Review: Shovel Knight

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Have you ever felt really nostalgic for the 8-bit era? You know, visions of a side-scrolling Mario in Super Mario Bros., or defeating all sorts of enemy soldiers in Contra. The latest effort from the guys at Yacht Club Games (great name) tries to touch on those memories with Shovel Knight, an NES-style game that offers a lot more complexity than is first apparent.

Here we gather a few highlights from the Ozzie Mejia review that you can find, in its entirety, on Shacknews.

Easy to pick up and play

The controls will be second nature to anyone who has ever picked up a gamepad, but even those new to the genre should be able to grasp the concept fairly quickly. Shovel Knight moves across the field making precision jumps and taking down enemies through either direct shovel strikes or through his pogo maneuver. The latter tactic will be used repeatedly throughout the adventure, with the second half of the game requiring some precision pogo jumps to traverse across more challenging gaps.

The game is hard...but not unfair

However, Shovel Knight understands what separates "hard" from "unfair." All of Shovel Knights platforming sequences are doable, even if they get incredibly difficult and they often left me feeling like that next platform was just within reach. But most important of all, the game understands that certain aspects of the genre must move forward. In creating difficult sequences, the developers utilized and refined classic ideas like silhouetted environments that darken the level and giant insects that act as ferries.

Overall - 8 (out of 10)

The Shovel Knight review on Shacknews offers more details about this game, including the fact that it will give you a solid 6-8 hours of gameplay. Things may get a little cliche-filled later on in the game, but at a price of $14.99, it offers a very good bargain for gamers looking for something that taps into those 8-bit memories.
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