CastleCrashersFeatured

Indie Corner: Castle Crashers Remastered

2008 marked the year of the digital push of smaller Xbox Live Arcade games. It was in that era we’ve played incredible XBLA games such as Braid and the original Castle Crashers. Castle Crashers was a huge success and one of the best sold Xbox Live Arcade games to date. There was something with the combination of cartoony humor and button mashing that won over the crowd. Now, seven years after the original release, it’s time to rediscover the Remastered version.

The core

The core gameplay isn’t changed in this new version of the XBLA hit. Developer The Behemoth really took things serious back in the days of the original game and created the perfect beat ‘em up game. You play as a knight who needs to save a damsel in distress. A classic story featuring three other knights that are controlled by other players online or offline. You can of course play the game on your own as well, in that case, the computer will control the other characters for you. The best part about it all is that the knights need to fight each other once the princess is saved. They need to prove they are worth her attention. This combination of beat ‘em up and arena brawler worked like a charm in the past and it still does years after the original release.

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A very charming game

It isn’t hard to see why the game was such a success and still is. The Behemoth borrowed ideas of the most popular games in the genre and brought it all together in one big new adventure. There’s working together with friends, giant bosses, mounts to ride and different waves of enemies to beat. The game plays very fluently and the Remastered version is even better. The graphics look better and the 60 frames per second makes the action more fluent and enjoyable. Defeating waves of enemies is never paired with frame drops or delays. The Remastered version plays way smoother than the original, so fans should really try out this improved version.

Aside of the frame rates, the game just looks gorgeous thanks to the extra power of the Xbox One. This results in a very charming game. The cartoony looks are even better now and the animations of the characters all look better and are incredibly cute to look at. It looks like a very innocent game at first sight but there’s a lot of blood during combat. It’s all cartoony violence of course but things can get rather brutal.

So what’s new?

Besides the new and improved graphics, this Remastered edition also comes with some other updates. The biggest one is the inclusion of a new mini-game called Back Off Barbarian. This mini-game can be played with up to four players, both online and offline. The goal of the game is to avoid the enemies on the map. The longer you last, the more enemies appear. To make things even harder the field is divided in different colored paths you can follow. You can’t just walk away as you like thanks to this system. It’s a little hard to explain on paper but it’s one of the most charming and enjoyable new features in the game.

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That’s not all. The Behemoth also improved the online experience by fixing the matchmaking. Fans of the Xbox 360 game might recall the long waiting times to find other players. This Xbox One version improved this a lot and the waiting times are reduced. Thanks to the release of the Remastered version, the online community is more active than ever before, finding a match will happen in no time.

The reason why the game is so popular right now is that fact that owners of the original game could upgrade to the Remastered edition for free. Missed that action? Don’t be fear; upgrading will cost you five dollars now so that’s still a small fee for such a great game. New players will pay a little more but as you’ll see in the Xbox Store, the game comes with a small price for a great amount of fun.

Some issues

Although it’s a great remaster, it’s still the same game as seven years ago. This means the combat can feel a little too repetitive sometimes and that some of the battles are just frustrating, especially the bosses. Most bosses are great and they all are designed very well but some are just frustrating hard to defeat. When you’re playing with four players, it can become a little too chaotic to defeat the boss. It’s a problem gamers had with the original and it’s a shame the developers didn’t solve it for the Remastered version.

CastleVercdict
The good: The bad:
+ Great beat ’em up – Frustrating bosses
+ Fun to play with others – Not as fun alone
+ Great graphics and awesome mini-game

Castle Crashers Remastered brings back the chaotic but fun beat ’em up that was such a success on Xbox 360. The Remastered version is by far the best one, including improved visuals and a great new mini-game. For those who played the original, this one is definitely worth playing again. It’s a great co-op game with interesting enemies and fun mechanisms. If you haven’t played it before, be sure you don’t miss out on it again!

4 out of 5:

4sterren
 

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.