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Shovel Knight Review Thread

VideoMan

30% Failure Rate
Aug 21, 2005
1,978
18
1,605


IGN - 9
I absolutely love Shovel Knight. It doesn't only understand what retro gamers want; it also understands exactly what it is, copping plentiful inspiration from the past while forming it all into its own game. At seven or eight hours long your first time through (and a New Game+ mode once you beat it), it lasts longer than your typical throwback, and all of that time is well-spent, whether you're getting through a new stage, going back to an old one to grind for money to buy upgrades, or exploring its many secrets. It plays brilliantly, looks stunning, and sounds great.

Shovel Knight is my favorite game of 2014 so far, and a true testament to the power of the old-school. Whether you were weaned on an NES like I was, or don't yet know what you missed in a time before you were born, Shovel Knight is an absolute must-play.

Polygon - 9
There is a reason we can all remember so much from games that are almost 30-years-old, and Shovel Knight has tapped into that reason in a profound way. We don't love the brands of our youth, we love the characters, the settings, the way actually playing those games made us feel. Shovel Knight doesn't settle for acknowledging those aspects; it includes them around every single corner. Shovel Knight is so much more than a love letter to the genre — it is, in fact, the kind of game people write love letters about.

US Gamer - 10
Shovel Knight is a loving homage to an era we left behind long ago. The graphics, gameplay, and soundtrack are all pitch-perfect for an NES game... all you're missing is the original cartridge. Yacht Club Games has crafted an amazing experience from beginning to end.

Game Informer - 8.75
Indie throwbacks to video games of the early ‘80s are a dime a dozen, but Yacht Club Games successfully rises to the top. The tried-and-true game design principles and elegant checkpoint system make Shovel Knight worth a try no matter which era of gaming you prefer.

Destructoid - 9.5
Shovel Knight is one of the best platformers I've ever played, period. As I sit here with the theme song stuck in my head, I'm realizing that Yacht Club Games has created something truly special, and it was absolutely worth the risk to start their own studio. In addition to a potential Shovel Knight 2, I can't wait to see what they have in store for us down the road.

Eurogamer - 7
If the continuing appropriation of 2D pixel-art sprites and game styles from yesteryear was nothing more than an exercise in aesthetic nostalgia, then Shovel Knight would be difficult to recommend. But the game offers another demonstration of the enduring power and appeal of this form of play - even if it was forged within a set of technical boundaries that are no longer relevant. The game has a light, fresh appeal, even for those who never played 16-bit platform games the first time around, skewering the old publisher lie that only the latest, loudest, most technologically accomplished video games are worthwhile. There is gold in these old genres, and Shovel Knight is a successful dig.

GameTrailers - 9.3

Kotaku - YES

Joystiq - 4.5/5

GamesRadar - 4.5/5

Nintendo Life - 9

Nintendo World Report - 10

Gamespot - 7

GameSided.com - 9.5

ZoKnowsGaming.com - 9

Saving Content - 4/5

Niche Gamer - 6.5

EngineeringLikesDesign.com - 9.5

Invisible Gamer - A+

4 Color Rebellion - positive (no score)
The following statement will sound a bit like hyperbolic rubbish, but it could serve as a good lesson to developers that want to stand out from their indie contemporaries. Don’t just build a homage, don’t just copy from the games you liked as a kid. Build something new. Take those conventions as a challenge – as a starting point – and create something wholly new from the cloth of the old. Shovel Knight did that, and feels like both a wonderful throwback and a breath of fresh air all at the same time.

The Escapist - 3.5/5

The Outer Haven - 5/5
 
Review from one of my staffers at GameSided.com. 9.5/10.

GameSided said:
Shovel Knight may look and play like an old game, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing. It’s markedly different from anything that large studios churn out nowadays, but it draws inspiration from a wide range of the best classic games and makes something wholly its own. Shovel Knight is easily the finest and most rewarding game I have played all year.
 

Coppanuva

Member
Oct 24, 2011
2,506
0
0
Oh god I am so ready for this. Have to wait until Sunday to play though, luckily I'll be trapped in an international flight with nothing else to do for 10 hours...
 

The End

Member
Dec 2, 2004
5,798
1
0
My review: Shovel Knight has raced past Wolfenstein and Transistor in the running for my GotY award, the Goaty.
 

linko9

Member
Apr 28, 2011
4,500
0
0
Absolutely deserves all the praise, game is great fun. Only complaint 2 hrs in is it's real easy, but I'm hoping that will pick up soon.
 

The End

Member
Dec 2, 2004
5,798
1
0
Ugh, I don't know which system to buy the game for!! Leaning toward Wii U...

It looks gorgeous on the 3DS screen, and 3d effect is used extremely well: one of the ways that SK is "NES+" is that it has multiple layers of scrolling background, some of the enemies are given little foreground flourishes.

Plus is has a neat streetpass feature:

The 3DS version will use the StreetPass to challenge strangers to a blind face-off. You'll record a five-second gameplay clip, which will then sync up with another player's recorded clip. Whatever moves you record will be used to collect gems or whack your opponent, and afterwards you can watch the match-up and revise your moves for the next time you StreetPass a player. Winning the bout nets you gold.
 

Haines

Banned
Apr 21, 2013
8,017
0
0
IL grab it on its first sale due to my backlog.

3ds for the 3d I think. And the smaller screen might make it look nicer
 

Brohan

Member
Oct 26, 2013
1,940
0
400
Is this coming to other platforms aswell or is it only being released on 3ds, wii u and pc?
 

georly

Member
Apr 23, 2013
14,065
1
410
Can someone explain gamespot's review system to me?

The good:
  • Smart combat that forces you to act thoughtfully
  • Varied, well-realized level design
  • Intense boss fights

The bad:


7/10


Nothing bad... 7/10?
 

culafia

Member
Aug 18, 2013
561
0
0
Can someone explain gamespot's review system to me?

The good:
  • Smart combat that forces you to act thoughtfully
  • Varied, well-realized level design
  • Intense boss fights

The bad:


7/10


Nothing bad... 7/10?
Reviews don't work by starting from 10 and "taking away points" like some think. Like most grading systems, it's about points EARNED, not points lost.
 

ys45

Member
Mar 21, 2012
1,853
0
400
Montreal
I am so glad to see those kind of games getting such good reviews .
Thanks to Kickstarters like these, old school genre is getting some love
 

georly

Member
Apr 23, 2013
14,065
1
410
read the words before that part

I know, it just seems like an odd way to present it. Having nothing in the 'bad' column makes it sound like the game has no flaws. The reviewer should have at least put some of the negatives (not that great on 2nd/3rd run, too easy, etc) into that column. Seems weird to leave it blank.

Reviews don't work by starting from 10 and "taking away points" like some think. Like most grading systems, it's about points EARNED, not points lost.

Some reviewers do it that way, not all.
 

nynt9

Member
Jun 7, 2013
10,852
2
620
Can someone explain gamespot's review system to me?

The good:
  • Smart combat that forces you to act thoughtfully
  • Varied, well-realized level design
  • Intense boss fights

The bad:


7/10


Nothing bad... 7/10?

It's not a AAA game, so obviously they can't give it an 8 or higher, come on man.
 

Schobeleth

Member
Nov 27, 2011
3,284
0
0
USA

It's a shame because we were really hyped on it, and I think the reviewer (not me) reviewed it more objectively, trying not to let the nostalgia ride him. He still enjoyed it and thinks it's a good game, as he said multiple times in the review, it's just not earth-shatteringly good to him.

We believe in the full review scale, instead of the throwaway argument that anything below an 8 is not worth playing - you know?
 

Duster

Member
Jul 14, 2010
2,097
0
0
England
Ugh, I don't know which system to buy the game for!! Leaning toward Wii U...

I have the same problem, I'd prefer to play it on a handheld but I don't like buying digital games for the 3DS when another option exists, decisions decisions...