Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2486 Posts

jdodson gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
jdodson gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Back in 2013 a new Indie game hit Kickstarter that we covered here on Cheerful Ghost called Shovel Knight. We were immediately interested in its hilarious premise and chunky pixel art indie vibe. A month after Travis covered the Kickstarter for Shovel Knight we were able to interview Sean at Yacht Club games and it's a piece that I look back and am fairly proud of (interview linked below). Since then Shovel Knight launched to critical acclaim and later saw the base game morph into Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove which is a collection of the base game Shovel of Justice with every other new expansion game such as Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment included. Recently Yacht Club games released the final two pieces to the shovel puzzle in the all new King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown.

Shovel Knight Showdown

"Duel with up to 4 players locally and scramble after gems, or take control of your favorite character and dig into Story Mode! Master every move, explore a vast array of items and locales, and discover new revelations in this platform fighting game. Note: Not available on 3DS or Vita versions."

Shovel Knight Showdown is one of those game modes that didn't seem like something I was going to like until I finally sat down to play it. Frankly I'm not a huge fan of the team battle games such as Smash Brothers so when this game mode was announced I wasn't too excited. That said, Showdown isn't _JUST_ a battle brawler it also adds mechanics to each stage such that to win, you don't need to be the most skilled person at PVP. When I sit down to play Smash Brothers or Street Fighter casually I get wrecked every time because the skill divide between playing a lot and playing a little is huge. Shovel Knight Showdown fixes this by making levels have goals that don't involve fighting. Fighting might help you on the way to a goal but it's possible you could win by avoiding fighting and simply completing the brawl stage objective such as being the first person to collect the required gems.

Pair Shovel Knight Showdown with your Switch or PS4 and a couple friends and this mode seems like an essential part of the Treasure Trove.

King of Cards

"Step into the gilded boots of King Knight in the biggest and most regal Shovel Knight game of them all! Leap, Shoulder Bash, gather new subjects, and strategize your way through this prequel in your quest to become King of Cards!"

Once you get used to how King Knight plays the new campaign and levels of King of Cards are a joy. It took me a few tries to fully understand how to use King Knights jump and Yacht Club's level design does help that learning process quite a bit. That said, passing over some jumps seemed entirely impossible until I had that "ah ha" moment where I figured out to pass over the first level bubbles I had to come at the jump in a certain way to trigger King Knights spin to bounce off the bubble to the other side. I'm not too far in the King Knight campaign to comment on all of it yet but so far it seems like a very worthy addition to Treasure Trove and if you are a Shovel Knight fan entirely essential.

One awesome thing that came from Shovel Knight is the speedrun community and it's been a treat to watch the various speedruns especially at Games Done Quick 2017 and 2019. I hope one of the expansion games is run at GDQ and because of the fun acrobatic gameplay i'd pick King of Cards if I could flag a run i'd love to see in a future event. (Here's hoping for SGDQ 2020!)

Jake Kaufmans Score Is Superb

The original pixel-tune score for Shovel Knight by Jake Kaufman i'd already consider a classic score worthy of some of the best chiptunes i've heard. With each new expansion Jake released an entirely new OST and King of Cards and Showdown were no exception. I think Jake wanted to close the Shovel Trove strong because the King of Cards & Showdown OST runtime clocks in at an hour and a half and contains 50 tracks! I'm including a link to Bandcamp below where you can listen to the whole score and also download it by way of naming the price you feel reflects the albums value to you. I've personally downloaded all Jake's tunes from all the Shovel games and really enjoy it when his songs pop up in my video game playlists.


The Best Time To Play Shovel Knight is Now

If you haven't played Shovel Knight the best time to jump in to the Treasure Trove is now as the game is finally complete and contains five total games! If you are interested in having a physical copy Yacht Club has released new versions of Treasure Trove with all the expansions including King of Cards and Showdown on Switch and XBox One as well as digitally on nearly everything else including your toaster*.

I want to send a super special thank you for Yacht Club games for providing me a shiny new Switch key to play Treasure Trove with. They've been a really cool video game company to reach out to over the years in doing an interview back in the day and providing us with more than our fair share of review keys and also making Shovel Knight, a game I know many people on Cheerful Ghost love. It's also fun to see Yacht Club finally close the first chapter of Shovel Knight so strongly. The original Kickstarter lit the indie scene on fire and to wrap things up with two killer expansions is admirable.

* - not really your toaster unless you use your PS4's CPU to toast bread.

On December 20th Nintendo Online is adding a handful of retro titles to the Nintendo and Super Nintendo to help ring in the new year. On the NES front players are getting two games such as the classic RPG Crystalis and Journey to Silius. On the Super Nintendo people can enjoy Star Fox 2, Super Punch-Out!!, Kirby Super Star & Breath of Fire II. After the Super Nintendo hit Nintendo online they mentioned that the monthly flow of retro titles wouldn't be coming in favor of a handful every few months and this seems to be the first launch of games to fill that promise. The stand out title of this release pack are Star Fox 2 which originally released on the Super Nintendo Classic giving this game a much wider audience.

