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Shovel Knight is a game that brings back the good old NES days. Truth is, Shovel Knight fails to do one thing: Disappointing me. Shovel Knight is not only easily the best game of 2014 so far, but it's one of the best I've played in recent memory. It's greatness can be rivaled with others like Mass Effect and Minecraft. Shovel Knight is easily one of the best platformers of recent memory, too. The Rayman games, for example, were highly praised with their cute visuals and awesome soundtrack, but Shovel Knight takes these visuals and makes it hardcore nostalgic and the soundtrack into an 8-bit unforgettable masterpiece, thus making it far superior to that series to me. They say that "Nothing is perfect," however they also said, "Nothing is impossible." Where am I going with this? This might just be one of the few perfect games that I could've ever encountered.
The graphics take you back to the time when realistic graphics weren't the big thing. Shovel Knight successfully recreates the graphics from an NES game like this and also modernizes it with some new colors and also the amazing animated backgrounds. The characters, and more specifically, the Order of No Quarter, look outstanding. They're all knights, yet the creators were able to make each one unique. To me, King Knight was the best looking of all of them and really went well with his theme. However, they all look nice. Well, besides the Black Knight, who looks pretty ugly. However, you only encounter him less than 5 times in the game, so that isn't much of a flaw.
The gameplay, again, recreates what the NES games, and even games from that time and older did. They had the simplistic controls with no holding hands. Sure, it took a while due to how many last gen games I played since they all hold your hand, but it was easy to get adjusted to them. It also mixes some of the greats, like Mega Man, Zelda, even a hint of Mario. At first, the levels appear to be repetitive, but then you realize that they become more and more unique as they go on, and the bosses were amazing. No one was too difficult at all. There was the occasional rage, but I expect that from a game that wants to recreate the NES era. Speaking of difficulty, this game has been talked about because of its easy difficulty compared to the real NES games. This is true, but like I explained earlier, Shovel Knight does not hold your hand and also the bosses can make you rage when you go against the more notorious bosses like Plague Knight, Frost Knight, and Spectre Knight. In the end, you realize that the difficulty is easier compared to Mega Man and Zelda, however it's harder than the modern games like Call of Duty. It's a perfect balance and I see nothing wrong with it.
The story is straightforward. Shovel Knight had a companion named Shield Knight, who tagged along with him on his journey. However, one day, Shield Knight sacrificed herself to stay in the tower while Shovel Knight could get out alive before the tower seals. Shovel Knight, mourning the loss of his comrade, becomes a farmer and does cheap work. However, one day, the Enchantress, who is the main antagonist of the game, opens up the tower again and the Order of No Quarter, consisting of King Knight, Spectre Knight, Tinker Knight, Mole Knight, Plague Knight, Frost Knight, Propeller Knight, and Treasure Knight, begin to spread their evil throughout the land. Shovel Knight realizes that Shield Knight could be alive in there still, and he also wants to get rid of the evil knights who spread their terror. Overall, I enjoyed the plot and loved the last few minutes of the game. The ending was wrapped up effectively and told a great, yet simple tale that I saw no problems with.
The audio also highly impressed me with the good old chiptune soundtrack, and even had a few contributions from one of the all-time greats known as Manami Matsamune, who made the Mega Man soundtrack. The music is cheery, fast paced, and also unforgettable. The boss themes especially peeked my interest and made the bosses even more terrifying. Tinker Knight's theme 'The Schemer' also made you think that there's more than meets the eye.
The sound effects are simplistic and hardcore nostalgic. You will not be disappointed.
The replayability is very strong in this game. You can play different playstyles with the armor selection towards the middle of the game, beat Shovel Knight on New Game+, defeat the bosses without dying, and go achievement hunting. The achievements can keep you busy and the New Game+ makes it even more rage-inducing. You will get quite a bit out of this game unless you're a one-and-done kind of guy. In fact, if you are one of those kinds of people, why are you reading this paragraph?
Shovel Knight stands out among the crowd as one of the best games I've played in such a long time. Platformer fan, nostalgia fan, medieval fan, whatever you are, this is a must-buy for anyone on Steam and is one of the games you NEED in your Steam library, along with Garry's Mod and a few others. This game does something few games have ever done, and that, my friends, is have no significant flaws that ruin the experience. You NEED this game. You will not be disappointed.
**GANDHI GAMING PERSONAL PICK**.:10/10:.
+Amazing chiptune soundtrack
+Floors it on the nostalgia pedal
+Modernizes the NES visuals