Castle Crashers is a unique and intense game, despite its unassuming flash-like graphics. The game comes from the same minds that brought Alien Hominid to the world, which is a game that was among the most well-received flash games ever and later made the jump to consoles. The game’s story revolves around knights in their epic quest through the lands to save the kingdom. Along the way, the knights get a chance to rescue four kidnapped princesses. As the game moves forward, the battles get more and more difficult, finally leading to the apex of the game: a five stage boss battle.
At the beginning of the game you get to choose from four different starter knights: fire, lightning, ice, and poison. Each knight has a different special or magic attack whose range and recharge time vary. The game has a fluid simple interface for battle, and is pretty much what one would expect from a flash game.
It has simple, quick combos and employs an effective use of the Xbox controller for spells. Physical attacks and spells chain together with ease, allowing for greater experience bonuses. The game’s leveling system is based upon hits instead of the number of enemies you have slain. Game play is fairly evenly split between melee and magic. Early on in the game it may be more advantageous for people to start with melee attacks until you get used to the relatively quickly paced game play. As the game progresses you also finds pets hidden throughout the world. Each pet gives you a different bonus, some better and more useful than others. Along with the pets are a seemingly endless number of unlockable characters for you to play the game through with again and again. When playing multiplayer mode you can play with up to four other people through the campaign. Once you and your comrades have vanquished the foes you fight each other in a freestyle battle for the right to receive a kiss from the princesses you save throughout the game.
The game has some of the most in-depth backgrounds I have ever seen in a game of this type. At one stage in the game your character is battling on a field and a massive battle rages in the background. The music in the game is extremely catchy, with the exception of the music for the world map. Each boss is unique and strange and there are more than enough to keep one interested in the game even during the more repetitive parts. Along with the strange and sometimes amusing bosses, the game has its fair shares of odd twists and turns that serve to keep it from getting too stale.
There isn’t much that is wrong with this game. A few of the unlockable characters that are found throughout game play are extremely similar regarding their special moves and attacks. At the same time, a lot of the remaining unlockable characters are fun to play with and more than easily make up for the less-than-stellar ones.
The game is well worth the 1200 Microsoft points that it costs to buy and download the game off of Xbox live. This is definitely for anyone who enjoys playing flash RPGs and is in need of something more intense than their normal flash game.
Whim Rating: 5
Check out a video of the game