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[Review] “X” Marks the Spot with Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove


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Developer: Yacht Club Games

Publisher: Yacht Club Games

Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)

Category: Action, Adventure & Platformer

Release Date: 3rd of March, 2017

 

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In 2014, Yacht Club Games gave us Shovel Knight. An 8-bit platformer that resonated with gamers the world over. With graphics, music and gameplay that reminded us of the good old days, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s we just couldn’t get enough of it, only Shovel Knight was not a complete game.

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Sure it looked like a complete, played like one and felt like one, but there was a lot of content that was promised that hadn’t been implemented. Content that is still being added to the game even now. (At the time of writing this review, today is the 19th of March.) Only Shovel Knight has evolved and become so much more than the game we first knew it to be. Now rebranded as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, this is the ultimate Yacht Club Games videogame anthology, as it really is a treasure trove of goodness.

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Only at this moment in time, Treasure Trove is only available on Switch, but will be rolling out to other platforms next month as a free update that will turn all versions of Shovel Knight into Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, which will bring multiplayer mode to a few other platforms, new amiibo functionally and gender swap feature, which can only be experienced when playing the Shovel of Hope campaign and does not yet fully support all languages. (For example, the gender swap dialogue for German still requires some additional work.)

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But enough about that, let’s talk about the stunningly retro and oh so 8-bit beautiful graphic games this collection has to offer. Shovel of Hope is the main story, which stars the titular Shovel Knight, whose journey sees him trying to find the missing Shield Knight, whilst doing battle against the Order of No Quarter and its leader, The Enchantress. A story that has a good amount of length to it and can be played with a friend as co-op is supported, but if playing the role of a hero is not for you, maybe you’d prefer Plague of Shadows.


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Plague of Shadows was the first additional campaign release, which takes place the same time as the main story (Shovel of Hope,) and allows the player to get a fresh perspective thanks to the cunning Plague Knight. As a member of the Order of No Quarter, he has his own wicked plan that he’s put into action and he’ll do anything to see his desires achieved, even if it means taking down those he is aligned with.

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But then why be a self-serving bad guy who isn’t all bad, when you can be a Knight seeking redemption instead? For a much darker and tragic story, Specter of Torment is the Shovel Knight campaign for you, as Specter Knight isn’t just the best character out of the three, but he’s also the most fun one to play as, thanks to his dapper appearance and sick scythe moves. Although if that doesn’t float your boat, there is a forthcoming King Knight campaign that is slated to release later on this year as part of a free update.

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Whatever campaign you decide to play though, each one offers their own challenges and different playstyles, and will keep you playing for hours and always coming back for more and because I have reviewed each previous campaign at length in the past, there really isn’t much more I can really say about this collection of grossly entertainment games that I haven’t said already, so how about we cut out the rest of the small talk and fast forward to the conclusion.

 

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Conclusion:

As far as collections go, it is right up there with Image & Form’s 2016 SteamWorld Collection and just as every bit as good. So because it is so engaging, well worth the $24.99 US dollars price tag, and contains two games that previously scored 9/10 in their own reviews, with another scoring 8.7/10, it should come as no surprise that we score Treasure Trove as 9/10. It absolutely is one collection of games that gamers really need to own.

 

THE VERDICT: 9/10

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