Shovel Knight – treasure unearthed

Appears a surprising number of modern platformer in a retro style. Shovel Knight is one of the best representatives.

This is an indie 2D action platformer from Studio Yacht Club Games. The idea was to create an heir of the masterpieces of 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. For sources of inspiration and role model took Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, DuckTales, Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man, and a bit of hardcore Dark Souls.

The creators gathered on Kickstarter more than 300 thousand dollars. Well-deserved success earned in June 2015, exactly one year after the release, 700 000 copies sold. Celebrated the anniversary addition Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows.

The main character, which will manage, — the knight in blue armor, a horned helmet and shovel instead of weapons. With a shovel involves a number of important skills that change the gameplay towards diversity and mobility, and also raise the limit of the development of the skills of the player.

Holding the button down, you can jump to drop the shovel and hit the opponent or object from above. The knight will repel each other and will make a re-jump. Just like in Duck Stories. So you can reach higher places, to deceive the opponents.

Shovel, in the end, you can dig. In a land of many gems. Eventually it will be possible to add a weapon property to put a spark on the ground, building momentum for a strike with a swing. Only three upgrade.

Traders can buy magic and items. Almost all merchants hidden in the levels, but after the capture of transfer range in the city. Better to bother and collect all 12 skills his inventory. Need to know how they work. Bonus levels are designed for their use, and the locks will be much more enjoyable.

There is a conventional fireball, and seconds invulnerability and dash in the air, and even a rod for fishing out the values of the abysses. It all spends mana. The blue bottles — valuable resource.

It may seem that such diversity may perellonet control and slow the pace. In fact, the office is pleasant, not a lot, but the game design itself dictates the best solution and rewards for being of different ways. It is possible to complicate your life and go with no upgrades at all.

Map of the world resembles the one from the third part of Mario. Between levels you can walk freely, but not all available at once. The locks block the road, and the fog hides a significant area ahead. Sometimes on the road there are stray bosses, mercenaries, and space for treasure hunting.

From the map you can go not only to the castles, but in a peaceful location. In the cities you can enjoy the pixel art of the locals, talk to them and visit the shops. Kitchen and laboratory provide extensions of the cells health and mana. Bard will be happy to buy collected in combat rare scrolls with notes.

Come across all sorts of interesting things like: unexpected boss at the clothing store; the bored Mona in the basement, which will record your results in throwing cones; Hall of Champions, requiring Ghostbusters; dancing fish with unique potions.

Usually in cities there is always something to do. Buy a cheap upgrade to get to previously inaccessible roof for a hint. On the airship, the blacksmith will offer new armor types. They not only change the appearance of the knight, but also provide opportunities to extend the jump or decrease the knockback when taking damage.

It turns out that a treasure hunt is an important task. The game does not farm. Only with a very big effort will be able to buy everything in one passage. Here it comes in the feature of Dark souls. You lose part of the treasure at the point of death. To return them, catching flying bags in place of failure. You can also take a chance and personally break one of the checkpoints. For this reward, but any mistake will toss far back.

Here, in General, that’s all. Then it comes in great game design, beautiful levels, especially bosses. They are of particular interest. By the end even have to deal with all of the leaders of the Order at once, as in Mega MENA. Not that they demanded a lot of attempts at training, but the victory with the final blow in slowmo brings a lot of fun.

It is also worth noting that the game is straightforward — a pleasure. If you’re certainly not going to take “new game +”, the test or refuse the use of items.

There is another side Shovel Knight, which well, do not expect. First, with the help of pictures tells the story of Billed and Shield Knights. They were a legendary team, defended the land and hunted for treasure.

shovel-knight-artBut their adventure ended in the Tower of Fate. The cursed amulet is not a simple jewel. Consciousness Valkyrie was possessed by an evil entity. Billed when the Knight woke up around the campfire, the tower was sealed, the path of the beloved companion is closed.

After several years of exile, the wanderer learns that the evil comes from the dark tower. The seal was broken. Knight firmly decides to go there despite eight detention Orders, which serve as a Spellcaster. She opened the Tower of Fate and turned into his lair. Somewhere there must be a dear friend.

The usual tie, as in many 8-bit games. But the plot is developing actively in the dialogue scenes. There is a Black Knight who loves his Lady and is trying to stop our hero. Guilt conjures up dreams of falling from the sky Valkyries, which is so difficult to reach, which failed to catch.

The end happens unexpectedly touching. It puts an end in the impressions, makes them complete. There is no feeling that something is missing. Perhaps that is why Shovel Knight still remains in my memory as the best platformer in a retro style.

In addition, the second story campaign for one of the bosses of the Order — the Plague Knight. Its length is slightly less than the main. Events are developing in parallel with the trip Billed Knight. We meet him on the way.

Plague Knight is trying to get the ultimate potion that gives a great power. He helps Mona, the girl that was bored in the basement. She’ll be the main character who loves dancing and trade reagents.

The gameplay has become harder and more inconvenient. The main feature of this hero — double jump. But doing it is not very nice (it is necessary to clamp the button stroke) and the management during it difficult. Half of the deaths will be due to uncontrolled crashes straight into the abyss.

Remember, I said that a lot of abilities does not prevent, but only happy? So here it is proposed to make bombs most of three ingredients: a base, wick and filler. Each item you can choose from a dozen options and this completely changes the properties of weapons. For example, you can get sticky bombs with timer or boomerangs with blades.

Each weapon should be used. More precisely, to get used to the new disadvantages. And combinations of the set. This is really confusing. Don’t want to take something new and suffer a half-level. I went through the whole game with basic bombs, were satisfied.

The ingredients are bought from Mona. To develop new needed green coins hidden in abundance literally everywhere. Extra costumes. But instead of additional cells life is now a potion that heals and adds the cell to the next death.

The same double jump can be changed on the fly — and this is much more useful. The slow fall is necessary, and jump-style Sonic come in handy in the final. The items did not disappear, but they’re completely different. A bomb in the shape of a pear, an exploding cross is your main helper.

Well, you know how detailed you could customize the combat system for yourself. It is possible to solve a series of 4 jumps and throw two bombs simultaneously. It is important not to get confused.

On moving bosses particularly cumbersome control Plague Knight. However, a strong bomb make the battle short and simple. Healing potions — even some cheat. Plan B, helping out even when annoying errors. You can almost stand in place, constantly bombarding the space around.

The main story campaign Shovel Knight masterpiece. Played fun, the desire to advance — excessive. I many times mentioned other classic games. The similarity to them is as a tribute. Familiar elements are brilliantly implemented and improved.

Perhaps this is too high a rating, but if you drop belonging to the indie genre, this is a game that stands on top of quality and excitement. 9 points out of ten.

The first part, which dealt with the knights and the guardians
The second part, where saving the Knight with the Shield

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