The lights are on
Castle Crashers developer The Behemoth has set up several large arcade cabinets on the PAX East show floor, and they’re offering attendees a taste of the upcoming puzzle platformer’s action. I had a chance to play through several levels, and came away looking forward to its upcoming XBLA release.
While the vivid, cartoonish art style may remind gamers of Castle Crashers, the setting and gameplay are significantly different. Evil cats have imprisoned hundreds of characters, who are forced to navigate perilous stages for their captors' viewing pleasure.
Each stage I played lasted approximately three to five minutes, and they were filled with constant obstacles, enemies, and light puzzle elements. Playing co-op is a blast, as you're able to mess with your partner just as frequently as you'll help them navigate the courses. If you're the type that likes to send your friends into spike pits or into the path of enemies, you'll have plenty of opportunities here. Fans of the bubble system in the New Super Mario Bros. games should enjoy the fact that you'll simply respawn near your partner if you happen to die at their hands.
At the end of each act, players are forced to survive a timed gauntlet that The Behemoth compares to The Running Man. In the finale I played, I had to nimbly dodge lasers, lava, feline guards, and plenty more before the clock ran out. Powerups like wings and a rocket pack helped me along the way.
What's really impressive about The Behemoth's new title is the sheer amount of content in the download. The developer is promising 450 levels, and over 300 characters can be unlocked by collecting gems that are scattered throughout the levels. Both couch and online co-op are available for the story mode, and it seems like the type of game that would be best experienced with a friend. After getting my hands on the new title, I'm confident that it will certainly live up to the high quality bar the developer set with Castle Crashers.