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Castle Crashers Remastered

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 2 - 2019

Back to the serious job of crashing castles.

The Behemoth don’t release games very often. Despite being around for more than 15 years, they only have four games to their name, with their most recent title being the excellent Pit People. Despite this, they have an almost fanatical following, much of which may be down to their chubby chicken mascot. Not really. It is down to the fact that when The behemoth bring out a game, it is guaranteed to be well crafted and, above all else, fun. The developers are a talented but silly bunch, and the games reflect that perfectly. One of their most popular titles was Castle Crashers, released some ten years ago on Xbox360. It features differently coloured knights, stolen princesses, and a giant cat, amongst other strangeness. Well, the good news is that this side-scrolling hack ‘n slash featuring capsule-headed heroes has been remastered and released for Switch, along with PS4. Yeah, it came to Xbox One a few years back, but I’m not going to hold a grudge.


Castle Crashers is not a difficult game to understand. The player gets to choose from a selection of different heroes, starting out with variously coloured knights. A wide selection of additional heroes are also available, but the important thing is that, for the most part, they all begin the same. No matter which hero the player takes into battle, aside from maybe a different weapon or a different magical power, the basics are the same throughout. The player has a light and heavy attack mapped to separate buttons, and will need to mash their way through loads of different enemies as they work their way from left to right.

Sure, there is a shield button, and the player can choose to fire a bow or even throw bombs at times, but the majority of the time will be spent punching those two attack buttons. For the more aware, there are combos available that can be triggered. However, the chaos on screen does lend itself best to button mashing, and in Castle Crashers that’s alright.

Of course, mashing the attacks doesn’t mean that Castle Crashers is an easy ride. Enemies tend to take more damage than you would expect, and will only get tougher as the game moves on. Then it comes to the boss battles and players will have to face massive pools of health that they will slowly chip away at. I’ll admit, playing solo is more suited to quick bursts of play than long sessions.


Anyway, progressing through the levels will reward the player with experience, which will lead to the knight becoming more powerful as the player levels them up. Increasing one of the core stats will improve the knight in that area, but levelling up will also give access to new combos, for those who actually use them, and even new magic spells. I will admit that all actions beyond the light and heavy attack do feel somewhat superfluous, but it allows the player to customise their knight how they choose, giving the game more character. Progression will also lead to piles of gold to be spent on new weapons and equipment. There are loads of different weapons to find and use in the game, ranging from the standard medieval style weapons to the seriously bizarre. They won’t offer much difference to how the game is played, but they can look cool. Also looking cool are the pet companions which the player can collect, giving perks to the player and thus further customising their knight. It’s a nice loop that perfectly counters the repetition of the singular gameplay.

The other solution for that repetition comes from the fact that Castle Crashers is an almost perfect co-op game, and the Switch is a great co-op console. Up to four players can play together, and the single Joy-Con option means that two can play locally without any extra equipment. The action is a little small on the Switch screen, but playing docked is pretty much perfect. It’s not just local play though, as online play is also an option, although then you miss that face to face. Game progression will only apply to the host of the game, an important fact to remember, but this really is a game that is best enjoyed with others, as the on-screen chaos increases ten-fold. Even the game sessions can last longer as the knights can be revived when they fall, keeping the action moving.

Outside of the core game, which will last around six hours but simply begs for further playthroughs, there are also arena battles to waste some time with, although the interest in this mode will likely be short lived, and the novel Back Off Barbarian. This is a board game of sorts in which the player avoids barbarians by moving their knight around a grid by pressing the correct buttons. It is just as chaotic and bizarre as the main game, and will likely entertain for at least a while.


Castle Crashers Remastered is a great looking remake of an already great game. For the Switch, it is the perfect co-op party game, although the chaotic action on the screen makes it advisable to play docked rather than mobile. Still, if your eyes are good, then out and about action will be great fun. There is not a huge difference from the original game, and the core gameplay remains identical. For light side-scrolling hack ‘n slash action, it doesn’t come much more entertaining than Castle Crashers, and the co-op fun means this game will be picked up time and again. Certainly worth a place in any Switch library.




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