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‘Castle Crashers Remastered’ brings crazy to Xbox One

It is surprising when a medieval fantasy setting, a cartoon and potty humor combine to make a great game. 

“Castle Crashers Remastered” was a small beat ‘em up game created by The Behemoth and is a remake of 2008’s “Castle Crashers.”

Crazy is a good word to describe this game. From the art style to the environments, enemies and playable characters, there are a lot of unique elements to this game.

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Storytelling is almost non-existent but the premise sets players on a quest to recover their kingdom’s princesses and a magical crystal from an evil magician.

The core gameplay is reminiscent of classic beat ’em up games such as “Battletoads” and “Double Dragon.” Up to four players pick a character and fight their way through the environment. Players can jump, strike and cast spells to defeat foes and gain experience.

Leveling up grants ability points, which can be spent on upgrading a character’s different attributes, such as strength, magic and speed.

A variety of animal companions can be found in the game to provide benefits to the player. Unlockable characters can also be earned, adding more variety and replay value.

As far as remasters go there is not much added to this package.

Naturally, the visuals have been updated and run at an increased frame rate. The graphical overhaul does not improve the visuals much, but it is largely because the art style was already so good to begin with. The cartoony aesthetic is beautiful in its own way, but is also wild, comical and dirty. One of the game’s bosses is a big ear of corn, whose kernels turn to popcorn when hit and can be picked up for health. I told you this game was wild.

“Castle Crashers Remastered” adds a few new playable characters that were additional downloadable content for the original “Castle Crashers,” but are included with the remaster for free. The two are simply a pink and purple version of the classic knight characters but with added horns and new facial expressions. Their magic is more interesting, as a pink knight fires rainbows and the purple knight summons a giant toad with antlers who licks enemies to death.

The biggest addition is the new mini-game, “Back off Barbarian.” Players are put on a tabletop game board and must avoid computer controlled enemies from jumping on them. It is an entertaining diversion that will cause laughs, but will only generate 30 minutes of fun before it gets old.

“Back off Barbarian” gameplay clip:

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“Castle Crashers” also has one of the most unique and entertaining soundtracks in gaming. Co-creator of The Behemoth, Tom Fulp, is also the founder of entertainment and social media website Newgrounds.com. The entire soundtrack was created by musicians on the site and can be downloaded for free here. 

As fun as it is, “Castle Crashers Remastered” does have its faults. When there are many characters on screen, the game’s frame rate can drop to extremely low rates. It does not break the experience but can be annoying. Furthermore, the interface can occasionally get in the way of the action. A large image pops up when a character gets a new ability, simultaneously blocking a big portion of the action. Again, not game-breaking, but can create added frustration to the experience.

Overall “Castle Crashers Remastered” is a fun update of the original “Castle Crashers” for Xbox One. It is hard to find a better couch co-op beat ’em up game on the market today.

Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Grant Meyer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @GrantMeyerDE.

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