By Sam Coles:
Shovel Knight is a game that evokes gaming mechanics from the past to bring forward in the modern gaming space, but however even though the mechanics have been pulled from games in the 80's they have aged remarkably well considering it takes queues from games that are nearly 30 years old such as Mega Man and Duck Tales. It is a breath fresh air with a game that is so light hearted and doesn't have gritty realism and the brown hues that saturate the main stream gaming space.
Shovel Knight if you haven't guessed already is a 2D platformer in the same vein as Zelda II, Mega Man and Duck Tales from the NES era with its game mechanics such as the pogo stick move taken from Duck Tales which is great when you rack a great rhythm with more difficult segments of platforming. The U.I is heavily influenced from Zelda II The Adventures of Link with aspects such as upgrading your maximum health or magic at certain points to the town hub area where you can restore health and magic.
Level layout is fairly similar to Mega Man from the NES era where you have small and dangerous platforming where you have to be precise with your movements. When you die in this game it's generally your fault and the not the game because you can't fault the game for its tight controls and excellent level design coupled with fun enemy design and bosses. So tread carefully in this game because it is not easy you have to keep a decent rhythm and momentum as you traverse this world with you spade.
Unlike some platformers from the era where you pick up coins as a means to gain extra lives Shovel Knight's gems have monetary value which helps you buy food tickets so you can upgrade your health or magic in the town area hub which goes up in value each time you buy one or you buy items in levels, so scavenge each level top to bottom. You'll gain extra items as well such as the fire rod which aids you in combat which takes the sort Zelda aspect of gaining items in dungeons this is where your magic meter comes in where it will take a certain amount of points from it that is why it's a tough decision to choose which one you want to upgrade.
How the game works you go through level by level on via a world map like Super Mario Bros. 3 and you go through the level and beat the boss then you'll unlock a gate to progress through the map. Each level is varied with different themes such as medieval to the creepy grave yards like Ghosts and Goblins.
Like the playstation version of this game where they had the included a exclusive character of Kratos Xbox gets the inclusion of the Battletoads which is hawking back to the NES days with the difficult platformer although Shovel Knight is not nightmarishly difficult like Battletoads, it’s a nice inclusion and maybe a teaser for a future game. Maybe?
Overall I found that I really enjoyed Shovel Knight it’s nice to see a light hearted platformer which seem to be a rarity these days in the triple A circle I must give a credit where credit is due to Yatch Club Games and say that this is a fantastic platformer with the old school NES feel. Get this game it’s on multiple platforms.