‘Shovel Knight’Headed For PS4, PS3 And Vita On April 21st

Shovel Knight will be making his way over to all current PlayStation consoles in a couple of months.

Developer Yacht Club Games has revealed that their critically-acclaimed platformer Shovel Knight will be making it’s way to all current PlayStation consoles on April 21st.

The platformer is a part of Sony’s Spring Fever 2015 promotion and will be available initially for $13.49. That price will hold for one week, with the price then going up to the standard price of $15.

The game will play identically to previous versions of the game, though one new addition to the game is the famous PlayStation character Kratos being added as a boss fight. It’s unknown how this will work within the context of the game, though it will certainly be a nice little bonus for those looking for a new battle.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Shovel Knight (Wii U)

It could have come out two decades ago, yet Shovel Knight still beats just about all modern competition.

The year is 2014 and I have just finished an 8-bit side-scroller called Shovel Knight. The game looks like it could have came out in the early ’90s on the NES, yet here I am playing it on the Wii U. Strange, to say the least, but when all is said and done there are few games that are as good as this one. Developer Yacht Club Games have crafted an action platformer that is so mechanically-sound that it could easily stand among any of the classics of the retro era of gaming, or any era of gaming in general.

It all begins with the protagonist Shovel Knight and his companion Shield Knight, who have embarked on countless adventures together and have defeated evil at every turn. One day, however, Shield Knight goes missing and, as a result, Shovel Knight becomes a wreck and briefly becomes a recluse. His absence, unfortunately, allows evil forces to move in and take over the kingdom, which snaps him out of it and leads him on a simple mission to fight back the evil and rescue his beloved Shield Knight.

Shovel Knight, like many retro games of the past, throws you right into the action and lets you figure things out for yourself. You’re a valiant warrior who wields what is called a ShovelBlade, which allows you to not only defeat your enemies but dig through and maneuver around various obstacles. However, you will also come across various items called Relics that allow you to do things like become immune to damage for a few seconds or flip a coin that can earn you more currency from fallen enemies. Each item you come across has a purpose that can be utilized in just about every area in the game, meaning that you can go about completing levels in several different ways.

Snooping out every nook and cranny of the game’s many levels is highly-encouraged and fun, as you will gradually accumulate money to purchase new gear. There are plenty of things for you to spend your hard-earned cash on, which includes new abilities and armor while also being able to upgrade stats like health and mana. This is all done through the game’s charming hub village, where you can talk to the various villagers who all come equipped with brief but interesting (and often hilarious) dialogue.

Level progression works similarly to platformers of the past, where you complete a level and you are then able to progress down the board similar to Super Mario 3. The stages on the board range from regular stages to boss stages and all the way to treasure stages that require you to overcome obstacles to get to the chest at the end. Each of the game’s boss stages have a theme that the level and boss both share, which results in each of the levels feeling wholly unique from the others. You will also occasionally come across roaming monsters on the board, which you can either avoid entirely or take on for some solid rewards.

The stages themselves are very challenging, yet forgiving enough so that most people will eventually make it the other side in one piece. Each level has four or five check points, which seems like a lot on paper but really isn’t when you consider how tricky some sequences can be. You do have unlimited lives, but the catch is that you will lose a solid chunk of your money every time you die and will have to reclaim the money on your next try or it is gone forever. This system is definitely more punishing when you have accumulated a lot of money as you lose more per death, so the game encourages you to use your money when you can and avoid getting killed at all costs.

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It’s the level designs themselves that are the true champions here, as each level is not only exciting but contains the perfect amount of hidden goodies for those looking for more of a challenge. There are many hidden areas that are concealed by hidden walls that you need discover on your own, which usually leads to an even more challenging area for you to overcome with a nice reward at the end. The enemy variety is incredibly solid as you’ll be dealing with a bunch of different baddies that all require their own separate strategies to deal with efficiently. The soundtrack that accompanies these stages is always great, as each tune perfectly matches the scenario. Don’t be surprised if you have some of the tunes stuck in your head after you finish playing, as was the case for me. You can even collect music scrolls that are hidden throughout the levels that you can bring to the town bard to perform for you whenever you want, which is a feature I utilized frequently.

