Castle Crashers

It had to happen sometime. I have to do a review for a game that isn’t awful. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Castle Crashers. Weighing in at 1200 MS points, Castle Crashers isn’t the cheapest Xbox Live Arcade game out there, but it is definately one of the more fun games available for download.

The first thing that hits you about Castle Crashers is the graphics. If you’ve played Alien Hominid you know exactly what you’re going to get. Hand-drawn, cutesy graphics with just a smidge of quirky, and sometimes adult (albeit a silly adult) humour to them – look at the way you behead your enemies – it’s bloody but in a cutesy Happy Tree Friends way, not to mention the forest level where an owl, a deer and a huge bear all soil themselves for your gaming pleasure. Parents (and the weak of stomach) need not worry, the blood and gore can be turned off for a more innocent gaming experience.

Castle Crashers is a side-scrolling hack-n-slash with a smattering of RPG elements. The RPG-lite gameplay is, for me, a great addition to what would otherwise be Alien Hominid with castles (although the Alien is one of the many playable characters available). Everything you kill gives you experience, and as you level up you can channel skills points into various categories to beef up your character – strength, defense, agility or magic. This means that if you’re struggling with a particular section, you can engage in the fine art of dossing about to level up, and that troublesome boss will be dealt with in a flash.

The RPG-lite element doesn’t end there. You have many weapons to collect along your travels, and a map with around twenty unlockable levels to explore. You can also collect Animal Orbs along your way, which give you a little travelling companion who can help you on your journey such as an owl who will fly around the screen collecting any health pick-ups for you or a seahorse that makes you move through the water more quickly.

The single player game is great fun, but if you’re more of a social butterfly than a lone wolf then there’s also a fun multiplayer element to Castle Crashers. Alongside the ability to play the main game, there’s the Arena where you face off against up to 3 other players in a deathmatch, or my favourite “All you can Quaff” which is a furious four player button-bashing eating contest. Believe me, you are guaranteed to have very tired fingers after playing that for a while.

I haven’t found anything to dislike about the game at the moment. Yes, it can be a little bit repetitive as you’re hacking and slashing away but the game has such a strong sense of humour running through it that you honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next, especially when you complete the game on regular difficulty and are presented with the option of replaying at Insane level. When you couple that with the fact that there are over twenty unlockable characters to play the game with, forty-plus weapons to discover and wield and a fair few animal orbs to find, the game not only boasts high replay value but also offers a challenge for the completists among us who have to make sure that they get every last collectible thing!

And you get a free dashboard theme as well!







4 responses to “Castle Crashers”

  1. Colin avatar

    I like the sound of this, may DL it tonight and take a look.

    The unlockable characters and weapons sounds like a good addition to a XBLA game and it looks good too.

  2. Michael avatar

    That looks bizarre! I heard there’s a hidden karaoke level too…

  3. Chris avatar

    £10 is more than fair for this considering some of the tripe thats £40 out on the shelfs. The opening levels have a great sense of place with the fighting in the background (yes i know its just an arcade brawler but its all in the little things). The leveling up is genius as are the animals/weapons. Theres an insane mode to tackle on a second play through. The graphical style speaks for itself, theres a lot of (crude) humour which sits well with the styling + plently more besides. If that sounded like me just listing of reasons to download it then good. Go. Now.

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