Probably one of the best 4 player co-op games you can get in the Steam Store! (Apart from Left 4 Dead.) Castle Crashers has a lot to offer to those special groups, composed of four friends, as you'll find your team gaining experience, learning new unique moves in combat and fighting to the death of every chapter, all with a touch of humour. This game reaks of Indie-goodness and it goes for a fact that I love that type of game producing and development; Independently made, tying in nicely together, to make a labour of love.
I love the particular 'crude' and simplistic art style this game has. Coming from the beloved artist, Dan Paladin, his ingenuis creativity is best said as beautiful and completely staggering. Every character has a ''comic-component'' to them, including their emotions being presented in that of a slap-stick type of fashion. Interaction with random NPC's and the wacky medieval environments are top-notch and goofy and the rest can be left as fun. What more could be said?
The game's appeal and genre, being in the typical 2D Adventure Beat 'em up section, relates to the classic beat-em-up's like Golden Axe for the Sega Genesis, the classic Arcade game, Final Fight and even dating way back to Double Dragon for the NES. All of which shrouds you in the heavenly past times, while this game adapts to its own heartwarming and charmful stylish nature.
The game's mechanics are very immersive and easy enough to navigate. Most battle systems work in waves; with a certain number of enemies that increase in power as you progress and defeat all enemies in a specific wave, which lets you advance further within a level. Most levels end in with a big boss battle, where your techniques and agility is put to the test, as you'll take down numerous tyrants and beasts, again with all a touch of humour and creative atmospheres. All of this, to uphold the traditional tale of medieval times, where a brave knight will rise up and save the princess, either from that those said tyrants or beasts, and the much darker figure that is behind the game's plot overall.
Not to mention the game has a rocking soundtrack, that is really pushing the name 'Indie' way past its limits. Breaking the boundaries of anything ''independent'' whereas it is an Independent project is a truly massive feat. Every musical piece fits the individual place, map and background so well, and you will soon find yourself humming these catchy tunes to yourself, as you slaughter away vikings and theives alike.
Though this game is incredibly sensational and fun with friends, this doesn't seperate itself from its own fair share of problems. First of all, I find the controllability with the keyboard a little finicky and hard to manoeuvre when you're on the battlefield. Understandably, the game does warn you right from the very beginning that a controller is highly recommended, but it doesn't distinguish the fact that a keyboard is optional and here's where I think a little more work should've been in my opinion. Another problem I keep running into is the multiplayer connectivity. Me, neither of my buds who I've played Castle Crashers with had no internet connection problems at all, while the game seems to freeze, not respond and generally lags while in-game.
To me, this game is one of the biggest icons, to serve off as inspiration to even those small Independent game developers who will hopefully get their projects recognized around. As well as a big Indie-icon, a definite recommendation from me, to those who want a smile spreaded across their faces immediately.