Publisher: Yacht Club Games
Developer: Yacht Club Games
Shovel Knight is back and it’s ported to yet another console, but this time it’s a brand new console; the Nintendo Switch. I’m going to talk about this latest port of the fantastic Shovel Knight, but I must first talk about the launch of Nintendo’s latest console. Prior to the launch of the Switch I had never been more torn with a system. The $300 cost, no pack in title, and weak launch line-up made for a tough call in justifying the purchase of the system. Then there was the joy con issues, no virtual console at launch, and a few other issues, Nintendo had all the reasons to not jump in on the Switch at launch. So why did I stick with my preorder? Simple answer; Zelda… but now that I have it and I’ve been playing it this past week, I see the potential for indie and downloadable games as a real system seller. I will be more than happy with my purchase going forward with Nintendo first party titles and a heavy flow of downloadable indie titles. Hopefully Nintendo works out all the kinks with its launch and it doesn’t go the route of the WiiU, but now on to your regularly scheduled review.
As you all know, Shovel Knight has been released on practically every console in the past few years, so the port on the Switch wasn’t too much of a surprise. But a straight port wasn’t all the Switch would receive. Yacht Club Games created a brand new expansion, The Specter of Torment, that acts as a prequel and is a timed exclusive for the Switch. The original Shovel Knight was reviewed multiple times (HERE and HERE) for this site, so I’m not going to cover the original game, except in saying that it looks and plays fantastic on the Switch. The ability to play on the TV and in tablet mode is something you read about but just can’t get the full effect until you actually play the Switch. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is the most complete version of the game you can get (it also includes all other DLC that was released) and it is also the best version to play on the TV and on the go. No other system can use that brag.
Specter of Torment is more than what you would expect as an expansion or DLC; it’s practically a whole new game. You play as the Specter Knight who plays completely different than the Shovel Knight, and you play through remixed levels from the original game and battle bosses from the original game, but now they fight with different styles. Being a prequel, you can understand why many of the same characters show up in the Specter of Torment. If you played Shovel Knight in the past, you know exactly what you're getting yourself into. If you haven’t played it, what are you waiting for?! Shovel Knight is the best retro inspired Mega Man style you can possibly buy (that includes the last two Mega Man titles that went with the retro 8 bit style).
Specter of Torment can be purchased for $9.99 on the Switch by itself, but for $24.99 you can get Treasure Trove, which is basically the complete Shovel Knight up until this point. Included at that price you get three incredible stories and varying gameplay for each campaign, to help keep each experience unique. I expected Specter of Torment to be more of a rehash that wouldn’t keep me interested very long, and I’m so pleased to say that I couldn't have been any more wrong. If you haven’t played Shovel Knight, Treasure Trove is an absolute must buy… and if you have, you already know that it’s a must buy.