Castle Crashers

John Fox - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
Produced by: The Behemoth
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Reviewed By: John Fox
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆
Genre: Other Beat-Em-Up/RPG
Christian Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy)
Adult Content: 4 of 5 (barely present)


Castle Crashers.  Illustration copyrighted.


Developed by The Behemoth, creators of Alien Hominid HD, Castle Crashers is a beat-em-up RPG for the Xbox Live Arcade for 1-4 players online or offline. The game places the player in the shoes of one of four knights, fire, poison, lighting and ice. After the evil nameless wizard and his barbarian hordes kidnap the four princesses and take the magic crystal for their own, the knights with the king in tow set off to save the princesses and reclaim the magic crystal.

Castle crashers

The game is in beat-em-up RPG style similar to the Saturn game Guardian Heroes or the arcade game Dungeon & Dragons: Tower of Doom. The player plays as one of the four knights traveling through different stages fighting various enemies, such as bears who attack you with fish, barbarian hordes and skeletons. When enemies are defeated he also gains experience and raises in levels, giving him points to distribute in various stats. Strength allows him to deal more damage, magic gives him new spells and allows his spells to deal more damage, defense which allows him to take more hits and agility which makes him faster and allows his bow to deal more damage and fly farther. During the game the knight will also pick up gold which he can use at shops to buy various items. He can also find and purchase weapons which modify his stats and animal orbs which give him various abilities. Seahorse for example allows the knight to travel in water faster while Chicken increase his defense, strength and agility. As he gains levels the knights also unlocks various combos he can use; although the downside with combos and magic is that there is nowhere in game that shows what he has unlocked and what buttons he presses to use them (the game does say the button combination when he unlocks a combo on screen, though this is not so for magic).

Each of the knights differentiates in their spell abilities. The poison knight’s spells has a long lasting poison effect, the fire knight has a large area spread attack and lights the enemies on fire for a short time, lighting knight has a short range but devastating lightning bolt spell, while ice knight can freeze enemies with his magic. Other characters can be unlocked by completing the game, fighting in various arenas or even having bought Alien Hominid HD (plus unlocking an achievement). The problem with these unlockable characters is that they do not seem as interesting as the four knights and that they seem to share some of their spells with one another. During the game the player will also fight many wacky bosses such a swimming giant cat ridden by a bear and a monster corncob. The game also does a great job of mixing up environments. The player will travel through forests, mountains, plains and castles. Castle Crashers also supports up to 4 player co-op local as well as online. At time of writing however the author has heard of many problems with online play, however the developers has stated that they are working on a patch to fix the problems.

The graphics are in hand drawn style similar to Alien Hominid, however it is much more detailed and aesthetically pleasing. The music is various medieval tunes appropriate to the game with a mix various other genres thrown in, like rock. They are generally well done. Sound is good but forgettable and voice acting (as well as dialog) is practically non existent.

Castle crashers

Violence:
Here is where Castle Crashers fails content wise. When enemies are attacked blood spurts out and sometimes you lob the enemies’ head off. This can be turned off however with the gore off option. What cannot be turned off however is the bloody body parts that can be found strewn on the battle field. Also there is one boss who is smashed by a treasure chest and turns into what looks like a bloody piece of meat. Thankfully however the violence seems to tone down a bit as the game goes on, except for the arenas. The game’s graphics are in cartoon style and not realistic.

Adult Content:
When you save a princess she gives you a kiss.

Language:
None, there is hardly any dialog in the game at all.

Spiritual Content:
Each of the characters has spells they can cast, though they are all standard fantasy flavor. You fight skeletons and reanimated enemies during the game, the skeleton is also an unlockable character.

Other:
Crude humor is present in the game. The first arena there is a banner that says “This is the last turd out of you” for example, there is an owl in a forest that urinates because it is frightened. In the animal orb ark there are dropping on the floor; finally, there is a giant bat boss that drops large poison bat droppings. Sometimes your character dances and one of the dance is him doing the devil horn hand gesture and banging his head. Finally there is an animal orb called “Bipolar Bear” that gnaws on nearly dead enemies and allies, which some may find tasteless.

Castle crashers

All in all Castle Crashers is a good beat-em-up RPG that’s well worth your money. It should take players around 4-6 hours to complete, and more playtime can be found unlocking the achievements and various characters. While not as good as Guardian Heroes or Tower of Doom, it’s still worth your time and money, especially for the price. Castle Crashers is currently available on the Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15).

Discuss this review in the Guide 2 Games Message Boards

Year of Release — 2008

[tags] 3.5 stars, Other, Xbox 360 (Microsoft), T (Teen), The Behemoth [/tags]

zp8497586rq



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

About this game