I played CC for a solid week now and I must say that it is a very fun experience. I first got got to play the game over Labor-day weekend and have been enthralled ever since. If you haven’t heard of “CC” it’s an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive developed by Behemoth.  The game was released on August 27th, 2008 for 1200 Microsoft points ($15) and has been received with critical acclaim across the gaming industry.

Castle Crashers is a classic Beat em’ Up sidescroller with RPG elements.  What makes the game so appealing is its unique art style and music.  If you are familiar with typical NEWGROUNDS.com stuff then you know exactly what to expect. Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin are the lead designers and their influence can clearly be seen in the game.

“Its like the classic TMNT arcade game, except modernized”, this was a quote my friend muttered as we quickly dispatched the oncoming hordes.   Each stage has a wonderful design and theme.  A lot of people don’t know this but Castle Crashers in development for nearly 3 years.  CC was first shown at Comic-Con 2005 under the name of “Ye Olde Side-Scroller”. At that time it was originally supposed to come out on the on PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.  The project evolved since then and at Comic Con 2006 it was announced that “Ye Olde Side-Scroller would be an Xbox Live Arcade Exclusive”.  The title was also changed to what we see today: Castle Crashers.

A typical over the top scene ^^

I was lucky enough to have 3 other people to crash castles with.  We each choose a character from the available Knights: Green, Red, Blue, & Orange. I chose the RED Knight because I love lightning based attacks.  My friend phrased it perfectly, “Sith Lord Lightning”.  The blue knight has ice based magic, orange has fire and Green has poison. BTW the GREEN Knight’s magic is definitely overpowered. The game premise is simple but very addicting: players must defeat enemies to progress using attacks and magic.  As you progress through the game, new levels are unlocked and your knight levels up.  A knight learns new abilities and combos such as aerial magic attacks.  Each time your character gets stronger you can choose to improve attributes such as Strength, Magic, Defense and Agility.  I tried to be balanced but placed more emphasis on strength because I liked normal attacks over magic.  The game also features numerous collectible weapons, items and pets.  I usually use the doggie pet because he looks like my dog in real life.

There are a lot of little things that truly made this game wonderful.  When we first defeated a boss all four of us stood triumphant with our controllers in hand.  We stood dumbfounded as we soon realized that we had to fight each other to win the coveted KISS from the princess.  Hilarity ensued when brother fought against brother.

As icing on the cake, Castle Crashers also features a competitive eating mini-game called “All You Can Quaff”.  Throughout the game, we found new weapons to use.  They were either found either within a level, purchased from a store or dropped by a boss. Each weapon has a distinct look and unique characteristics.  Numerous gaming sites and magazines have raved over Castle Crashers giving it high scores across the board.   wriXeL is in the same boat and we give Castle Crashers a solid 9.12 out of 10.00.  Go Crash some Castles!