Clastle PC Review - www.impulsegamer.com -


CLASTLE

Gameplay 2.0
Graphics 5.0
Sound 5.0
Value 2.0
Developer: Rocket Launcher Interactive
Classification:
G
Review Date:
June 2011
Reviewer:
Josh Waters

3.5


Clastle

Clastle is an indie platformer game developed by Rocket Launcher Interactive, which boasts detailed 3D graphics and unusual Z-axis movement. The game is essentially your typical platform-jumping adventure game, with the added eye-candy of scripted events as you maneuver through each level. The hero is a ninja named Nero who has arrived at a creepy island castle in search of something important to him. The game is purely single-player and offers a few token resolution options, but only one of them supports fullscreen play. This is a budget title, so players should come into it expecting to get what they paid for.

Their expectations will, at best, prove accurate. At worst, players may feel a little cheated. Clastle does feature passable 3D graphics, nicer than what you might expect from a budget title, but certainly nothing special - the "advanced lighting effects" and "detailed textures" advertised by Rocket Launcher Interactive do indeed give the game some degree of polish, but are simply not as impressive as the developer seems to think. The overall design aesthetic is really not bad, especially considering the price, but the lackluster menus and splash screens are classic budget-title fare and leave much to be desired.

That being said, it's all downhill from there. The sound is about on-par with what you'd expect, with moody-yet-forgettable background music and pretty standard sound effects. The storyline is a little intriguing, but not engaging. Bits and pieces are revealed over time as you work your way through the levels via big signs with diary-like entries. The story is relatively unimportant in a game of this type, so that's okay - but what isn't okay is how frustrating it is to play Clastle.

The controls are simple, and the entire thing is really built around moving from left to right and jumping or ducking. Unfortunately, the Z-axis movement described by the developer as a "spotlight" of this game is merely a hindrance, providing the player with no advantage at all while assuring the occasional headache. Getting through one simple jump is quite often a major chore, as your jump height is inconsistent and you'll often find yourself mysteriously unable to get up onto a ledge.

The level design is occasionally clever, but overall quite ordinary. Checkpoints help to keep you from pulling your hair out, but since you'll have to start the level over after losing four lives, baldness is still a danger. "Puzzle" elements generally consist of an object that you have to use the action button on, and the difficulty is in figuring out which side to stand on when doing it. Okay, so it does get a little harder than that later on, but not by much. Most of the time, Clastle's difficulty is created by cheap pitfalls that you must memorize and avoid. Since the player has no way of panning the screen up or down, falling to your death is the most common way to die - and since the game often requires you to make a leap of faith, it happens a lot.

Furthermore, Clastle is plagued by bugs and glitches, usually affecting the background graphics, but the occasional "floating ninja" and "whoops, I can't move" are around as well. As far as I'm concerned, "But it's a budget title" will only excuse so much. Is Clastle worth a few bucks? I suppose that depends on what a few bucks is worth to you. My advice: skip this one and take your business elsewhere.

Josh Waters
United States Writing Team
Impulse Gamer

 






 
 



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