In a world where graphics seem to be able to make or break a game, it is always refreshing to see a game harken back to the days of side-scrolling and focusing on actual game-play rather than flashy explosions that are relied on to hide the weak story-line or gameplay. Also the fact that it is a Suda 51 game also caught my interest, as these games are always completely insane. This game doesn’t fail to disappoint in that department, but in terms of actual gameplay? It falls a little flat.
If you’ve started getting used to all the Suda 51 games that have been coming out recently such as Lollipop Chainsaw (review here) or Shadows of the Damned, then you’re not in for much of a surprise, because although the setting is as different as you could get, there is still the same basic idea of good vs evil. You take control of the Black Knight and you have to fight the White Princess.
The first thing that really strikes you as you load up the game is the art style. The game is based on a stage, with the backgrounds constantly changing behind you to offer an idea of movement. I really liked this idea, because it offers something different, but unfortunately it does seem to be at the head of a list of games that are due to be released over the next few months with this exact art style or something similar. The Cave and Fowl Play are two such examples.
As it is a Suda 51 game, you expect it to be weird. Weird seems to be his normal. Black Knight Sword doesn’t disappoint in that regard, as the item boxes are microwaves for some reason and you have to go around collecting hearts to buy upgrades from a giant floating eye in the sky. Yep, all sounds about normal for a Suda 51 creation.
The main protaganist is silent, so it falls to the Narrator and the music to tell the player what is going on and this is one of the games strongest points. The Narrator is extremely good and his voice and talking style fit in extremely well with the style, and the music whilst varying from stage to stage always managed to reflect what is going on on-screen..
The game itself is fairly short but the difficulty ratio will keep you re-playing some levels, and not always out of choice. Once you lose all your lives you have to restart the level from the beginning or from your last save point. However if, like me, you tend to not save your game all that often in games such as these, you end up repeating some levels constantly, even on the lowest difficulty setting. The difficulty ratio is one of the problems with the game, the easy setting is far to easy, but crank the game up to normal and you could be sat swearing at the TV in frustration. This is both a good and a bad thing as it harkens back to the older days of gaming when games were hard and you couldn’t complete in a matter of hours. However people who have grown up with the recent era of games will dismiss this game out of hand for it and that’s not particularly fair for the game, as it is a good game.
The gameplay is where the game falls down, not to say that it isn’t good, but it gets very repetitive very quickly. Now I know 2D platformer games don’t have a lot of options of how to innovate gameplay but over the entire course of the game you only fight around 10 enemies including the boos fights. Even some of the bosses get re-used throughout the game. This is what makes the game fall down for me, if there had been more enemies or more levels then I would have thoroughly enjoyed the game. Unfortunately it is just to short and to repetitive and that is extremely disappointing as this is an extremely quirky and fun game.
Overall this is a good game that is just to short and to repetitive, but for 800 MSP or $9.99 this is a fun little game to play.