Monday 24 July 2023

The Eternal Castle Remastered Review (Switch)

Before the recent cinematic platformer revival The Eternal Castle had already landed on the Switch and the story and mythology behind it is just as intriguing as the game itself. You see, the ‘remastered’ part of the title is a misdirect, there was no Eternal Castle to remake. The idea put forward is that the game is the completion of an uncompleted game from 1987 that developers remember from their youth. In truth, no such game exists and the story is just a legend developed to set the up the context of how the game plays and looks.

The first thing that hits you is the incredible unique style of the game. Initially it is a little eye melting but you’ll soon get used to the faux retro look and it works perfectly in getting across the feel and environment. It’s difficult to describe to those who don’t remember games from the time period the game is supposedly set in but it certainly conjures the memories of the more ambitious platformers of the time. If you can visualise Another World running on a BBC Micro with only a few colours being used at once you’ll be in the right area.

The game plays much in the way we have come to expect from cinematic platformers. Your character takes extra frames to do things, so you know you have to make a slight adjustment to jumps and combat but the whole thing moves in a much more cinematic way. The game is also responsive and sharp so there isn’t much need to panic if you’ve struggled with these sorts of titles before. The main causes of death are due to the games difficulty and traps being hidden in the graphics rather than due to elongated movement.  

Though difficult, Eternal Castle isn’t particularly long so when you hit difficulty spikes you’ll likely want to push through them. After an initial introduction stage you have the choice of facing the next three stages in any order. Each stage has a unique look and focuses on different skill sets. One is a haunted castle which requires sneaking, while another is focused on using guns for instance. Each contains a string of near-constant set pieces and impressive boss fights at the end. it certainly lives up to the cinematic moniker. Once these have been completed and the parts to your space craft collected you can then fly off to the final level and eventually take on the big bad at the end.

In the two-hour runtime the game certainly throws a lot of variety at you so you’ll always be doing something new. It’s a carefully crafted game where every minute of it has been considered and set out to provide a unique experience for the player. The short run time also makes it more likely that players will return for another run through. There’s certainly plenty of law and things you may miss the first time as well so it’s well worth diving back in.

Overall, The Eternal Castle Remastered has both an intriguing back story and is a great experience in its own right. There isn’t really anything out there like it, even other cinematic platformers aren’t really the same. Players will certainly need to take some time getting used to how the game looks and works but once you do you’ll experience an adventure like no other.

Overall 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment