Generic? It's anything but generic. Castle Crashers has more personality than just about any beat-em-up, and most games in general. It's packed with tons of content, beautiful artwork, a robust character building system, and more... It's easily one of the best, if not the very best, of its genre. Playing it for 5 minutes and then writing it off is just no good, Tyler Mane. Of course, I also disagree with just about all of Crono's criticisms, so maybe you guys played a different game.
To me a good brawler has quite a bit of feel to it. In older games in the genre, the hits a player character dealt I think should be "meaty", significant such that it affects those hit by the attacks. A solid hit could interrupt an action and put the enemy into hitstun. Think of the God of War games or Streets of Rage (Bare Knuckle) games where the enemy knows they've been hit. I find Castle Crashers
closer to World of Warcraft like in combat: where two enemies meet up and have a dance-off and numbers fly out for approval ("you got served"). I know one can use ice to put enemies in a frozen state or do the twirl for a juggle (even that is more like telling the enemy to translate up). Or one can just level up significantly such that when you hit an enemy, they just disappear due to the magnitude of number in Castle Crashers
. I don't find Castle Crashers
feels right to me for a brawler.
Hitting enemies feels artificial to me because the player character's attacks seem like they only work if you are on the exact pixel plane, not on pixel above or below (with exception to bosses' bellies). Even in old brawlers, like River City Ransom
an enemy can be diagonally in front of you and still be hit if your attack overlaps the enemy's character sprite. To alleviate how Castle Crashers
wants you to be on the exact plane, the enemies have a tendancy to "lock on" to a player's positioning matching the height and even shadowing the player's movement maintaining an out of reach distance for standing physical attacks (so a dash attack or flinging poison/fire/etc. is the option for the one locked on one side, but note the enemy on the other side is still locked on and still shadowing your positioning). One can notice this when fighting one another for a princess (a nod to Double Dragon
) where you can easily miss attack against your friends because human players dont tend to lock on to the same exact plane as one another. This lockon and shadow makes it feel like you got hits off because the game chose to have the enemy hit opposed to the feeling a player making it happen.
Bosses seem to have only 3 points (not areas) of vulnerability: immediate left, immediate right, and their belly. If one or more of the players are behind the boss they can get displaced (pushed) but no attacks work. Also given the size of most bosses, they can just obscure those players' positioning. Common enemies seem to only have 2 (left/right), while all players feel like thier whole charcter area is vulnerable to attack (minus the guarded state, RT). Players behind the boss' fat ass can get hit by them but not vice versa.
For a multiplayer game, the game is kind of cruel in its pacing. It seems to say "either you play this alone, or your friends must have already levelled.". The enemy count nor experiece gained does not seem to account for additional players. So when you start out (lv.1) with friends there are not enough enemies/exp. to go around to just progess stage to stage. This group will have to repeat/grind past stages to be of proper strength for later stages. If one or more of the players are significantly levelled over other players, they either just carry the underlevelled players through or just wait and allow the weaker players to try to gain exp., either way someone will not be participating in playing the game. This could happen with say, the owner having played a lot, while guests/newcomers are starting off from scratch, and here not everyone is really playing together, they are just all holding controllers together.
I wouldn't call the levelling system robust. It is just choosing an attribute to increase, after certain amounts maybe more shards of ice falls, or the arrows go further. It's not a tech tree, just adding subtle increase in numbers, MMORPG style. The game doesn't feel like it gives you enough when you do level up, especially for later, it takes a lot for so little such that it becomes a grind.
I know I prefer pixel art, not saying vectors cannot also be done artfully as well, but I do wish Castle Crashers
would show more life with more drawn animation rather than soulless translates (move) and rotates. It may have personality, and personality does go a long way (like Double Fine games), but sometimes it could just be I don't like the specific personality. ("The owl fell into its own dookie bush, haha")
Anyway, I'm just clarifying why I feel, Castle Crashers
doesn't feel right to me. I love brawlers, and I think Castle Crashers
is on the opposite end of ones I like such as the Streets of Rage (Bare Knuckle) series, Final Fight series, River City Ransom
(Kunio-kun) series, Double Dragon, Guardian Heroes
, SNES/SFC Turtles in Time, etc. That is quite surprising to me considering the game references and/or takes elements from those games. I enjoyed Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
because it felt right to me. Even single player contemporaries of the genre like the Musou games (dynasy warriors) or God of War clones have a feel which Castle Crashers
I have odd tastes in games, I know that. I like games most don't like and can dislike games others do, I may be wired wrong ^^. Many people like Castle Crashers
, it is consistently recommended, but I did play the game more than 5 minutes and found it not to my tastes, and I'm pretty sure it was Castle Crashers
Edited by Crono-00, 10 February 2012 - 12:34 PM.
Again, it was not the quality of the game, but the quality of my friends on why it is fun.