Review: Shovel Knight (PS4/Vita)

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Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic.

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Pros:

  • Retro 8 Bit graphics complete with colour set from the NES days.
  • Classic bit tune soundtrack.
  • Cross buy.
  • Cross save.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • 9 save slots with copy feature.
  • Can re bind controls.
  • Action 2D platformer gameplay.
  • Earn cash by digging up gems,  defeating enemies.
  • Use cash to buy upgrades to your health and mana.
  • Upon death you drop your money and have that next life to re collect the cash before its gone forever. In short it’s like Dark Souls.
  • Hidden music sheets which you can have played back to you by the musician.
  • Central hub town where you can spend your cash,  check stats,  talk to characters and save.
  • Hidden areas to find all over the game world.
  • Huge big bad ass boss fights.  The key is to learn the attack patterns and strike.
  • Checkpoints throughout.
  • Opening tutorial section with ongoing help.
  • Feats are the games own built in achievements.
  • New game plus mode.
  • World map is akin to the Super Mario games where you can have some say in where you go next.
  • You can kill enemies buy jumping on their head with your shovel out or the old fashioned way of laying the smack down with your shovel.
  • Whole presentation is that of a classic 8 Bit game.
  • Controls are simple and easy enough to learn.
  • PlayStation exclusive boss Kronos makes an appearance in the game.
  • Many worlds to explore each with their own set of enemies and bosses.
  • Collect and buy new magic abilities like fireballs,  bouncy balls etc.
  • Night time levels which play as difficult as they sound.
  • Small file size.
  • Fast loading times.

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Cons:

  • Not exiting properly causes you to lose save data.
  • Cash dropping upon death can sometimes go to an unreachable point on the map.
  • Hit detection can be a little off.
  • Difficult game.
  • Boss fights can sometimes feel cheap.

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In Summary,  the game is excellent fun and really brings back the good old games feel. It’s how 8 Bit games probably looked with rose tinted specs on!  That’s not to say the game is easy,  Oh far from it.  the game is tough and will punish you whenever it can,  Admittedly it can feel cheap with things like the jump shovel attack animation not always working properly but still. It’s worth a look purely because of what it offers and how much obvious love has gone into the game.  it’s a next gen retro masterpiece that everyone needs to experience!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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