A few weeks back I decided to download the demo for Scott Pilgim vs. The World for PS3. I used to love old arcade-style sidescrolling beat-em-ups and I was really psyched to play. After about five minutes I stopped playing and deleted the demo. The art style was quaint enough but the gameplay was horrid. It felt like you were moving in mud at all times, even when running. Saddened, I reflected that maybe my memories of the genre were suspect. I had read many positive reviews of the game and perhaps I had simply grown out of the genre.
I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the brawler though. Yesterday on a whim I decided to try the Castle Crashers demo. This was a game that didn’t really appeal to me at all but again the reviews were good and I still was riding a bit of nostalgia for the genre. Lexy and I sat down at around 2pm and I’m embarassed to say that 8 hours (and one purchase) later we had beaten the game. We couldn’t put it down. We gave up in the end only because our bodies were rebelling – our thumbs had been destroyed.
I’m relieved to discover that my memories of the genre are fine. They weren’t to blame for Scott Pilgim sucking – Scott Pilgrim was. Castle Crashers is about as much fun as I’ve had on a console in the past decade. It’s responsive, it’s got a fantastic pace, great style (and occasionally great humor, poop jokes aside) and some incredibly memorable boss fights. As soon as we finished we talked about how we were going to play through it again. We’ve made idle threats like this before but sure enough we were playing first thing this AM and only took a break for our neighbourhood BBQ. We now have 6 characters under development and if I had to wager there’ll be more coming.
I sincerely hope The Behemoth has a sequel or some DLC planned. I don’t think I’ve ever been so instantly enamoured with a franchise as I am with Castle Crashers.