In the Crosshairs – Shovel Knight

Every now and then, there’s an announcement of the release of a new Nintendo 3DS game that I’m considering to add to my collection. This series of articles will cover share my thoughts on these new Nintendo 3DS game announcements and so I can share why they got my attention in the first place. Today, I’m going to talk about the physical edition of Shovel Knight.


Shovel Knight actually came out for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U last June 2014, and versions for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita were eventually released early this year. Despite the critical acclaim that this game received, I never paid it much attention due to this being a digital-only release. However, Yacht Club Games (the developers/publishers) announced that they would be releasing Shovel Knight in a physical format so I started looking up some information about it. And boy, I’m quite interested.

Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scrolling platforming game with a main selling point of being a throwback to the 8-bit classic era platform gaming. Now let me be honest – I no longer find platforming games as entertaining as I did back when I was younger, and I also don’t appreciate 8-bit graphics all that much now. But it’s hard for me to ignore all the positive reviews that Shovel Knight has been getting. I mean, take a peek over at Metacritic for their All-Time 3DS rankings and you’ll see that Shovel Knight is fourth on that list:

metacritic rankings

Shovel Knight ranks even higher over at Game Rankings, at second place. By their consolidation, there’s only one other 3DS game that’s better than Shovel Knight. That’s impressive, right?

Beyond review scores and the positive critical acclaim, I like how Shovel Knight is a nod to the 8-bit era of video games without actually being 8-bit. Well, I’m not really sure if the game is 8-bit, but it certainly looks better than any 8-bit video game that I’ve seen even if it utilizes pixel art. Check out this picture right here:

shovel knight screenshot 2


A friend of mine who has a copy of the game let me try it out, and Shovel Knight looks as awesome in person as it does in the image above. As proven by some of the recent 3D enhanced remakes of older 8-bit and 16-bit games, 3D works really well in adding another dimension (pun intended) to the visuals of 2D games. The gameplay reminded me of notable platforming NES classics like Castlevania, Metroid, Mega Man and more importantly Duck Tales – a game that I wasn’t able to play enough of back then. I’m no longer as entertained by platforming games as I was when I was younger, but there’s still something more to this physical release that is really getting my attention.

First, the MSRP was originally announced by Yacht Club Games to be at just $19.99 but earlier this week, Nintendo announced that versions for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS would be sold at $24.99. For reference, 3DS games usually priced somewhere between $29.99-$39.99 on release – so the price is quite attractive relative to the usual rates.

Second, the physical edition will contain not only the full version of Shovel Knight but also the Plague of Shadows DLC and an additional Challenge mode as well. One can argue that you can get the same content from a less expensive digital purchase, but quite frankly I love the fact that I don’t need to free up memory card space for the full Shovel Knight game and the Plague of Shadows DLC. I love that all these content comes in the physical cartridge, allowing me to play it on multiple 3DS units.

Shovel Knight, according to a lot of different people, is a really good game. Now that it’s getting a physical release, I can’t help but not consider supporting its developers and adding a copy to my collection. This is scheduled for release in October of this year, and I definitely have my eyes open for any updates regarding its release.


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