Shovel Knight Review - Digging For Trouble

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Slegiar Dryke:

I can definitely understand that point of view then, and can agree that having games that are accessible to people of those and other criteria makes sense. However it still is a very subjective thing to say that such more punishing consequences for death are damaging games as a whole. It very much objectively helps the industry and leaves room for the creation of the less punishing games, or vice versa, to have the harder ones around as well. Its like the old pasta sauce recipe story: there is no perfect sauce, only perfect sauces. same for games....there is no perfect game, only perfect games ^^ I suppose the easier way to sum things up is to say everyone has got opinions, but *shrugs* feels a bit like a cop out XD

I would love to see a lot of sauces out there, but there's usually just one and the only option you have is to have more or less of the same (I'm thinking difficulty sliders here).

Things like death penalties are almost never optional and some developers just outright refuse to add options to their game saying that it would break the spirit of the game, enough though that's exactly the reason people ask for those options, to break the spirit of the game and open it up to more possibilities and different sensibilities. Developers that hold back on small things that are easily added or fixed do hold back their own products, and this is a practice as old as gaming itself so yea, they are holding gaming as a hobby back by doing so.

But your old pasta sauce thing doesn't really work and is abysmally outdated for a digital product, which can be multiple sauces at the same time. Not sure if that sounds right but whatever.

The great thing about Shovel Knight, though, is that you can work around what would otherwise be bullshit.

There's a suit of armor you can buy that keeps your footing when hit. And there are TONS of subweapons to counter whatever is in your way.

The whole knockback thing reminds me more of Mega Man than it does Castlevania. And the only time I found it truly frustrating was during Propeller Knight's stage (which had other factors making things worse). Even then, it didn't take long to adapt.

I sort of agree with the medusa head complaint, but from a different angle. Some of them are easy to counter with sub-weapons in such a way that you don't come into danger. However, a lot of the medusa enemies clip through walls, which means you have to wait for them to come into the open before you can deal with them. Sometimes you can rush through and avoid them when this happens, but rushing gets risky. There's a few screens that I wish had a better balance between stopping and waiting for a baddie and rushing through, knock back be damned.

Still, on the whole it is a fantastic experience and I would encourage anyone curious to pick it up. The checkpoints are frequent and money can usually be recovered without much hassle (especially with the right Ichor), and most of the time it feels really good to play.

Just finished it a few minutes ago (95% item find so I saw the majority of what the game has to offer) and I really can't say that I saw anything that really stood out to me as cheap or poorly designed. Sure there are some tough parts but overall the checkpoints are frequent enough and money's easy enough to recover that it's pretty much never an issue. In fact, money's not really even important anyway as there's not that many things to buy. All told, the game actually didn't feel all that difficult simply because of the frequent checkpoints and the little penalty for dying.

If you're looking for a taste of some fine old school but in a slightly more accesible format, you owe it to yourself to pick up Shovel Knight. Don't let the "it's too hard/cheap" talk in the review scare you off.

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