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is coming to theaters December 20th and LucasFilm is in full hype mode. As part of that a brand new featurette is out that focuses on the relationships the cast has built up over 40 years as the series finally comes to an end. This short seems like it would be the kind of thing to hit the special features of a blu-ray release so it's fun to see it now.

I wanted to send everyone a very HAPPY TURKEY DAY message! Not everyone celebrates it but we do and one of our traditions is watching Mystery Science Theater 3000! This years MST3K Turkey Day started with a classic Mike-a-sode Space Mutiny and right now Joel and bots are riffing out I Accuse My Parents.

There are a lot of video game sales this Black Friday so chime in the comments what you are doing this Turkey Day and if you are getting anything cheap?

Feast of Gratitude in Tale of the White Wyvern

Make sure you play your turns in Tale of The White Wyvern over the next few days as the citizens of Wyrmdoor are celebrating The Feast of Gratitude. It's a lot like Thanksgiving, but of course totally different! Since we're in the giving mood, make sure to take advantage of those 5 extra forest fights and increased gold and experience drops!


Consider Giving To Cheerful Ghost!

I also wanted to let you all know that if you were feeling giving we launched the ability for you to DONATE TO CHEERFUL GHOST and TALE OF THE WHITE WYVERN! If you didn't quite want to get a Membership (starting at $2 a month on Patreon OR $25 a year) you could gift us a few bucks over PayPal! Just hit the heart and clicky-clack and tippity-tap that donate button. Anything helps and remember, giving isn't just good for us, it's also good for you! 🦃❤️


A bit ago Lucasfilm released the "final trailer" for Rise of the Skywalker that wasn't quite final as they've released other trailers with a few seconds of extra footage and today this FIRST CLIP of the film. It's a 30 second action scene straight out of Rise of Skywalker and doesn't really give up much except that we have possible confirmation on the starting location of the film.

This is a huge spoiler but is 30 seconds cut right out of the film so if you don't want that spoiled don't click play. That said, if you are interested in discussing it do so in the comments.

Lucasfilm also revealed another few minute spot highlighting the legacy of Star Wars linked below. Since Rise of Skywalker is the final film in the series it makes sense they are waxing nostalgic about this iconic series.


"Half-Life: Alyx is Valve’s VR return to the Half-Life series. It’s the story of an impossible fight against a vicious alien race known as the Combine, set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Playing as Alyx Vance, you are humanity’s only chance for survival."

The new Half-Life game trailer dropped today and if I was underwhelmed by the announcement of a VR Half-Life game that dissipated somewhat as this game does look good. The chances I buy a PC VR set for this are low but if I ever were to get one this is the first game i'd buy for it.

It makes sense that Valve would make a new Half-Life game in VR but when asked about if a Half-Life 3 would be VR only they said no. Since this isn't Half-Life 3 that's not wrong but this does look to be VR only. I wonder if they will release a traditional keyboard & mouse or controller version of this game? That said, if you have a VR setup on PC this seems to be something worth checking out.

Oh and the graphics in Half-Life: Alyx are incredible. Half-Life 2 looks good but these graphics are incredibly beautiful.

I picked up The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap in box on Game Boy Advance a year ago and it's in my backlog of games to play. Right now i'm playing Final Fantasy IV on GBA and plan to get to Minish Cap afterward. That said, I recently enjoyed this video review of Minish Cap by Hungry Goriya and if you haven't played the game or want to relive some of the magic you should clickly clack that video play button.

Now that the Link's Awakening remake is solidly out to quite high reviews i'm curious what game Nintendo might remake? I think a Minish Cap remake would be incredible and if that's off the table then a best-of collection of Gameboy and Advance games might be in order.

"The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) is a lovely new take on Hyrule. The story and gameplay are excellent, but with too many things to do and a very linear plot that wasn't always intuitive to advance in, this game didn't come close to topping anything at the top of my Zelda favourites. 🍖"

Luigi's Mansion 3 is out on Switch and Digital Foundry has a compelling tech breakdown of the game graphics to film-like CG. Luigi's Mansion on GameCube is a classic and so far, Luigi's Mansion 3 looks to be just as good. Curious if anyone has picked it up what they think of it?

"One of the best looking exclusives to hit Switch yet, Luigi's Mansion 3's visuals have a CG film-like quality. The push for world physics and dynamic shadows is a highlight here too, taking it far beyond what the first two games could achieve on GameCube and 3DS."

Dragon Quest XI is one of the finest modern Dragon Quest games of late and recently came to the Nintendo Switch. They added a few really great Switch features over the PC, XBox One and PS4 versions including a pixel art mode and new score. One unique benefit of the Switch version is that it comes with a 10 hour free demo you can download! I don't play a lot of modern single player RPG's but Dragon Quest XI is one i've really enjoyed on the Switch. If you are still deciding on if you want to play it check out the attached Digital Foundry review.

Here comes the shame.

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