardcore gamer, the one that picked up a Nintendo, threw in River City Ransom, and beat the pulp out of angry men for chump change. That's basically the game in a nutshell. You just kill as much as you possibly can and when you're done killing you move over a bit and start killing some more.

Units:
The game throws tons of baddies at the players and they come in small packs. Mostly, you'll be seeing groups of 3-4 in single player, but as more players are added to the experience, the enemy party size will grow very large. There are small units, buff units, mounted units, and the like. This game has it's bag full of mages, melee grunts, tough guys that throw you at your friends, people riding demented yoshis and camels, archers, all kinds of fun stuff.

Stats:
The stats of a player have an extremely large effect on how they perform in battle. Point distribution is done by way of a quick and well polished menu that automatically opens after a level is completed and a player has gained a skill point. Full Levels-Ups come by pretty often near the beginning of the game and then level out near the end, like every RPG you've ever played.

Weapons: I seriously think this should go in Gameplay, so here goes: This games weapon load out is absolutely insane. There are light sabers, swords, axes, bows, boomerangs, fishing rods, mince mallets.. it's just ridiculous. However, most weapons actually perform exactly the same, and only offer different stat boosts, which may disappoint.


"Go get' em Summer2008OMG!!!"

Multiplayer: Co-op on one console and online or both make this game great, arena battles are mostly interesting but the whole munching mini-game is awfully dry, but it's just an extra (And it's cute).

So to sum it up: You slice and dice everything in your path, oh and all 20 or so bosses are extremely fun to fight.


LASTING APPEAL:

Bulk: There are quite a few shops to spend money in within the world of Castle Crashers, so your constant rampage of death won't be in vain (Yeah, I know, save the princess, but it's all about the violence). Anyhow, there's a very large cache of weapons to be collected, at least over 20, and around 20 characters which are actually pretty challenging to unlock. Add to that the insanely high level cap (99 I think) and the fact that playing the whole game through with a friend that's never played it before is incredibly fun, and you're basically set to (re)play through the entire campaign as many times as you want without any loss of success. In other words, you're going to have a tough time unlocking and beating everything.

In case I didn't say it already, all 20 characters can be leveled up separately, and since they all have different magics and quirky little graphics, it's fun to beat the game with a new character. Every single time.

However: The campaign is much shorter than many anticipate, and those who only look to play each level once will be extremely disappointed when they hit the ending.

Oh, I forgot to mention: Insane mode is unlocked after one play through, I can't pass the.. 5th (I think) area with a level 49, so yeah, you can play this game forever.


WRAP UP

As an arcade game that's going to cost you around 15 bucks, Castle Crashers is a 10 out of 10 in all fields, but to be realistic and actually look at what's expected of a retail game, which is what most people assume it should be, here are the scores.

PRESENTATION: 10/10
All the menus are incredibly well made to roll into each other and the map system will make you smile. The HUD is also extremely well done, and the exclusion of complicated menus for weapon and skill management makes the experience a thousand times smoother.

GAPHICS AND SOUND: 20/20
The graphics are simply amazing, astounding, fantastic, beautiful, and colorful. You may need a dictionary to describe the feeling they give you.
The Soundtrack is to absolutely die for, and the Sound effects are abundant and well made.

GAMEPLAY: 9/10
Classic "Press this button till your thumb bleeds" action will definitely charm the hardcore gamers (Such as myself) but may get old for those of us who haven't enjoyed the classics. Bosses were intuitively designed to work well with the fighting system and are all unique. (Also, the bosses attacks are patterned for the most part, just like the old days!) Multiplayer is the best co-op by far, ahead of any regular retail game.

LASTING APPEAL 9/10
The collectibles are awesome and levelling every character up is a blast. However, when you finish the main story for the first time, you're going to be wishing your princess was in another castle, just a few levels ahead. :[


*cry

ANYHOW, THAT MAKES CASTLE CRASHERS IN MY HUMBLE OPINION A:

48/50


or in other words, if it were 60 bucks, I'd still grab a copy.


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. Also, as a friend, I really recommend you buy this, it's like a hundred thousand times better than fifteen dollars...

Sorry for any type-Os, it's 5:45 in the morning and I need sleep. XD

Also in case anyone cares, I have a Newgrounds account that goes by the alias Chrome-Demon, check out some of my work if you want.
« Last Edit: Thursday June 04, 2009, 11:22:21 PM by Winterreise »

Offline jin_kazama

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma: +47/-0
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #1 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 11:17:10 AM »
Good review, although you shouldn't center the main text, makes it a much more painful reading.

Offline ChromeDemon

  • Member
  • ***
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #2 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 03:10:55 PM »
Good review, although you shouldn't center the main text, makes it a much more painful reading.

Ok, I pushed it over to the left. Oh, and thanks for the compliment ^_^

Offline jin_kazama

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma: +47/-0
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #3 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 08:23:46 PM »
No problem, I'm here for that. :)

Online Loonylion

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #4 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 08:25:09 PM »
try centering the images and the captions, but keep everything else left aligned.