For a retro platformer Shovel Knight has a solid running time, clocking in just under 8 hours of playtime upon my first completion. However, if you’re interested in finding all of the game’s collectibles then you can definitely add on at least a few more hours to that time. Upon completing the game you get a New Game + mode, which lets you keep all of your items and upgrades from the first playthrough. However, this time around you will only have two check points per level and the enemies do about twice the damage as they originally did, so hardcore players will definitely have their work cut out for themselves.

Although Shovel Knight is available on PC, 3DS and soon will be coming to all current PlayStation consoles, I can’t imagine not playing this on the Wii U’s gamepad. The gamepad’s buttons are perfect for this kind of game, and its screen is also great for having constant access to your inventory. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll have a blast with Shovel Knight no matter which platform you play it on, but if you have the option I would definitely go with the Wii U version. Not to mention that this game is about as “Nintendo” as they come, which is a fantastic thing.

Shovel Knight is the feel-good story of the year, as it all began as a Kickstarter campaign by a small and new indie development company that realized its goal in the best way possible. This is a loving nod to the games of two decades ago, where the entire focus was not on the best graphics, massive worlds loaded with mindless objectives or controversy, but just ridiculously fun gameplay. You can tell that everyone involved with this game gave everything they had, as every pixel in this game is wonderful. It says a lot when an 8-bit game comes along and wipes the floor with the vast majority of “next-gen” experiences, as Shovel Knight proves that gameplay is king in a very profound way.

New Video Game Releases (June 23rd – June 29th, 2014)

At long last, the video game release schedule has come alive.

We finally have some life on the release schedule, as this week brings us some games that are actually worth talking about. Indie game Valiant Hearts: The Great War releases on multiple platforms, as does the Cybertron trilogy conclusion Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. The indie game that everyone is raving about, however, is the retro Shovel Knight. Just about everyone is loving its classic visuals and mechanics, making it one of the most critically-acclaimed games of the year so far. Scroll down to see the complete list of what is coming out from June 23rd to June 29th, 2014.

3DS

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • Farming Simulator 14
  • Shovel Knight (eShop)

PlayStation 3

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • GRID Autosport
  • Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland
  • Xblaze Code: Embryo
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PSN)
  • Another World (PSN)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon

PlayStation 4

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PSN)
  • Another World (PSN)
  • Blue Estate (PSN)
  • R.B.I. Baseball 14 (PSN)

Vita

  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
  • Xblaze Code: Embryo
  • Farming Simulator 14
  • Another World (PSN)
  • Z-Run (PSN)

Wii U

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • Shovel Knight (eShop)

Xbox 360

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • GRID Autosport
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Xbox One

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War

PC

  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
  • GRID Autosport
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front
  • Sniper Elite 3
  • Shovel Knight
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War
  • Three Dead Zed

News Judgment – Shovel Knight Delayed

Shovel Knight was all set to be released on 3DS, PC and Wii U on March 31st, but developer Yacht Club Games has announced on their Kickstarter page that the game is not quite ready for prime time.

Yacht Club Games posted the following message on their Kickstarter page:

“This update is to let everyone know that Shovel Knight will be missing March 31 by a few weeks to make sure it’s a world class experience, and can release on all platforms simultaneously. This isn’t a major delay, or a long one; it’s simply a stretch of time to get everything polished and aligned. While major development is quickly drawing to a close, there are still some external factors, like submission preparation, which need a little bit more breathing room before the game goes live.”

Condemn (OR) Condone:

This is the kind of delay that doesn’t worry me much. It’s not like they have to go back to the drawing board on something, they’re just polishing everything to make every piece as good as it can be. Nothing wrong with that.

Judgment: o(R)

NOTE:

The judgments are the following:

CondemnHate it | (O)rDislike it | (OR)Indifferent | o(R)Like it | CondoneLove it