|As you can probably tell, things get all |
kinds of crazy real fast in multiplayer.
I understand that Castle Crashers was meant as a throwback to beat-'em-ups of yore, and I respect that. Clearly the guys at The Behemoth are fans of that genre. It's just that I, like many others, think that the genre is archaic by today's standards. It works well enough, sure, and was fun for what it was; it just doesn't hold up for long.
During the first couple hours, mindlessly cutting down leagues of foes was good fun. Though I only had light and heavy attacks and some magic at my disposal, it appeared to have enough options for some decent variety. Mixing physical and magical attacks together to string combos together to see what means of quick dispatching foes I could come up with as I unlocked more and more preset combos kept me driven to level up some more (oh, yes, there's a leveling system here -- forgot to mention that) to see what other methods of dispatch I could find. Play it in co-op and gets better (though, regrettably, I didn't play much co-op).
By the fifth or so hour, however, that hook began to lose me. The further I got, the more combat became formulaic. Enemy types stuck to only two basic builds -- a small, diminutive character much like your own in terms of size, and a large, hulking foe who likes to throw you about like a ball -- who I had quickly worked out how defeat while sustaining little damage. A lot of them also had a tendency to just sit back and take the beating rather than put up a strong fight. At that point, it became a case of repetition. Occasional boss fights did freshen things up a tad, if only because they were a touch different from the usual leagues of foes, though even they didn't remedy the constant settling of dullness that had started seeping in. I think that came about as a result of suddenly needing to do a bit of leveling to get past a certain stage (grinding ain't fun here either, folks). Wouldn't be the first time a grinding session has almost turned me off a game.
It was around that time that I started playing it in short bursts. That made Castle Crashers fun again, but my thoughts had already been set, always in the back of my mind no matter how thrilling the game became. Maybe this should of been a simple 3-4 hour adventure instead. A quick bout of beat-'em-up action would be much easier to enjoy that way, I'd think. Otherwise they should have tried and added something to make the game more interesting throughout.
Probably the most egregious thing about this is that they're selling it for $15. That's quite a price for a game of this sort. For that price, I'd think it's fair to expect something more than just another old-school beat-'em-up with some gorgeous flash art (not that I was, mind you; I mostly knew what I was getting into beforehand).
Still, for all my complaints, it is a fine game. Not a bad introduction to the olden days of beat-'em-ups, I'd say, but the not the best, either. Don't think I'll be playing another one of these games again, though.