Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 11, 2014

Email: Shovel Knight

Thanks Master Malstrom for your Shovel Knight review. I was in a fence about getting or not this game for my wii u but now I wont. The trailers make it look fun but all these “indie” games with 8-bit graphics are either  boring full of puzzles and “CREATIVE!” stuff or stupidly idiotically hard and obnoxious to play.

And I am glad to know I didn’t get it. I rather get a VC game. At least those games were fun. Hard yes but darn fun.

I wonder why all these indie games are like this? it seems that they truly want to go back to the NES games which were fun and hard but they always get it wrong. Like you said they get the bad parts and never the good ones. And between you and me, I am tired of “8 bit graphics” games. NES games were great not because of pixel art but because of solid gameplay and rich content. You could beat those games in half and hour and yet keep coming back. But no. It seems that they rather make long games that make you feel away from them when you are done. That’s the complete opposite of “NES-style games”.

Have a nice day!


You are welcome! Shovel Knight is a very frustrating game. It is not that it is hard. It is that it is annoying. The stages are way too long.

It’s a shame because Shovel Knight does many things right. The game mechanics are cool. The ‘knights’ as robo-masters is very cool. Getting money to upgrade yourself is cool. (BTW, I hate how they won’t give you an item in the dungeon. Now, you get a merchant from the chest, and he SELLS you the item. So lame). The overhead map is cool.

The long stages are not cool. The annoying platform mechanics aren’t cool. The boss fights can become very annoying very fast.

There is an area where a Big Fish lives, and he will talk to you. You bring him an empty chalice, and he will fill it up. The problem is that in order to do that, you have to wait a minute or two of 8-bit animation of the Big Fish *dancing*. You cannot do anything during this time. You must watch the Big Fish *dance*. I can’t remember any NES game doing ANYTHING remotely like that. Shovel Knight has a ton of talent in it, but scenes like that reveals the immaturity.

I’d say my game skill ability is above average. I’m not going to lie and say that “Yeah, I beat Silver Surfer NES with my eyes closed”. I hate that game. In fact, I don’t even like the original Gradius because I thought many things made that game annoying. Life Force I had much more fun with since when you died, you didn’t have to restart the stage, and you had a chance to save your options. Both are classics with Gradius coming out during the earlier time of the NES. Both were big sellers I believe. But when you look at how NES games progressed from Early NES to Later NES, you can see some huge progress.

I think indie game makers would benefit greatly by increasing the circle of people who try out their games. I suspect the Shovel Knight developers were all experienced gamers and had testers who were experienced gamers.

Is Ducktales hard? No. Is it frustrating? Only in some parts. For all the hoopla Ducktales gets, as does Super Mario Brothers and other NES games, these games were designed for children. Children picked up Ducktales and could play it fine right away. I am telling you that kids will not be able to pick up Shovel Knight and get into it. They’ll stop very fast.

Indie game makers would benefit greatly by designing their games for children. This does not mean making childish games. Look at the success Minecraft had. I don’t think Notch intended children to play his game, but the paid alpha opened up floodgates of larger pool of people playing his game. Many of them had children.

Excuse my bad mood. I recently returned from the beach, and I’m sunburned. So all I can do is sit inside for the sunburn to stop hurting (when it will then start itching). Perhaps it is time for a game like Civilization to pass the time.



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