The great kind of "shovelware"
Announced for Kickstarter early last year, it seems like we've been waiting eons for Shovel Knight to finally release. That could be because every time the release date approached, the game seemed to suffer a slight delay. Now, Shovel Knight is out and in the hands of the reviewers and consumers alike. Was the agonizing wait for the game worth it?
Prior to the events of the game, Shovel Knight and Shield Knight, fierce warriors who often fought together, explored the Tower of Fate. However, both succumbed to the evil energy within the tower. Once Shovel Knight came to, the tower is seen sealed and his beloved Shield Knight is trapped inside. A grieving Shovel Knight puts an end to his adventuring days and goes into seclusion, but in this time, the evil Enchantress rises, causing havoc and mayhem across the land. The Tower of Fate unseals in the process, leading Shovel Knight to unsheathe his shovel and return to the fight.
|The opening level introduces you to the mechanics |
of the game, as a good opening level should.
Shovel Knight is essentially a love letter to the 8-bit era of gaming. The game uses a strict NES-style color palette, levels are designed like similarly to the classic Mega Man games, and Shovel Knight can even use his shovel as a Pogo stick, a necessary tactic for some levels, like Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales. This is all topped with a presentation that would make the game fit perfectly on Nintendo's first home console, wonderful parallax scrolling, a catchy and inspired chiptune soundtrack by Jake Kaufman, and all of that without the sprite flickering that came with the territory of NES and Famicom titles.
|Get flashbacks to Zelda II with|
the game's duo of towns.
|The level variety is amazing.|
|The king will be dead.|
Long live Shovel Knight!
Players will want to scour each level repeated times not just for gold, but also for Shovel Knight's only collectible, song scrolls of which there are about 45 to gather. These are placed in some of the trickiest to find and/or survive sections of the game, and finding all of them is a task that you can certainly pat yourself on the back for doing.
Furthermore, if you REALLY want to pat yourself on the back or get that oft-coveted gamer cred, you should try to complete all of the game's feats. These achievements are unlocked for performing actions throughout Shovel Knight that you wouldn't ordinarily try to do otherwise. From beating the game in an impressive hour-and-a-half to completely a no-death run, Shovel Knight has tasks that are certainly not for the timid. This just further expands on the longevity of the game, and it's very much welcomed.
|What a big blade! Are you|
compensating for something?
|Shovel Knight borrows a page out|
of Scrooge McDuck's playbook.
[SPC Says: 9.5/10]