shovel knight

PC - yacht club games, 2014-2019

september 22, 2023

i was in the mood to play a fun platformer, and i remembered this game being pretty fun and pretty a platformer. i've played the first two campaigns before, the retroactively-cumbersomely-named Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope, and Plague of Shadows with the stinky potion man. so there are three campaigns(? games?) in this collection i haven't tried and they all look like a lot more fun. i'm replaying the first two before that though, i'm on a different system and no shovel hath been steeled in these parts as of yet

Shovel Knight sounds like it would be a funnygame. the man has a shovel! that's quirky!! but the story is played fairly straight, though it's very NES-simple. NPC dialogue also feels NES-lighthearted? as in snappy and casually amusing, before "writing" in games really became a thing, and thankfully also before trying too hard to be funny in games became a thing. but here i am immediately talking about story and dialogue first of all things because i'm used to playing RPGs on this website

but there is this dancer whose way-too-long unskippable dance sequence is too easy to trigger accidentally. i had to do it once to unlock a thing, then i did it a second time by accident which somehow broke the game so i had to exit out without saving, and then it became three times

only done with Shovel of Hope so far, but this game is just good. i don't mean "it's not great, only good" i mean there's only good in the game. no significant criticisms here! it doesn't try a lot of new things, it just sticks to what's been known to be done well, and does them very well. it feels like the culmination of all the best parts of the best 8-bit platformers. and the music rules. i really "dig" this game! i could play it all "knight". they didn't try to "shove all" too much into it (i realized that's the reason it's called a shovel). see this is the kind of stuff i'm glad isn't in the game

i remembered Shovel Knight being not too difficult? and uhh it wasn't. yeah no i died 69 times on purpose. to be funny

i did enjoy screwing myself over by destroying checkpoints for small amounts of gold, amounts that i would then lose tenfold trying to get to the next checkpoint. but it's a great way to scale the difficulty of a level, and there are in-game achievements for making things harder for myself

if i had one small complaint it's that early on it's very easy to Scrooge McDuck on every hoe, and by the time that stops being reliable there are so many relic abilities unlocked that the shovel isn't that useful anymore for taking out enemies, and it mostly turns into Relic Knight. the only thing really shovely is the occasional pile of gold to dig up. so any shovelheads looking for a shovelgame might be disappointed is all i'm saying

honestly i'm kinda wishing i'd emulated the Wii U version instead because there's a really cool looking amiibo mode? where you can build up and play a "custom knight" with its own outfits and abilities and things?? it looks neat.... i want to control my shovel man.. but i guess being able to trans the gender of any character at will is enough control over my shovel woman, and my Monarch of Cards

lmao i went to get a screenshot of that and for some reason didn't expect King Knight would actually change to Monarch Knight

this was just gonna be a fun casual playthrough for me. but i had to go and decide that i like the game enough to want to 100% it didn't i. i started going through the challenges and for just about each and every one i did, i tried it out to see what it's like, decided there's no way, then before i knew it ended up sticking with it until i squeezed my way through. if i somehow manage to complete them all then i hope by the time i start going for achievements i realize how stupid my efforts are and stop. "complete the game without dying!" i can do it. i can do it if i shovel hard enough

september 25, 2023

i finished Plague of Shadows yesterday. i was wondering if i should split this journal up between the different "games" since they're kinda marketed like standalone things, but then upon playing with Plagueford definitely not it is the same levels with a different moveset. which is great because beforehand i was originally getting started on extra Shovelguy playthroughs for the feats, but put it off because i was getting a little bored of the same levels

i think the original fundraiser for the game did state these extra modes would essentially be a "character select" as opposed to the separate campaigns they turned into, so it's whatever. it's a lot more than that outside of the levels at least, which i was hoping would be somewhat changed up just with the same theme. in fact there's a part in a Shovel of Hope level where he has to fit inside a Shovelman-shaped hole, and it's still there in this campaign but Plaguey just kinda awkwardly contorts his body to fit inside it which was funny

it's interesting how this campaign stresses that Shovel Knight is the Main Knight, considering that, from what i've heard, and probably as to be expected from a crowdfunded game that ended up selling millions, the post-launch campaigns are more fleshed out and just better. there's still the backdrop of Shovelton on his main quest and Plagustus is just sort of sneaky snooping around making funny bird potions and causing bird mischief (i'm choosing to believe it's not just a mask)

even when he fights Shovel Knight (who uses everything in his arsenal beside his shovel because he is actually Relic Knight) it fakes me out after winning and Shovels gets back up to beat down Plag while he's celebrating. he's also the only other knight to drop gold when he's defeated, like he does when playing as him...and also all da other knights when i play as them.. we get it dude your name's in the title

i remember my first time playing this having trouble with the controls. i had trouble with the controls this time also. i don't think i experimented enough with the different bomb types, it seems like i could get pretty crazy with it but i had a habit of sticking with the tried-and-true* default setup (read: tried but not true). i don't know it was usually easy enough to just spamthrow and power through things without thinking too much about "Strategy" or "Playing Well". i do at least wish i didn't have to manually equip different throwing arcs, dude just underarm it instead idiot bird why do you have to go into your menu

this one's story was more SNES-simple. it made me a little sad though because PK wants to poke his coworker with his beak, but she runs off at one point all lovers-quarrel-ishly and her function as an NPC gets replaced with someone else. and THEN -- THEN it does the thing i hate MOST in video games!! where loading my save back up puts me to right before the end of the story, so i go back to the main hub and she's still not there anymore!! lemme talk to her again!!! whatever game's good i guess

back home