Prepare thyself, for the Shovel Knight cometh. Today Yacht Club Games started their ship's engine a bit early by releasing Shovel Knight's release trailer, a few days prior to the game's full release on June 26. The trailer is appropriately epic both for 2D platformer fans and huge nerds that can appropriately revere a knight who wields a shovel instead of a standard sword. This sweet, hot retro action couldn't be better captured in two minutes of delightful gameplay if Trevor Belmont himself cut it.
Speaking of Trevor Belmont, fans of retro platformers should immediately recognize several throwback features and nods in Shovel Knight. There's that classic DuckTales pogo jump and attack, deadlier than ever, a Super Mario Bros. 3 map (roaming enemies will even spawn and jump around between movements), and just plenty of that classic Castlevania sentimentality. Yacht Club games obviously has a ton of respect for its predecessors, but really there's nothing like it.
I've been able to spend a bit of time with Shovel Knight (look forward to the review this Thursday) and I am more than comfortable saying that it's stellar in many ways. Through the early levels the gameplay is ridiculously crisp, a mix of Castlevania restrictions and more modern platformer controls that give players immediate response and control. I've had my Medusa's Head moments where I've yelled at the game, but so far even these bleak moments never feel punishing so much as challenging and wonderfully nostalgic. I can't wait to finish the game and share my final thoughts.
Shovel Knight launches on June 26 for the PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U and 3DS.