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Concise Game Critique - Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

Concise Game Critique - Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

Developer: Yacht Club Games
Publisher: Yacht Club Games
Released: April 5, 2017 (Windows)
Played on: Windows (also available on Mac, Linux/Steam OS, Wii U, 3DS, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Played for: 4h (played through once)

Mechanically, Specter of Torment might be the best Shovel Knight campaign yet. Specter Knight’s move set  is fun and responsive, and the levels have been designed very creatively to encourage the player to learn to master it. It includes wall running, wall jumping and a Dash Slash, which can be used on enemies and certain objects to quickly fly towards them, giving Specter Knight more mobility than either Shovel Knight or Plague Knight before him. Short tutorial levels for each upgrade in the game are also a very nice touch, giving the player a rundown on how to use each new ability.

This prequel story is somewhat tragic, but there’s enough fun dialogue (and puns) not to make it too gloomy. Playable flashback sequences are an interesting addition; I enjoyed learning about how Specter Knight became a specter in the first place.

The detail in the pixel art and animations is, once again, stunning. The soundtrack is a remix of sorts of the original, which works well by evoking memories of the original campaign, while keeping things fresh.

Concise Game Critique - Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment Concise Game Critique - Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment Concise Game Critique - Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment Concise Game Critique - Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

The movement can sometimes feel a bit slow, especially during wall climbing. The climbing mechanic can also be a bit annoying when you’re trying to fall onto a platform and barely hit the wall next to (or above) it, which automatically makes you climb it. Also, even though the lack of a world map isn’t a huge deal, I did like it in the previous installments, and I kind of miss it here. The upside is that in Specter of Torment, you can play through the levels in any order (except for the Tower of Fate at the end), by way of a portal.

Specter of Torment is a great addition to Shovel Knight, and in my opinion (just like its predecessor, Plague of Shadows), too good to be free. If you don’t own Shovel Knight, you can buy it separately for $9,99, but first of all, who doesn’t own Shovel Knight? Second of all, yes, just like the main game, it’s absolutely worth the money.


spearspearspearspear
4/5 An Ancient Skeleton Secret.


Get Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/589510/Shovel_Knight_Specter_of_Torment/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/250760/Shovel_Knight_Treasure_Trove/
https://www.gog.com/game/shovel_knight_specter_of_torment
https://www.gog.com/game/shovel_knight


Jay Marksman, December 10, 2018


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