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09/05/2011 Artistic Novel Gamer Podcast
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Castle Crashers PSN

Castle Crashers



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A recently discovered epic poem tells the story of four knights and their desperate quest to find entertainment. Based on Castle Crashers for Playstation 3 available through PSN.

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The Tragedye of Sir Slapsalot or A Hard Day's Knight

The Prologue

Come, gentle folk all and let me tell thee
of a story, most joyous in display
and yet at its heart bears a moral true.
Four knights, alike in nature but not craft
set out upon a quest of Royal suit;
Green, Orange, Red and Blue upon their breasts,
they set forth into a land most darkly
form'd to rescue the kingdom's lady folk.
Cruelly snatch'd they were from the castle keep
and taken by goblins into the deep.

Thereupon, beset by fiercest tyrant....

*cough cough*

Look, do you mind if I leave out the gab?
It's hard enough to relate a story
of four knights kicking butt to save the day
without having to do the 'special' voice
which is mainly reservèd for tourists
and those who wish to see their way around
the haunted towers and waxwork dungeons
upon which British tourism does survive?
Fine? My thanks for your pains. Sorry! Habit!

Act I

As I say, my tale begins with the knights
enjoying some revelry in the bar.
All of a sudden, goblins beset the
castle and make off with the finest girls.
The king straight'way orders war to unfold
and these four knights take it upon themselves
to travel the land, slay goblins and win
back the ladies and, I guess, earn their love.
It is an intriguing quest for up to
four heroes can travel in co-op mode.

The quest begins well, and you will see from
the daubings which accompany my tale
that the knights are very beautiful forms
and the lands most wonderfully render'd.
Alongside the heroes rides a minstrel
unseen. A musical faery who 'does'
the songs in the background which set the pace
and which makes most effective atmosphere.
As a piece of art I cannot deny:
this tale is pleasing upon ear and eye.

On my journey the Green Knight takes the lead.
"Come, my brothers," he declares to the rest,
"we shall rid this land of the pestilence
that the goblins have caus'd with their evil."
The Blue Knight concurr'd. "Perhaps we," he said
"shall impress the princesses so greatly
that at last we might rid ourselves of our
armour and weapons of war for a time.
On that day we might even stand a chance
of getting our rocks off... I mean romance!"

The Orange Knight consider'd this mission
for he had long been looking for a quest
which could be undertaken by more than
one knight always questing on his lonesome.
"Co-op sounds fun!" Orange declar'd loudly,
"Like the fun we had with Worms World Party?"
The Blue Knight was in agreement with all:
"we shall head out together, for is there
a more certain chance of great adventure
than playing a game that many can share?"

Act II

The band of knights, led by Sir Green, went forth
and whereever they met the goblin horde
they struck out against them with shield and sword
and hack'd and hack'd until bloody, they fell.
The enemy were truly great in numb'r
and it felt like the fight took forever.
They had little other strategy than
to keep chopping until each goblin died.
Yet more enemies came upon the scene
and still they fought Red, Blue, Orange and Green.

The Blue Knight looked sad and cried out aloud,
"Surely there must be more to our questing?
I tried using magic to mix it up,
but it did not seem to add much of depth?"
Orange agreed, "I'm finding this myself,
enemies simply come and we kill them;
there doesn't seem to be much else to do."
"There's just no fun strategy," Red declar'd,
The knights grew tired and complain'd of their lot.
Blue said, "Is this all that this quest has got?"

Sir Green tried to rally them and show them
this quest was fun and was worth persevering.
"There's animal friends to find and collect
and a volleyball subgame we could try?"
As offerèd, they tried finding creatures
and tried to eke some fun from the features.
But all was lost and the knights were disgruntl'd
by their quests lack of depth. The animal
sub-game really just added combat buffs
and help'd to find items hidden in tufts.

The Volleyball subgame sufferèd much
the same faults as the combat as it felt
like the main game: all mashing and no depth.
The knights gave up in spite of Green's prompting
to just try some more and see if it grows
into an adventure of epic fun.
There does not seem to be anything here
on this quest which I could commend to you,
dear listener: and all that does remain
is to hear the choice that the knights declaim.


"This is all your fault," the Knights' accus'd Green,
"believ'd we did that we were on a great
quest to test our strength and give us great laughs
as we all venturèd out in co-op.
All that we were gi'en to do was hit stuff:
hit stuff over and over and over."
Sir Green did protest, "I though that was fun!
You had a good time when we played S'rious sam.
Surely a quest with an arcade-style bent
should be cause for joy and never lament?"

The other three knights did give this some thought.
It was true that there were many a quest
which did not require more than hack and slash.
Blue thought of Gauntlet, Orange of Baldur
and Red remember'd the joy of Batman.
"Yet each of those games," came response from Blue,
"going from Uncharted back to Doom II
offer'd a wider strategy to use.
Killing waves is only fun if they're weak
and challenge the player through weight of foes"

"Harder enemies can be fun as well,"
was th'argument that came from Sir Orange,
"when you have to employ many game skills
and take diff'rent steps to earning a kill."
Red stepp'd in sharply, "but these enemies
require neither a light nor strategic
approach to dispatch them, only through time
spent hacking and slapping them to defeat.
All that is kill'd in this sport is the pace
and boring it is to finish the race."

They set down Sir Green and bid him to kneel
upon the hard ground in front of them all
and declar'd as a group they would dub him
once more with a name that befit well.
"E'er since we were made to spend our last quest
mashing of buttons without any rest
we dub you Sir Slapsalot in the hope
other folk may avoid our fate today.
They raised high his sword and struck off his head
and Green fell to the floor: totally dead.


I hope that my tale does serve as good cause
to think and be careful of assuming
that a quest that offers four-way co-op
is guaranteed to provide heaps of fun.
So be careful if you play this with friends
they may change your name and wish for your end.
Closing, I'd say to have fun with a group
You're better with LittleBigPlanet 2.
It has great co-op and fun for four play'rs
and offers a challenge on many lay'rs.

Written by Chris Jarvis

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Chris Jarvis writes the Novel Gamer column.

"I write stories to say what I think about games, for me it's the only way I can really communicate what I feel about them. Do you ever have a response to something that's hard to put into words? I find that sometimes I have something to express that can't be communicated by trying to explain how I feel, directly."

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