Inside PlayStation Network - Castle Crashers
- Posted February 11th, 2011 at 09:02 EDT by Mike Harradence
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The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.
Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We've got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.
Today, we strap on our armour, sword and shield and embark on a quintessential medieval brawler in the cracking Castle Crashers.
Developer: The Behemoth
Region(s) available: North America, Europe
Castle Crashers had been a long time coming upon its release in mid-2010. Having previously been made up for grabs on Xbox LIVE back in 2008, many PS3 owners were starting to wonder if developer The Behemoth would ever lower the drawbridge on a PSN release. Fortunately they did, and the two-year gap did little to stunt the game’s success on Sony’s online service, with the medieval romp racking up over 181,000 downloads as of December 2010. Not too shabby. A critical darling, Castle Crashers tells the tale of four Knights tasked with overthrowing an unscrupulous Wizard chap, who’s ruffled a few feathers by stealing a mystical gem and capturing several princesses to boot.
Mixing a predominantly side-scrolling beat ‘em up template with a sprinkle of RPG-style character augmentation, Castle Crashers evokes a distinctly retro feel about it. The game does exactly what it says on the tin, as it were. Stroll through heaps of stages, pummelling foes and unlocking heaps of goodies and additional stages as you go. As you duff up legions of enemies, you’ll unlock cash which can be spent in nearby shops on the world map on extra items and meatier weapons. Concurrently, defeating baddies also coughs up experience points for you to gobble up, which in turn allows you to level up. Points can then be utilized to beef up your character by way of four rudimentary attributes – strength, defence, agility and magic.
Speaking of magic, each Knight boasts his own unique elemental attack to unleash upon unsuspecting foes. These range from the red Knight’s electricity-charged zapping to the frosty reception dished out by the blue Knight’s freeze-based onslaught. Weapons come in all shapes and sizes and there’s bucket loads on offer, so completionists should have their work cut out for them attempting to collect ‘em all. As well as your standard hack ‘n slash shenanigans, gamers can also collect animal orbs that flutter around your character, each one possessing a different ability that helps you out along your journey. Levels can also be revisited as many times as you wish, and just as well too, as you may find yourself having to go back and beef up your Knight before tackling some of the game’s latter levels. As with any retro-flavoured brawler, there’s plenty of bosses to bash around, each one sporting a distinct, eye-catching aesthetic that marries fittingly with the game’s vibrant visuals.
As expected, Castle Crashers is perfectly tailored for multiplayer mayhem, with the game supporting both local and online cooperative play. Whereas in single player you’d kick the bucket if your health drops to zero, the co-op mode affords you a brief window of opportunity to revive a fallen comrade if things turn sour. The game’s multiplayer offerings also extend beyond the main campaign, with the Arena mode offering a no-holds-barred brawl for those who want to inject a competitive twist into the proceedings. Unlike the 360 iteration, the PS3 release chucks in a volleyball mini-game that can accommodate up to eight players. Here, things take a medieval twist as you lob the ball across the net using swords and spells. Still, the single-player is no slouch when it comes to length, and combined with the copious amounts of weapons, upgrades and skills to acquire, you’ll be slicing your way through Castle Crashers for quite some time. Having a couple of mates tagging along in your quest to overthrow the dastardly wizard just happens to be a bonus.
That's a wrap for this week - tune in again Monday for another peak Inside PlayStation Network.
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