Castle of Heart – Review
Follow Genre: Action Platformer
Developer: 7Levels
Publisher: 7Levels
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Castle of Heart – Review

Site Score
5.5
Good: Visuals, Concept
Bad: Controls, Game seems to be underdeveloped
User Score
0
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

We can’t deny that the Switch has been gaining more and more momentum with many AAA publishers porting games to Nintendo’s hybrid console and many other, smaller developers creating original titles for the platform. Castle of Heart is one of those titles that has been on our wish list for quite some time, as it reminded us of a 2D Dark Souls, with many platform elements, or a more go-easy version of A Bastard’s Tale, with 3D generated graphics. With the visuals and the style already being very appealing, we were wondering if the gameplay portion would do the esthetical part of the game justice.

Story

Once again we find ourselves in a medieval setting, which is dominated by an evil sorcerer who is so old he isn’t even found in the oldest history books. This ancient sorcerer has been walking the path of evil for quite some time and now he has set his sights on a small village that lies in the middle of God-knows-where and we-have-no-clue. While the evil spell-slinger usually gets what he wants, this time his evil plans are thwarted by a young and valiant knight, who simply wants to protect the woman he loves. As a punishment for his defiance, he gets turned into stone, together with the rest of the village, safe for the love of his life, as she is taken away by the sorcerer. Of course, as the title implies, the knight’s heart is filled with love, and thus he becomes able to move again, even in his stone form. Now it’s time to fight for love.

Overall the story is simple and slightly predictable, but it’s being brought in a fun way, and the game actually possesses more story content than many other similar titles. Our minds were not blown by the deep and thrilling plot, but we were eager enough to press on and see if our unnamed knight could save the day.

Graphics

Graphically speaking we aren’t talking about the best looking game the Switch currently has to offer, but Castle of Heart does look good in terms of environments and character design. There are many destructible items and even though you’ll come across the same ones over and over again, it’s always fun to smash something. The enemies are a bit similar and tends to be overused per environment, but things do get switched up, per new area you find yourself in. Other than that, the main character does look nicely animated and his moves may be a bit on the slow side, he has the proper momentum a knight made out of stone should have. Overall the game has a certain appeal, the likes a Dark Souls game has.

Sound

The sound design is fairly top notch when listening to the adventurous soundtrack, the grunting enemies, the cracking of barrels and traps that are activated. The SFX department works well with the game’s background music, but we feel it would have been nice to have a voice acted protagonist, rather than a mute one. Safe for the introduction sequence, the dialogues are not voiced, which feels like a missed opportunity, as it would have heightened the game’s experience tenfold.

Gameplay

Castle of Heart is an action platformer that seems to get a bit of its inspiration from Dark Souls in terms of controlling your character. As your health deteriorates with time, you’ll have to be swift enough to go from one checkpoint to another. Of course, you can pick up items or kill enemies to replenish your health, allowing you to dawdle a bit longer in a specific area. If you think the challenge is too hard in terms of combat, you can opt to play the game in the easy mode but it still means you’ll have to be decent at platforming, as there is no easy way around this part of the game.

Control wise the game is fairly simple with one attack button, a button to use items, jump, block, roll and so on. You’ll have a fairly limited amount of options, which is great as a game such as this doesn’t need to be overly complicated. While many people online complain about input lag, less is true. The game lent its inspiration from Dark Souls, and this means that your moves have momentum and that your character actually has to perform said moves. If you press to attack, your character will have to move his arms properly, the same can be said about blocking and jumping. Nonetheless, sometimes the controls aren’t responsive at all, and we think this has to do with poor hit detection. You can find yourself on the corner of a pillar not being able to jump, missing a platform, resulting in death. You can walk against an enemy and for some reason not being able to attack and so on. There are clearly some bugs present, but you’ll get used to the overall momentum of the character.

You’ll always have your trusty sword to vanquish enemies, but the game also has secondary weapons, which either boost your attack or grant you ranged attacks. This is a fun mechanic, allowing for some variation. Other than that, there are items like throwing knives and bombs, but you’ll also be able to collect blue power-ups that eventually enlarge your HP bar.

Conclusion

Castle of Heart certainly isn’t a bad game, but it isn’t a title that will sell any Switch consoles either. If you love platforming in a medieval setting, with enough combat and a Dark Souls vibe, then you’ll certainly have a few hours of fun with this one. If you’re looking for an actual Dark Souls experience, with a decent bang for your buck, you might want to let this one slide by. Nonetheless, we found this an esthetically pleasing title to mess around with in short bursts.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.