Goomba Stomp’s Hall of Fame is reserved for only those Nintendo titles that can be called absolute classics. Chosen by the crew of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast, these bite-sized capsule reviews reflect what we’ve discussed on the podcast over the past six months. Look for more entries every 25 episodes we record.
8-bit retro aesthetic indie games aren’t exactly new, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that matches the quality found in Shovel Knight. The premise is simple: you play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. This sweeping classic action adventure game takes an amalgamation of elements from the who’s who of Nintendo’s expansive roster and combines them to make a unique and fun action and platform side scroller. Shovel Knight doesn’t just imitate classic NES games from the past, it understands what made them work and finds time for improvement. Shovel Knight is packed with challenging level design, and fun theme boss encounters and weapons inspired by the Mega Man franchise. Its combat system is inspired by Duck Tales, Ninja Gaiden, and Legend of Zelda – and in fact Shovel Knight’s weapon works a lot like Link’s, except the actual combat is more refined. Shovel Knight features excellent controls, gorgeous graphics, a catchy soundtrack (from one of the original Mega Man composers), endearing characters, top-notch level design, varied gameplay, hidden rooms, optional challenges and a world map lifted straight out of Super Mario Bros. If you love 2D platformers like Megaman or Castlevania, Shovel Knight is a must-buy, and one of the most charming and satisfying experiences on any console. (Ricky D)