kalmis's Platformance: Castle Pain (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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  • kalmis has written a total of 101 reviews. The last one was for Lume

Ghost 'n Vania

XBLA Indie games are a strange thing. With no quality control the good games get buried beneath all the releases. Such as this. Giantbomb's Related Games comes to rescue here. The nice people who have better knowledge of Indie games have created these fine links. Having just finished the great VVVVVV. The related games pointed to Platformance: Castle Pain.

Game play for Castle Pain can be descibed as a mixture of Castlevania franchise and Ghost 'n Goblins. The sophisticated and gripping story is borrowing a page from Super Mario. Save the Princess. The main hero is a shiny knight with armour and sword. Despite this this he is rather toothless. Only action he does is jumping. Although he does make up on the fact the knight-duder can ride clouds.

Castle Pain offers three different difficulty levels. And even with the easy level there will be lots of deaths. Progress is saved by passing candles which divide the progress in smaller platform sections. Game has also a time limit which comes in form of huge ghost, not too different from Bubble Bobble where the a ghost like thing starts to chase if staying still for too long. This is not really a problem before the hardcore difficulty since the ghost is moving really slowly.

Presentation wise this is a 8-bit game. There is a HD tag in games notes as well. Although I wouldn't really go and agree with that. The 8-bit castle and our hero could be from any NES/ C64 era games. Which I absolutely have no problem with, just that presentation could have been bit sharper. On 1080p the game looks bit blurry. Music is nice chiptune medieval theme that changes depending on the location of the castle. One interesting feature in the game is a Zoom function. Not too different from recent  Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. With a click of button whole castle can be viewed. This is also required for multiple places in the game. Even more on medium and hardcore difficulties. 

Getting through the castle and saving the princess can be done in 10-15mins or depending on ones platformer skills. On medium and hardcore levels the castle is still a same except for more spikes and things that kill our hero.  
This is a nice little challenging platformer. Just feel that the presentation could have been tad sharper and the castle bit longer. Still, a quality game for mere 80MS.  
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