Werner: After centuries of waiting, Castle Crashers has finally arrived, and boy was it worth the wait! Castle crashers is a side scrolling beat’em up reminiscent of the double dragons, ninja turtles, and even battle toads series. But Castle Crashers does not simply bring this game style back to life, it makes it it’s own and takes it to new heights. A massive amount of characters, levels, skills, weapons, unlockables, and so many more things than it’s predecessors ever managed. Faster combos and more luscious graphics than the consoles of yesteryear could ever hope to contain, all brought together with such humor and style that it ill take most people a few play-throughs to notice most of the jokes hidden in the details. The story in the game is straightforward enough: the princesses have been kidnapped, fight your way to them, taking down anyone and anything that gets in your way; but what holds your interest is the way that this story is conveyed, and the characters you meet along the way. Every boss is beautifully crafted and very unique. In fact, as I played with my girlfriend, she could not contain her love towards a cute cat fish boss even as he spit hairballs at us and punched her to death.
Patrick: I too have been waiting for Castle Crashers to release for a long time now, the first time I heard about it seems like forever-ago. One of the main things that draws me in to games these days is the art-style. I was instantly hooked to CC once I saw the typical Behemoth art-style we are accustomed to. After waiting forever, Castle Crashers has finally released and it is all that I was hoping it would be. CC brings back fond memories of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time on the SNES, the hack and slash side-scroller that I grew up playing. It’s this simple style of game combined with some great RPG elements that make Castle Crashers the ultimate XBLA game.
Werner: The gameplay is very fast paced and hectic at sometimes, and other times it can also be very slow and steady and very combo driven and tactical. It all depends on how you choose to make your character grow. Before beating the game I had already created a green knight who fought using mostly magic, a grey knight who was a powerful combatant and a high speed thief whose agility was so high that he could kill most enemies before they had a chance to get close to him, or even come into the screen. I beat it with the thief, of course, so now I have to go make some sort of a tank who can take any punishment anyone could dish out.
Patrick: Unlike Werner I tried to even my orange knight out pretty evenly with an emphasis on magic. This made the game pretty steady throughout and I was thankful to have my wife beside me as a blue knight who leveled everything evenly also but with an emphasis on strength. This made the game turn out to be a standard medium difficulty game.
Werner: The game is not flawless though, and the flaws it does have are only made worse by the irony that they make this multiplayer aimed game be impossible to play online reliably, and frustrating to play offline. Online play is terribly laggy, followed by random disconnects which cause you to lose any progress gotten during that stage. Offline play requires the other players to each have their own gamertag. It only takes a few minutes to create these new gamertags, but this should really be “pick-up and play”, with the option for others to log in. Another problem with the game is a random bug which causes people to lose their saved files. This is extra annoying if you spent hours powering up your red knight to level 50 one day, and he’s back to level 1 next time you play.
Patrick: Yes, I agree. One of the main aspects of CC is the fact that it is meant to be played with at least 2 but preferably 4 people. This is also the downfall of the game. I tried to play by myself and I found it very difficult, the more people you play with the better, but this also means more chaos on the screen which makes it hard to even find your character, which brings me to my next complaint. Even though I absolutely love the art, the screen doesn’t seem big enough (even my 52″) and some of the enemies and characters are too big which makes it hard to know what is going on. I was playing with my two cousins and a friend and one of my cousins had been button-mashing for at least a minute before he realized he was already dead and had been for at least 30 seconds. This is how chaotic it can get on the screen. If you keep it down to 2 knights it keeps it pretty clean. I’ve noticed the later levels tend to me less-chaotic as well.
Werner: Castle crashers is an awesome game. Maybe my favorite XBLA game, and a game I know I will be playing on the down time in-between the Gears of Wars and Fables and Skates. Yes, the game does have it’s flaws, but these are being looked into, and fixes have been promised, so when that happens feel free to add another star to this rating.
Patrick: Yes, despite these two downfalls Castle Crashers is still an amazing game and I am still a huge fan of it. It is everything I was hoping it would be and more. With 3 different modes this game is truly a game to bring out during a party. Even non-gamers can get in to Castle Crashers. You need to buy this now.