Title: Castle Crashers Remastered
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: The Behemoth
Publisher: The Behemoth
Release date: September 9th 2015
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Castle Crashers Remastered< is an HD remaster of The Behemoth 2008's successful 2D beat'em up Castle Crashers. This remaster was revealed out of the blue a mere few months before release. Luckily, this might have lead us to believe that The Behemoth got lazy and simply release a “spiffed-up” port of a seven-year-old game, but as you’ll see through the review, the developer went all out to make it better for Microsoft’s shiny Xbox One.
The game is set in a fictional medieval universe. It all begins as our knights are attending a party in their king’s castle. During the festivities, a Dark Wizard captures the King’s four princesses and steals the King’s mystical gem. Not one to let himself to stepped on, the King sends the Knight to retrieve the Gem and save his princesses.
As previously mentioned, Castle Crashers Remastered is a 2D beat’em up where players go through each level beating up the Dark Wizard’s minions. The game also features an RPG-lite system where killing enemies will let you level up as you gain XP. As with most RPGs, once you level up (and clear your level), you can gain points which can be assigned to various attributes: Strength, Magic, Defense, and Agility. Once you’ve cleared a level, you’re taken back to the overworld map where you can either move to the next level, enter a shop or going through another run of any completed level. Much like an RPG staple, grinding is required here in order to actually enjoy the game and not get steam-rolled over by a boss.
The original game let you choose between four different characters with additional characters being unlocked as you progress through the game. The remastered version lets you pick from six characters right off the bat, with more to be unlocked through in-game progression. Each characters have the set of skills: block, melee attack, strong melee attack and jumping. Additionally, they also have a different magic spell which can used as long as the Magic Meter still has some juice into it. However don’t expect a Final Fantasy-like magic attack; this is pretty barebone magic spell to get you out of a bind. The B button will be the player’s best friend as it can be assigned a few helpful items. By killing Archers, you can take their bow and use it against the enemy; giving them a taste of their own medicine. Or you can buy sandwiches or other health/magic meter replenishing items which can be assigned to the B button and used when in a jam. Assigning things to the B button is done by pressing either the Left or Right bumper button.
Much like most beat’em ups we’ve seen through our gaming years, this game is much more fun with friends; local or online. As you’ll get a helping hand, some encounters (such as a pack of Archers) won’t be as infuriating thus making the game much more enjoyable.
Once you’re done with the Story, players can tackle the Arena Mode. When playing as a lone player, you’re thrown endless wave of enemies; each wave having an increasing amount of enemies. While playing this in multiplayer pits you against your friend(s) in a battle to the death. Every character is set to level 30, in order to have everyone on a leveled playing field. This survival mode features a few different unlockable arenas such as Icy or King’s Arena spread throughout the map and can be tackled at any time.
The remastered version also includes a brand new multiplayer mini-game called Back Off Barbarian. The name can be somewhat misleading; at first I was expecting more of a survival-type game where you’d need to push back a boss or basically survive until time’s up. Oh, how I wrong (and disappointed honestly) I was. This mini-game requires players moving non-stop to avoid enemies. You can move around by using the joystick or pressing the colored button on the controller in the direction you want to go. Pressing B (red button) will make you go right, Y up, A down and X will let you go to the left. Although it brings something different to an already fun game, this mini-game is a bit boring; it’s fun doing it a few rounds, but just having to jump from one square to another can get old real fast.
The game looks even cuter (in its own way) and more vivid than last-gen’s counterpart. The Behemoth not only added content to the game, but also improved the game’s visuals as it contains larger texture sizes (five times larger than the original to be exact) along with giving the game a performance of 60 frames per second. Audio is delegated to an up-beat dance soundtrack which was created by Newgrounds. It has enjoyable tunes while you’re bashing enemies’ heads in, but not the kind of addictive soundtracks you’ll listen over and over. Additionally, playing with friends, the audio will drowned by chit-chatting with your buddies, online or locally.
Castle Crashers Remastered is definitely a great addition to any Xbox gamers’ collection. It’s great mix of RPG mechanics and beat’em up is sure to keep playing busy for quite sometime. Despite being a bit on the grinding/tedious side for single players, it is sure to provide tons of fun for co-op players. This only fault here is that if owners of the Xbox 360 missed out their chance to grab it for free, they might not want to re-pay for something they’ve already played on 360.
- Great for (local or online) co-op
- Data can be transferred from Xbox 360
- Improved multiplayer performances
- Lengthy story mode
- Can get tedious for single player fanatics
- Back Off Barbarian mini-game
Castle Crashers Remastered is rated T for Teen due to cartoon violence which results in a bit blood and gore as you can decapitate enemies. There’s also a bit of crude humor peppered throughout the game. Definitely not for young kids.