Offline jin_kazama

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma: +47/-0
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #5 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 08:41:07 PM »
I read it thoroughly again to check mistakes, and you said they'd be normal, but there are only two, which is leveling, should be levelling, with two l's. :) The other one is anyhoo, it's twice in there, and either you're looking for anyhow or anywho. :)

Oh, and by the way, the word you're looking for (dis-inclusion) is exclusion. :)

Don't blame me, just too picky with grammar. :P

Offline dmac154

  • Extended Site Maintainer
  • ****
  • Gender: Male
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #6 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 08:46:05 PM »
I like this review. I might just buy/rent it when I get my 360 in Nov.
Good job on your first review  :)

Offline Solus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #7 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 09:17:27 PM »
dang it, i wanted to do this review :p oh well you did a good job though. great game

Offline insanecrazy07

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
    • Latest Tutorial! How to Dump/Restore .SAV files to a Legit Cartridge using WiFi.
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #8 on: Thursday August 28, 2008, 10:46:29 PM »
The only thing I found was an open bracket [, on synopsis without a closed one.

Good job.
I haven't done any reviews this month because all I have found to review are old games on discontinued systems.

Offline Anandjones

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
    • Anandjones
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #9 on: Friday August 29, 2008, 02:26:17 AM »
Nice review ChromeDemon.

Offline ChromeDemon

  • Member
  • ***
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #10 on: Friday August 29, 2008, 05:12:15 AM »
I read it thoroughly again to check mistakes, and you said they'd be normal, but there are only two, which is leveling, should be levelling, with two l's. :) The other one is anyhoo, it's twice in there, and either you're looking for anyhow or anywho. :)

Oh, and by the way, the word you're looking for (dis-inclusion) is exclusion. :)

Don't blame me, just too picky with grammar. :P

Thank you very much for the help, I think I've fixed the problems for the most part. Also, thanks for "exclusion," I obviously wasn't being too bright last night XD

Thanks everyone for your comments, and by the way dmac154, (Not trying to be a jerk if it sounds like it) I have written a review here before, it won 1st place review of the month a while ago XD [Metal Gear Solid 4 - Guns of the Patriots]

Oh and to Solus: Sorry :( and THANK YOU :D
« Last Edit: Friday August 29, 2008, 05:15:00 AM by ChromeDemon »

Offline Winterreise

  • Event Manager
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #11 on: Friday August 29, 2008, 02:51:00 PM »
Nice review! Let me say that this is my all time favourite game right now, I've never been addicted to a brawler like this so much before. Multiplayer is a complete blast, although the server issue they're having prevent me from playing online.

Offline dmac154

  • Extended Site Maintainer
  • ****
  • Gender: Male
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #12 on: Saturday August 30, 2008, 09:26:06 PM »
My apologizes ChromeDemon, I did not remember the MGS4 review! Wow. Well, keep up the good work  ;)
And again I'm sorry.

Offline ChromeDemon

  • Member
  • ***
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #13 on: Saturday August 30, 2008, 10:50:10 PM »
My apologizes ChromeDemon, I did not remember the MGS4 review! Wow. Well, keep up the good work  ;)
And again I'm sorry.

No need to apologize, it's really understandable since I barely ever post on the site  ;)

And thanks again, I'll try to.
« Last Edit: Sunday August 31, 2008, 12:03:09 AM by ChromeDemon »

Offline Anandjones

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
    • Anandjones
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #14 on: Friday October 03, 2008, 01:15:07 AM »
I just played the trial yesterday, it's bloody awesome, too bad I can't buy it.

Offline Solus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #15 on: Friday October 03, 2008, 08:46:24 AM »
Why not? Parents wont allow it?

Offline Anandjones

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
    • Anandjones
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #16 on: Saturday October 04, 2008, 05:05:45 AM »
No points :(

Offline romz_mark

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
  • Baa!
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #17 on: Saturday October 04, 2008, 10:14:20 AM »
Awesome review, the game looks like fun. I might save up for it.  :)

Offline Anandjones

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Gender: Male
    • Anandjones
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #18 on: Saturday October 04, 2008, 11:40:24 AM »
You need a Xbox 360 first.

Offline romz_mark

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
  • Baa!
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #19 on: Saturday October 04, 2008, 12:52:28 PM »
I have one.

Offline Rhith

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
    • WirelessCord Laser Gallery
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #20 on: Thursday October 23, 2008, 02:59:17 PM »
If anyone wants to play with me online I'm grinding up my character right now.
Red Knight level 87 as of right now! ;)
I have most of the weapons and all of the animal orbs is you need help with that.
I am also open to starting a new character since this is the only one I have data on. (Lost my saves TWICE before. =_=)

Gamertag is Rhith
(Surprise surprise!)

EDIT : Level 99 now!  8)
« Last Edit: Thursday October 23, 2008, 03:32:04 PM by Rhith »

Offline insanecrazy07

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
    • Latest Tutorial! How to Dump/Restore .SAV files to a Legit Cartridge using WiFi.
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #21 on: Sunday November 09, 2008, 04:33:53 PM »
You do know that there is a cheat that lets you level up very quickly.
I played it with my friend just the other day and I got up to level 50 in a few minutes. lol

Offline Rhith

  • Member
  • ***
  • Gender: Male
    • WirelessCord Laser Gallery
Re: [X360 - Arcade Game] Castle Crashers - ChromeDemon
« Reply #22 on: Sunday November 09, 2008, 07:57:53 PM »
How do you think I got up that high?  ;)