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Shovel Knight hands-on impressions [VIDEO]

This week, the highly anticipated indie platformer, Shovel Knight, was released. I’ve been playing the game for the last couple days and have detailed my thoughts in the video below.

Look forward to a full review for Shovel Knight coming to Wii U Daily soon.

Are you currently playing Shovel Knight? What do you think of the game? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Joe

    Not a big fan of indie I’ve tried many but they don’t appeal to me sadly I like open world games which explains why I liked minecraft but that’s about it.

  • bistricky

    An excellent video review by John Zaccari …… this game looks great and the video review was balanced and informative. Shovel Knight might become my first digital purchased game very soon because I like this game (and the reviews appears to be all positive) but I do wish this game could be purchased retail with box art, as I enjoy buying my games in that format.

    Cheers :D

    • Jonathan Robitaille

      Agreed I really would have loved a retail copy with box art as well!

    • Joseph Oliveira

      Cheaper to do digital purchase.

  • Prizm

    There are a lot of indie ‘8-bit’ games on Steam, but I find many give retro a bad name. A square of Atari-like pixels for your main character is not what I think of when someone mentions 8-bit.

  • Prizm

    I’ve played Shovel Knight for a couple hours and I’m enjoying it. It’s like they took the best ideas in NES games and combined them together: level maps like Mario 3, Megaman-like enemies, item selection like Castlevania/Zelda, hidden areas like DuckTales/Megaman. I’m just a bit disappointed in the music. It’s definitely authentic, but sounds straight out of the later Megaman 5 era…which means it’s relentlessly high-pitched and unmemorable. So far I haven’t heard a tune that I particularly like. I have a lot of respect for the composer (Kaufman), but these tunes just aren’t striking a chord with me.

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      I feel that it has a bit of Wonder Boy in it too. That’s just me I guess.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Wonder Boy. The neighbour kid had a SEGA masters system with Wonder boy. Back then it was the equivalance of Mario. But Zelda dropped him as a poster boy in favour of Sonic. Did they make anymore Wonder Boy after MS?

        • Daniel Gonzalez

          A lot of the games looked better than NES. Had the Master System been as popular as NES, more people would remember it. I had the console. Wonder Boy in Monster Land as my favorite of the Wonder Boy games. Miss those days.

  • BarbieOnWeed

    Well…if we get the fucking game i eu!

  • Rinslowe

    Nice review.
    Not my style of game. But more games, more choices. Can’t be a bad thing.
    :)

  • greengecko007

    Excellent video, and I’m still looking forward to the full review. Shovel Knight is an amazing game in its own right. The 8 bit games of the 80s were before my time, so there is no nostalgia value for me. Just amazing gameplay, music, and content.

    • Magnus Eriksson

      This is right in my prime time of gaming. Felt like a kid again watching this. It looks very well done and familiar, just as it should :)

  • Miguel Angel Barrueta Hernánde

  • Juan Benitez

    I found this on the internet. Not sure if the gameplay is like that though…

    • Madmagican

      The apt description is Mega Man meets Zelda II meets Castlevania

      And I loved every single second of the game

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Change Zelda II with DuckTales and I agree :)

        • Madmagican

          the shovel bounce is more similar to Zelda II’s down thrust because you can’t bounce on the ground (also, Zelda II towns are very similar to Shovel Knight’s)

          I can see Ducktales in the sense that you’re collecting lots of money throughout the stages though

      • palomino blue

        Gameplay is Castlevania and Mega Man. Overworld is SMB3. Towns are The Adventures of Link.

    • Magnus Eriksson

      I think it looks more like Mega Man + Duck Tales + Castlevania

  • Carlos Webster

    I haven’t played it so I don’t know.

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    Bought it on Steam and 3DS. Was worth the money. If you enjoy indie 8-bit throwbacks, this is one you don’t wanna pass up.

    • David Trail

      First thing, that you have ever said, that I agree with.

    • Michael Hancock

      If you enjoy video games, you don’t want to pass this up.

  • Jonathan Robitaille

    It’s a great game and actually pretty tough to get used to the jumping so my sorry ass dies a lot. I got it on the Wii U (relevant because this is a Wii U forum ;)) and it looks beautiful on the big screen. Only through one level so far, just wanted to try it, will return to it when I beat some of my other titles. I think when 3rd parties put in maximum effort they should be rewarded with a purchase so I recommend Wii U owners buying it. Maybe if it sells well it will have a snowball effect and prompt more 3rd party support.

    • greengecko007

      Being an indie game, Shovel’s Knight’s sales aren’t going to affect 3rd party developers’ decisions to bring games to the Wii U. If it does end up selling well though, maybe more projects like this on kickstarter will prioritize Wii U and 3DS versions over other consoles, as opposed to the Wii U being one of the last stretch goals.

      • Jonathan Robitaille

        “Being an indie game, Shovel’s Knight’s sales aren’t going to affect 3rd party developers’ decisions to bring games to the Wii U.”

        I disagree, any non 1st or 2nd party game that finds success on the Wii U will help with the perception that 3rd party games can’t sell on the Wii U.

        I agree wholeheartedly about this affecting stretch goals on kickstarter.

