Posted by Pip
F143- The Understanderer
Hey, he's the Builder, not the Answerer. Or the Power Point Presenter. Who would worship a deity about giving slide presentations? That's just silly.
This page is our 1600th update! Not QUITE as exciting as the 10 year anniversary but, you know, big round number!
Quick Critique: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows
The first Shovel Knight expansion is out and I continue to dislike Yacht Club Games. Taking a break between locking game content behind Amiibos, porting the game all over the place, and shilling Shovel Knight into every form of merchandise they can, the Yacht Club team finally took one more step towards finishing the game they promised their Kickstarter backers over a year ago. And surprise, surprise, sticking a new character into a mediocre game doesn't suddenly make it good. Plague Knight has a great look (I love the design of plague doctors) but he's slow to the point that it saps enjoyment from the game, his weapons are awful, and nothing about his powers or abilities is fun. The whole expansion is just a less fun version of the existing game. It also just reuses all of the existing stages, so for a game that was already plagued (ha!) by a "been there, done that" feeling, it just seems tedious now. I would have rather had three or four unique levels well-crafted to take advantage of Plague Knight's strengths and weaknesses rather than dumping him into the same old game, especially since I didn't think it was well-designed or interesting the first time around.
The expansion seems to have more story bits than the base game, but they're not used to any effect. Plague Knight himself is the same as he was in the base game so they try to expand Mona's character, but there's nothing interesting about her to build on. She's a boring character with a boring (and oddly frog-like) design so she gets relegated to "love interest" in a totally forgettable way. I couldn't care less about Plague Knight's love life and that it comes with a love triangle that most anime shows would roll their eyes at is just the icing on the cake. Plague Knight is a plague doctor alchemist with a penchant for blowing things up. How do you make that uninteresting? Well, I guess it's not really a question because Yacht Club found a way to do just that.
And this is probably because I dislike the game and think Yacht Club has been really sleazy since their Kickstarter ended, but this is not the "free DLC" that I see sites constantly refer to it as. YC didn't release the expansion for fans or out of the goodness of their hearts; they did it because their Kickstarter backers gave them thousands and thousands of dollars to fund this stretch goal. It's not "free DLC", it's "prepaid DLC".