Shovel Knight - Xbox One

Release Date:

April 29, 2015

Also on:

Xbox One PS4

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
8.8

Summary:

Shovel Knight puts gamers into the iron clad boots of a Shovel Knight. You have a huge quest to take care of, seemingly countless levels to traverse across, and different enemies lining up in front of you. While definitely not taking itself too seriously, this old school action/RPG gave gamers a taste of what the 'good old days' were for those of us over 30 years old. We couldn’t wait to see the title realized on the Xbox One and quickly dove in. Keep on reading to see if this title lived up to our expectations and, more importantly, if it will live up to yours.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Yacht Club Games
  • Publisher(s):
    • Yacht Club Games
  • Distributor(s):
    • Xbox One Store
  • Release Date(s):
    • April 29, 2015
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Everyone
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 285.75MB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 18 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-07-19

Jamie_Hall

Writer

Xbox One

8.8

Shovel Knight made its way to the Xbox One after doing its rounds on numerous others consoles. The game was developed by the crew over at Yacht Club Games and released back in 2014 initially. Seeking to combine the aesthetics of retro 8-bit gaming, Shovel Knight puts gamers into the iron clad boots of a Shovel Knight. You have a huge quest to take care of, seemingly countless levels to traverse across, and different enemies lining up in front of you. While definitely not taking itself too seriously, this old school action/RPG gave gamers a taste of what the 'good old days' were for those of us over 30 years old. We couldn’t wait to see the title realized on the Xbox One and quickly dove in. Keep on reading to see if this title lived up to our expectations and, more importantly, if it will live up to yours.

As crazy as it may seem, most of us live with our thoughts firmly rooted in the past. Nostalgia rules the day, often clouding our minds and not allowing us to enjoy the present. This is particularly true when it comes to pop culture: video games, books, and movies. Perhaps video games have been hit the hardest with the nostalgia blast issue. Though we are technically more advanced now than we have ever been, and far more capable of well rounded and immersive experiences, people still want to go back in time to play the games that they are most familiar with. It is this feeling that Yacht Club Games sought to use against us and it is the primary vessel with which Shovel Knight will sail to your game console of choice - and that’s not a bad thing.

Yacht Club Games is an independent video game development company so perhaps that is what we should be thanking for their approach to Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight is a fast, fluid, and entertaining amalgam of games like Super Mario Bros and the Legend of Zelda. Honing in on platformer style gaming, like Mario, Yacht Club Games puts you in control of a little Knight armed with an odd weapon. The sprites, graphics, and level design all seem to be ripped straight from the pages of the early 90’s 'how to make a game' playbook. Thanks to its faithful recreation of early 90's gaming, Shovel Knight quickly found its way into the hearts of a cult like following of people. Before long it was making huge sales and now we see that it is the big hit that it is today.

Down to the entire story of the game, Yacht Club Games pulls from the past. The story for this title is pretty simple, if not a blatant rip off of Super Mario Bros. The two main characters are Shovel Knight and Shield Knight, two grizzled and great adventurers who have finally slowed down after a life time of gaining riches and vanquishing foes. Right when they rest on their heels, a great evil rises up and kidnaps their best friend - a beautiful lass. No, Bowser doesn’t pop up anywhere. So with their lady missing in action the two knights are forced to go on a sprawling quest through wave after wave of dynamic enemy in order to save the one that they love.

As you play the game you will end up fighting against an evil order of corrupt knights known by the name: The Order of No Quarter. Fighting through the Order will involve you fighting through themed stages. At the end of each themed stage you will face off against a miniature boss. The more bosses you beat, the higher up the ladder you will climb until you finally find your way to the big bad. This ladder system is reminiscent of a number of different games, Mega Man and Sonic first coming to mind, and it is an interesting way to divest the contents of the campaign. Each level’s boss will have some sort of theme as well: Plague Knight, Mole Knight, King Knight - and so on. You can access these different stages by combing through the over world map but you don’t have to worry about going in any particular order. Unlockable items aren’t an issue here and the title will keep you locked out of most places until it is ready for you.

So we’ve talked about the fact that this is a platformer, and the gameplay mechanics pretty much emphasize that. The action in the game goes from left to right in a 2D plane. Much like Mario, most of your action will be devoted to running and jumping, avoiding monsters when you can. When you can’t avoid your enemies you can confront them with your trusty shovel (You are the Shovel Knight, after all). Your shovel can be used to deal out damage with a swiping attack that you can upgrade. You can also use your tool to dig for treasure and change certain aspects of the environment around you. Much like Links sword, there are many uses for a Shovel in the hands of a Knight.

If there is one thing to note about these old platformer games (that Shovel Knight takes inspiration from) it is the fact that they are difficult. We cannot recall how many times we worked our way through Ninja Turtles on the NES or Aladdin on the SNES, repeatedly dying and growing frustrated. Death in the game isn’t punished too badly here, mostly losing gold, but you are not limited to lives like Mario - for example. Instead you will merely have to get kicked back to your latest save point. The difficulty here will put off many casual gamers, but the ones that do remain will be in for an exciting experience.

Shovel Knight gave us a little bit of our childhood back, ramped up for the Xbox One and the current generation. Though difficult, and occasionally cheap, Shovel Knight is a great title from an up and coming indie developer.

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Jul 19, 2015
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Release Date:

April 29, 2015

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