More Reviews
REVIEWS Slender: The Arrival Review
Few games can offer genuine scares in the horror genre. Can Slender: The Arrival prove otherwise and it can offer more?

Pillars of Eternity Review
Obsidian Entertainment creates a retro Infinity Engine RPG funded by Kickstarter. Is it as good as previous Infinity Engine games, or does the novelty quickly wear off?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
Release date: 04/01/15

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Release date: 04/07/15


LATEST FEATURES 6 Helpful Tips for Pillars of Eternity
Simply put, Pillars of Eternity can become maddening if players aren't careful.

Top 10 Active Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns
There are lots of indie projects going on right now, so we did the dirty work for you and found the best.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
The perils of the Hype Train…
By shandog137
Posted on 03/09/15
The recent release of Evolve and The Order 1886 really got me to thinking about the disparity between the perspective of sales-driven publishers and the quality-driven purchases of consumers. The “Hype Train” is nothing new, but the way it is utilized has been creating far more...

Shovel Knight Preview

blake_peterson By:
Blake_Peterson
02/05/14
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Platformer 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Yacht Club Games 
DEVELOPER Yacht Club Games 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E Contains Mild Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Get ready to dig!

At a recent eShop event for the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS, I played the first level of Shovel Knight, from Yacht Club Games, and got to speak to the game's director, Sean Velasco. 

"Have you seen it on the 3DS?" Velasco asks me, since we've been playing it on the Wii U build. "I really love the stereoscopy of it. We tried to make it look like the NES classics."

He's right. The different background and foreground layers do separate well on the 3DS, to give it that nice diorama look, though I prefer it on the Wii U where the pixel art is crisp. The pixel art look makes sense since the game is inspired by NES games like Castlevania III, Mega Man, and features the regular use of the downward strike to bounce off enemies.



"That reminds me of Ducktales." I say, "Was that an inspiration?"

"You can't bounce on the ground the way you can in Ducktales, just the enemies. We were more inspired by Zelda II," Velasco says, and it's more than just the downward thrust. A moment later I encounter a mini-boss, a knight who changes his shield to guard from side attacks or downward strikes.

When I asked him how the main character of the Shovel Knight developed, he told me that it all started with the gameplay. They wanted that Zelda downward thrust and bounce to dig out treasure and destroy breakable walls. A shovel seemed like a good weapon to do all those things, and so they started to play around with "Shovel Guy" concepts.


A question about how they've spent the funds from their Kickstarter campaign (the game raised $315,000 there) and how far the funds have taken the development prompted him to reveal that the development team at Yacht Club Games of "a half dozen" is made up of former WayForward employees, and he mentions working on Contra 4 and other titles by the retro-game developer. These guys have experience, so the money issue that many Kickstarter devs have (running out of money prematurely, over-committing to expensive backer rewards) wasn't a problem.

Shovel Knight is fun and manages to combine a number of gameplay elements from different games expertly, with the downward bounce that does feel a bit more Ducktales than Zelda II, level design that feels like Mega Man 9 (a comparison that Velasco said made him happy), special attacks that are reminiscent of Castlevania, and an overworld map similar to Super Mario Bros. 3. The comparisons are there to be made, as Shovel Knight is aiming for the best of that era of gaming.


When I asked Velasco what he would like to do next, he mentioned it would be fun to do an SNES sequel (Super Shovel Knight?) or an N64-style 3D adaptation of the gameplay (which sparked a brief conversation about how well Nintendo bridged the gap between their 2D and 3D properties with Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time). However, he seemed more excited by the idea of a new IP, rather than Yacht Club becoming "The Guys who make Shovel Knight."

Whatever the developer decides to do next, I'm almost as excited to see what it is as I am to get to play the rest of Shovel Knight, which releases on the 3DS. Wii U, PC, Linux, and Mac on March 31st for $14.99.
Tags:   Nintendo, Wii U
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Shovel Knight


More On GameRevolution