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Shovel Knight


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So this game got some discussion in the Kickstarter Central thread, but it's been out six days and there's not much discussion on it here, which is weird cause I know for a fact a ton of us are playing it. Figured I might as well bite the bullet and start a thread myself.

How's everyone enjoying it so far, for those who haven't beaten it? I've not had a lot of time to play it, so I've only beaten King Knight, Specter Knight, and Treasure Knight so far, but it's so much fun. Music's great too; Jake did a killer job.

For those of you who have so far managed to avoid this so far, it's available on Steam and the Wii U and 3DS's eShops. Jake's got the album for sale on Bandcamp here, and an arrange album featuring a lot of familiar faces here.

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I'm right at the end. I am very relieved the game has infinite lives because I've easily died fifty times or more playing this game.

Some of the challenge levels require a level of dexterity I simply don't have, but fortunately it's just for songs and money.

Overall I'm very much loving it. It's creative and challenging and just plain fun.

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I'm just over half way through playing in Windows (using an old Playstation controller). I have a few complaints but over all I'm enjoying the hell out of the game. My biggest complaint is that many of the bosses don't require that many weapon combinations to beat. The levels themselves are often more challenging for me than the boss at the end of it. I just wish there were more areas of the game where a specific weapon was needed. I think that'd make it a bit more fun. I'm probably knit-picking, though.

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Beat it, thought it was a blast. A lot of people have been saying it's too easy, but I felt like the difficulty curve sat right at my skill level, so it felt great to me.

To be honest, I like the refinements they've made to those older game designs, because having to retry an entire stage just to have two or three chances at figuring out a boss can get pretty annoying. Bosses and stages usually use different mechanics: knowing one doesn't necessarily translate into being good at the other. The strategy for bosses was to keep trying repeatedly until you learned them, and that learning process was hindered when there was a huge chunk of time between each set of two-three fights.

Shovel Knight broke out of that, and instead just introduced that Dark Souls-ish mechanic, which I think gave a similar incentive to learn quickly, but also removed the demotivation factor of running out of lives. It's a smart decision, and then - on top of that - adding the breakable checkpoints let them still keep that hardcore mentality for those who want it. Pretty brilliant.

I also give 'em huge props for how they added the Kickstarter backer recognition. Clever and clear, but still subtle. The Hyper Camelot guest director knights were a serious blast to fight, and you can see they took a lot of care in implementing their designs.

Oh, and, of course, dat soundtrack.

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I'm almost done with new game +. The second-to-last level is a nightmare for double-damage no-turkey mode. I'm crying.

Anyway, they've done a fantastic job not explicitly tutorializing. Every level has new gameplay mechanics, but they're all introduced in a sort of safe, forced, and fluid way to make sure you know how it all works before you move on.

There's a brilliant part of the Lich Yard where you step onto this new type of platform and it changes a bit graphically, but otherwise nothing happens. You keep moving and find yourself up against a wall, but you're close enough to get the attention of a skeleton on the other side. It walks onto the platform (which extends underneath the wall) and the platform starts moving down. Now you know that those platforms sink when there are two entities standing on them, and you can start solving problems and doing tricky platforming with this knowledge. It's great. Everything in the game is introduced like that.

oh yeah and the music is sweeeeeet

Edited by Hylian Lemon
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I'm almost done with new game +. The second-to-last level is a nightmare for double-damage no-turkey mode. I'm crying.

Anyway, they've done a fantastic job not explicitly tutorializing. Every level has new gameplay mechanics, but they're all introduced in a sort of safe and forced way to make sure you know how it all works before you move on.

There's a brilliant part of the Lich Yard where you step onto this new type of platform and it changes a bit graphically, but otherwise nothing happens. You keep moving and find yourself up against a wall, but you're close enough to get the attention of a skeleton on the other side. It walks onto the platform (which extends underneath the wall) and the platform starts moving down. Now you know that those platforms sink when there are two entities standing on them, and you can start solving problems and doing tricky platforming with this knowledge. It's great.

This! They followed the lead of classic 'Nintendo-hard' games by making it hard, yet making sure you know the rules you're playing by so that you know why it's hard and what you can do about it, leading to a sense of actual accomplishment.

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Yeah it's fantastic. Almost done with all the feats, then to wait on the free stretch goal DLC.

Also re: that second to last stage on new game+ every other platter in the boss rush there has turkey and a jar, but you'll need to open the ones with bombs to make sure that the platters with health do show up

Just so y'all know.

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This game is amazing. I've made no secret about the fact that I'm pretty much over the 8-bit aesthetic when it comes to games, but Shovel Knight manages to be a great looking and great sounding game with amazing art direction and music that I'm totally into. What's more is that level design is top-notch, which I feel really sells this game as one of the greats. Giving a game a retro look and sound is one thing; making it feel like a great retro game is another thing entirely. The game teaches you how to play without telling you how to play, and whenever you die, you know why you died, and you know how to do better.

Planning on tackling New Game+ soon, but I have to say I'm a big fan of the game and I'm looking forward to Yacht Club's next project.

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Though I know it is a good game, and it has NES-ish difficulty, I'm just too worn out with this kind of thing. Indie games that try to be "retro" with all sorts of homages to the 8-bit era. If hundreds of games try and be quirky by making things "pixelated," it kind of loses its charm and gets tiresome. Maybe it's just me; that doesn't mean I think it's bad or anything, but I guess I feel like I've played it before. Is there anything this game has to offer that's new and cool that would make me want to get it?