        Games like Shovel Knight and Rayman Legends and Mega Man play well to Nintendo fans and maybe instead of trying to fit a square into a round hole 3rd parties will start making exclusives to reflect that.

        I have a feeling we will be getting an announcement of how well Shovel Knight has sold and that is the type of publicity Nintendo needs.

        • greengecko007

          The difference being that indie games are cheaper to develop, and therefore less risky in creating a Wii U version. The only thing indie titles selling well on the Wii U shows developers is that indie games have the potential to do well. Just like Mario Kart 8 selling well on the Wii U shows that 1st party Nintendo games on the Wii U do well.

          For 3rd party developers to have confidence that their games can do well on the Wii U, they need to see that the risks from other 3rd party developers payed off, which isn’t the case. Shovel Knight selling well doesn’t give any impression that Assassin’s Creed Unity could sell well on the Wii U, for example. But AC3 and 4 selling horribly does give the impression that AC Unity would most likely follow suit.

          “I have a feeling we will be getting an announcement of how well Shovel Knight has sold and that is the type of publicity Nintendo needs.”

          You’re probably right. This being their first game, I would expect YCG to tout their sales and give them, and Nintendo, even more publicity.

          • Jonathan Robitaille

            I see where you are coming from. But we all know the install base is too low and 1st parties tend to do well and others not so good. I think maybe if they install base grows maybe people will pick up more 3rd party games. ZombiU has sold around 700k and that number might one day get close to 1 million if the install base grows to 15 to 20 million. That isn’t too shabby. I don’t think games like AC and COD will ever really sell as the fans of those games tend to be Xbox or PS owners.

            I also don’t think late and gimped ports not doing well should dissuade 3rd parties either. I am sure they can see the forest from the trees.

            “For 3rd party developers to have confidence that their games can do well on the Wii U, they need to see that the risks from other 3rd party developers payed off, which isn’t the case.”

            I was hoping Rayman Legends would have helped in this regard if it had been kept exclusive. They definitely delivered with the quality but delaying and taking away exclusivity I believe affected sales. It still sold best on the Wii U factoring install bases though. It is an abject failure on PS4 and Xbone. Yet, that isn’t stopping Ubi from making games on those platforms. Nor should it because the other games they make appeal to those fanbses.

            Until a 3rd party (non Indie to adhere to your stance) makes a game from the ground up on the Wii U and it is top quality, we won’t ever know how well they can sell. If I have learned anything over the years about Nintendo fans, it’s that they recognize quality and for the most part reward devs for making great games. Though there were some great quality wii games like Red Steel 2, Okami, Madworld, Muramasa and The Conduit that failed to sell…but I attribute that to the wii fad had died out by then and sifting through the sheer volumes of shovelware to find these gems was difficult. Those games were rarely on shelves for the wii fans still playing the wii to find.

          • Jon Turner

            There are also two exceptions for WiiU in Japan. MONSTER HUNTER 3 did well on WiiU, and DRAGON QUEST X also did great overall, with digital + physical sales combined topping at 240k. And soon Japan will have another third party success on WiiU with the release of HYRULE WARRIORS.

    • Michael Hancock

      So, you ended up buying it?

  • David Trail

    Going to download this soon!

  • Juilen Cardenas

    Should I get this on the WiiU or 3ds?

    • greengecko007

      It depends on which features you like best. The 3DS has streetpass functionality where you can do blind duels with other players and is playable in 3D. The Wii U version has off TV play, and the future updates that probably won’t be coming to the 3DS version like a multiplayer battle arena featuring the various knights. Both versions have miiverse support, and touch screen inventory management.

  • Epicstuf

    This is going to be fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun.

  • Michael Hancock

    It is similar to The Adventure of Link, whereas townsfolk will give you hints on where to find items, etc. The gameplay is more reminiscent of Link’s down thrust in Zelda II, than Duck Tales.

  • Michael Hancock

    Overrated?! Are you kidding me?! This game is obviously underrated!

    • Rinslowe

      It’s not my type of game. But it’s great that there’s a broad list of indie titles to choose from, appealing to most peoples tastes.

      • Michael Hancock

        The game technically may be indie, but the quality is Capcom.

  • fireheartis1

    I can’t wait to buy this game. It looks freaking amazing!!!

  • Geoff Hammer

    I just beat Shovel Knight with 246 deaths, 67% complete, in 9:04:38. Far from impressive, but let me tell you that this is the best game I’ve played in a long time.

    Download this game now if you haven’t already!

  • Magnus Eriksson

    It looks amazing. I’ll pick it up rather sooner than later.

  • https://twitter.com/ChadDodsworth Dunkers7

    Finished the game Friday, worth every penny. After I dug into New Game Plus, I decided to re buy and play Mega Man 1 – 4, Dracula’s Curse, & Duck Tales. Its a must buy guys!

    • Joseph Oliveira

      I’ll download/buy it soon. Been playing WoD Beta.

  • disqus_QNIAqtNpHo

    This game is awesome 9.5/10 worth 15.00$

  • Purple

    This game is really awesome! I give it a 10. It’s so much fun.

  • palomino blue

    I spent about 3 hours with this game yesterday. It is well worth the money. This is a quality game. The music is killer and all of the retro references to games I loved are well placed. Buy this is you don’t have it yet.