Shovel Knight & Plague of Shadows Review (Xbox One, PS4 and PC)

Rating

The best platformer of 2015.

Supported Platforms

Xbox One
Playstation 4
Wii U
PC
Xbox 360
PS3
Wii

Price

$10-25

Genre

2D Retro Platformer / Sides croller

Description

If you love 2D platformers, then Shovel Knight and the expansion (Plague of Shadows) is something you must try. Developed by Yacht Club Games, Shovel Knight is a combination of all previous NES / SNES games that were so satisfying.

Shovel Knight Trailer

Screenshots



Shovel Knight & Plague of Shadows Review

Gameplay & Controls

I’ll admit, I am a sucker for a good platformer, and when I saw Shovel Knight, it was immediately added to my cart and installed on the Xbox One.

So what is this game all about? Basically, it’s combines everything that we all loved from the previous NES / SNES games into a small package, wraps it with awesome music, non-repetitive gameplay and that’s what Shovel Knight is all about.

There is a lot to say about the Shovel Knight and its expansion. You start off in a small town with a variety of different characters, secrets, and games. The progression itself (or overview) is similar to that of Super Mario Brothers, a top view with ability to select from different levels and / or challenges.

As you progress forward, the one thing that will never enter your mind is repetition. Each level brings its own set of challenges and you never feel like doing something over and over again, instead, there are new mechanics, enemies, boss fights, items, secrets, fishing spots, you name it. This is actually one of the few games we played this year that just begs to be played, over and over again.

If you are a sucker for achievements and / or secrets, then Shovel Knight is definitely something that you will be thinking about a lot, although some of these achievements can be pretty ridiculous, like completing the whole game without dying.

So what about the gameplay itself? The controls are super smooth (with the exception of the DLC, which takes some time to master). Each level has its own enemy set and challenges, some of which will drive you mad, but not enough to ditch the game. Same goes with the boss fights (and there are a lot of them), each of them has its own special abilities that you will get to fight against at the end of every level, making every playthrough even satisfying.
Oh, and did we say that there is a special Battletoads level on the X1 version? That alone should be enough to get this game.
As far as the Plague of Shadows DLC goes, it introduces new mechanics and a new character. So instead of playing as a Shovel Knight, you get to play with the Plague Knight. While the levels are mostly the same, the newly added mechanics (bombs instead of a shovel) adds a pretty decent replay value, not to mention a new (and much better) story.

Conclusion

Shovel Knight is a must try for any platformer fan and definitely something one should consider if you are looking for satisfying action with a huge replay value.

Pros

► Gameplay does not feel repetitive
► Tons of different levels and enemies
► Lots of boss fights
► Great replay value
► Platform specific bonus levels
► RPG elements add to the variety

Cons

► Achievements are on the frustrating side

Rating

10/10

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Shovel Knight & Plague of Shadows Review (Xbox One, PS4 and PC)

by Sam time to read: 2 min
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