Castle Crashers is a Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and PlayStation Network (PSN) game independently developed by The Behemoth. Announced by The Behemoth during Comic-Con 2006, the game is available for download from the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Castle Crashers was released for XBLA on August 27, 2008, and costs 1200 Microsoft Points (approximately $15.00). Castle Crashers was released for PSN on August 31, 2010, and costs $14.99. It is currently available for the SCEA (North America) region, but is planned to be available worldwide.
Castle Crashers follows the adventures of four knights as they attempt to defeat the Evil Wizard, who has stolen a large magic crystal and kidnapped four princesses from the King's Castle. The princesses are held captive by different enemies- the Red Princess is held by the Barbarians. The Green Princess is held by the Cyclops in his fortress. The Orange Princess is held by the Wealthy Industrialist until she is taken by the Evil Wizard, and the Blue Princess is held by the Frost King in his Castle.
The Knights, at times assisted by the King and his own troops, make their way through several different environments, and are able to rescue the kidnapped princesses one by one. Along the way, they are antagonized by a Necromancer knight who revives Skeletons to hinder their progress, and also revives the cyclops after he is defeated. After defeating the Evil Wizard's forces and rescuing three of the four Princesses, they finally reach the Evil Wizard's castle. Inside, the Knights must defeat a strange Painter with a lunchbox for a head who uses created paintings that attack, the Undead Cyclops and his sidekick, the Necromancer, and finally the Evil Wizard himself, who fights in several forms. After defeating the Evil Wizard, the Knights ride home on the King's magic crystal carrying the Orange Princess for a celebration. However, when attempting to kiss the final princess, there is a surprise ending.
Castle Crashers is a side-scrolling beat-em-up which incorporates a small number of role-playing game elements. After selecting a character, the player then selects a starting level (beginning with the Evil Wizard's attack on the castle) through the world map; once the player completes a level, they may then opt to start or revisit that level any time. Other levels include stores where the player can buy healing potions, weapons, explosives, sandwiches, or animal orbs using coins gained from defeated foes, and arena levels where the player can fight their way through hordes of enemies to unlock additional characters.
In each level, the player can use a number of melee attacks and combination attacks in addition to a unique magical ability each character has in order to defeat foes. The player has a health bar that, if drained from enemy attacks, will cause the character to die; if the player is playing alone, this ends the level and the player will have to start it over; otherwise, any of the other players may attempt to revive the downed character in a limited amount of time. The amount of magical power the player has available is also tracked by a bar and regenerates over time. Numerous weapons can be found in the game, each having various effects to the character's attributes when equipped. There are also animal orbs that can be found that may help out in battle, improve the character's attributes, or provide another special ability such as gaining more treasure from defeated foes. After a player damages an enemy, they gain experience points, eventually gaining the player a new level. Each level gained allows the player to allocate points towards four basic attributes to improve that character in combat. In order for a player to "level up" to level 99, exactly 113,680 experience points need to be earned. Certain level advances also grant new combination attacks as well. Progress in experience and game completion is tracked for each of the playable characters separately. New playable characters can be earned by completing the game with a character, or by completing the arena battles. In XBLA Castle, there are 6 additional characters available as DLC. In PSN Castle, these same characters can be unlocked at various points in Insane Mode except for The Pink Knight, and the Purple Knight.
The game supports up to four players working cooperatively, either locally or online. The game progression in terms of what levels are unlocked is defined by the player with the most progress; however, each player can continue to gain levels and acquire wealth, weapons, and animal orbs as they progress with the rest of the party. PSN Castle supports local join in progress.
There are also mini-games available:
- Arena mode similar to the arenas in the main game where the player attempts to survive through several waves of enemies (XBLA/PSN)
- All You Can Quaff", a game where players compete to eat the given food quicker than their opponents by mashing the X and Y buttons. (XBLA only)
- Volleyball, a much more extensive version of the game played on the SandCastle Rooftop, up to 4 players can play locally or online, with optional AI for up to 4 on 4 matches. (PSN only)
- Xbox LIVE Arcade (XBLA) for 1200 Microsoft Points.
- PlayStation Network (PSN)for $14.99. (It is currently available for the SCEA (North America) region, but is planned to be available worldwide.)
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