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Also re: that second to last stage on new game+

Oh, thanks. I didn't realize it was consistent. Maybe because I kept dying early. :P

Finished, anyway. Some of the feats look like the kind of thing that would make me throw a controller if I messed up once. I can handle one stage without dying, but to have that pressure hanging over me the whole game? Eesh.

Though I know it is a good game, and it has NES-ish difficulty, I'm just too worn out with this kind of thing. Indie games that try to be "retro" with all sorts of homages to the 8-bit era. If hundreds of games try and be quirky by making things "pixelated," it kind of loses its charm and gets tiresome. Maybe it's just me; that doesn't mean I think it's bad or anything, but I guess I feel like I've played it before. Is there anything this game has to offer that's new and cool that would make me want to get it?

I enjoyed Yoshi's Island but knew from the trailers that Yoshi's New Island was just a sloppy attempt at nostalgia. Nobody ended up liking that game. Shovel Knight is not Yoshi's New Island. Its value doesn't come from nostalgia, even if some people phrase it that way.

If you've watched some trailers and/or reviews and your first thought is "I don't like games that try to be 'retro,'" you're missing the part where it looks like an absolute blast to play.

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Sadly it's not out yet in Europe...

Is there a lot of text? A lot of games just release with UK as the only option if they can get away from it but I've no idea if Shovel Knight really won't work without translation???

Either way that email angered me slightly :banghead:

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This game is amazing. I've made no secret about the fact that I'm pretty much over the 8-bit aesthetic when it comes to games, but Shovel Knight manages to be a great looking and great sounding game with amazing art direction and music that I'm totally into. What's more is that level design is top-notch, which I feel really sells this game as one of the greats. Giving a game a retro look and sound is one thing; making it feel like a great retro game is another thing entirely. The game teaches you how to play without telling you how to play, and whenever you die, you know why you died, and you know how to do better.

Planning on tackling New Game+ soon, but I have to say I'm a big fan of the game and I'm looking forward to Yacht Club's next project.

Agreed 100%. Easy to be jaded by people cashing in on 8bit nostalgia, but Shovel Knight does not fall into that category. It's amazing.

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Loving this game. The game-play combines the best aspects of Mega Man, Castlevania (the first one) and Ducktales. My only complaint so far is that some of the relics aren't really combat friendly and seem to only rely on gimmick areas. That's only really a minor compliant as I find some to be really effective on some bosses. (The Tinker Knight can be OHKO'd with the cog wheel.)

Everything is well polished and the soundtrack is amaze-balls. Having a difficult time choosing The Lost City (Mole Knight Stage) or The Explodatorium (Plague Knight Stage) as my personal favorite track. Also like that each boss has their own battle theme that incorporates the stage theme into it. If you haven't already, the rearrange album is also stellar. No Sense Running is by far my favorite track on that album.

So glad I backed this game. Right now I somehow just beaten the 8 bosses on New Game+. Well there goes my good luck for the day...

Don't think I'll bother with getting the rest of the achievements in this game. I'm sure you could probably "cheat" to get the Impossible feat by simply exiting the game and restarting the game if you did die.

Is there anyone here planning on making a remix from this game? Just curious...

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Though I know it is a good game, and it has NES-ish difficulty, I'm just too worn out with this kind of thing. Indie games that try to be "retro" with all sorts of homages to the 8-bit era. If hundreds of games try and be quirky by making things "pixelated," it kind of loses its charm and gets tiresome. Maybe it's just me; that doesn't mean I think it's bad or anything, but I guess I feel like I've played it before. Is there anything this game has to offer that's new and cool that would make me want to get it?

DarkeSword's post before yours sums it up best. This game doesn't just use pixel graphics and leaves it at that... it really takes to heart 8-bit level design and combines it with 25 years of knowledge on what works better in video games to streamline it to greatness. If you had told me this game was one of the 8-bit greats alongside Mega Man 2, Castlevania 3, and the like that was never released until someone found a ROM of it lying in a warehouse a month ago, and I didn't know better, I'd actually believe you.

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DarkeSword's post before yours sums it up best. This game doesn't just use pixel graphics and leaves it at that... it really takes to heart 8-bit level design and combines it with 25 years of knowledge on what works better in video games to streamline it to greatness. If you had told me this game was one of the 8-bit greats alongside Mega Man 2, Castlevania 3, and the like that was never released until someone found a ROM of it lying in a warehouse a month ago, and I didn't know better, I'd actually believe you.

Parallax scrolling and a few other tricks (no flickering for > 8 sprites, as one example) let you know it couldn't have been an NES game. Full list here: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DavidDAngelo/20140625/219383/Breaking_the_NES_for_Shovel_Knight.php

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Parallax scrolling and a few other tricks (no flickering for > 8 sprites, as one example) let you know it couldn't have been an NES game. Full list here: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DavidDAngelo/20140625/219383/Breaking_the_NES_for_Shovel_Knight.php

I'm especially pleased that the sound effects and music aren't running on the same channels. Easily my biggest complaint about old games and modern-retro games like Mega Man 9.

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Parallax scrolling and a few other tricks (no flickering for > 8 sprites, as one example) let you know it couldn't have been an NES game. Full list here: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DavidDAngelo/20140625/219383/Breaking_the_NES_for_Shovel_Knight.php

Well yes, I instantly understood this was far too powerful to be a on legitimate NES (if for nothing else than the sound effects aren't forced to use one of the music channels); I was just saying "this perfectly fits the tone of the old NES greats".

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Seems all right judging by the first stage! =) Even died a couple of times. Need to unbutter my thumbs. Cool tunes, no surprise. The title theme almost made me drop the controller and reach for the guitar. Thanks for linking that Gamasutra article, that was a cool read.

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