Castle Crashers

by Travis

December 3, 2008

Castle Crashers is an Xbox live arcade game from the Behemoth, the development team behind Alien Hominid. Castle Crashers was one of the most, if not the most, anticipated title for the Xbox live arcade service. The game's story revolves around four knights who must rescue the princesses and a large magic crystal after the evil Wizard and his army of minion kidnaps them.

The game is a side-scrolling beat-em-up that takes you through about 30 or so levels on the way to the final showdown with the Wizard. You control one of the four knights (or potentially one of the other dozen or more unlockable characters). It adds a few RPG elements to the gameplay that allow you to raise your characters health, strength, magic skill, and agility which effects the characters speed and how fast the character can shoot arrows. You gain experience points through damaging enemies, and you can level up to 99, however your will have completely filled all your attributes by about level 78 or around there, so the last 20 some levels are basically pointless.

When the game was announced, and through the marketing of the game before it was released, the game was touted as the ultimate co-op party game for the Xbox live arcade. They promised that the game was built around you and your three friends to play through the storyline together; however, for most people, you will quickly find out that the online is basically unplayable. The network components of the game are god-awful, and you'll be lucky the game doesn't boot your ass out before the game even loads.

The game was released back in August. This review was written in December. As of right now, no patch has been released, and the developers seem to be blaming Microsoft for this, although the fact they did the same thing with Alien Hominid isn't a good sign. Since so many people are having problems with the online functionality, it makes me wonder if they even tested this key component. I could very well seeing this game ending up on one of those lists they do every now and then, that showcase the "biggest screw-ups" in the last year or whatever.

Don't get me wrong, this game is quite fun, but for people looking for online fun with your friends, you might want to steer clear until a patch is released. At a 1200 price point, it's a steep price to pay for a single player game. However even if the patch is released it's probably better to wait and see if the patch really does fix the issues, or doesn't create entirely new ones.  This game alone has put me off from buying any Behemoth game in the future, until the reviews and comments start coming in for it.

If it wasn't for the fact that this game built upon the multiplayer aspect, and completely screwed it over, then taking way too long to issue a patch, I wouldn't be so harsh. However as the game is basically only half working, I have to give it half a score it would deserve, which is a shame because it is an otherwise great game.