Right off the bat, I must disclose that I was unable to finish the game completely for this review, while I did get quite far it was for my own good. Simple fact being if I had kept on trying I may have A: killed my controller. B: ended up bold or C: lose what’s left of my sanity because “Cursed Castilla” is bloody hard (don´t miss out on our Steam and PS4 giveaway for the game!). Hell, it´s even harder than the games it’s based on (Ghosts ‘n Goblins); Well, it´s either that, or I’m getting old and aren’t as good as the young charming gaming god teen I once was.
From developer Locomalito (a team of one man on a quest of creating new classic games for all to enjoy) His most-recent game being “Cursed Castilla Ex”, which is 2D platform adventure game based on classic arcade coin-op games from the 80s. There’s also a whole bunch of other games he’s worked on which are certainly worth checking out on his site https://www.locomalito.com/info.php
My first impressions on the game were that it looked and felt like “Super Ghouls and Ghosts“. Simply put, all the signs were there, little chap in armour; chests, monsters and death waiting around every corner but there are a few differences both good and bad. Starting with the good, Cursed Castilla sports more variety to Ghouls and Ghosts, sporting 48 enemies and 19 bosses across eight stages all complete with secrets to uncover. The visuals hark back to the classic arcade era along with the music (FM sound of the YM2203 chip FYI) leading to a lovely presentation overall. Considering a one man army made this game, I am incredibly impressed, even after dying for the 40th time, I still wanted for push forward just to see if I could do it, it sounds corny. However, it did take me back to when I use to game with my dad, or well, watching him do the levels I couldn’t.
The bad is a two-way street. As the game is incredibly tough and the need to “Git Gud” is needed here, practice makes perfect. However, it might be a little too tedious for some. While I consider myself a quite experienced gamer (I actually beat Super Ghouls n Ghosts with that bloody gauntlet, so there’s that) I still found Cursed Castilla to be a rather hard title…And it´s mainly due to the fact that some of the weapon pick-ups are useless (The Holy Bomb is just terrible), and that an essential ability like double jump is an item pick up that can be lost upon death!
I feel like it needs to be there from the get go due to some of the tricky bosses than can be incredibly difficult to avoid. Of course if you’re talented enough you can acquire the ability and venture forth without dying, but it’s no walk in the park. I found myself on my 20th continue in half an hour. Sure, some levels are easier than others, but it’s the bosses that will stump you to death. While you can perceiver through restarts, you do lose your score in doing so. There is even multiple endings to discover depending on how you play.
“Cursed Castilla” is as hard as it´s addicting. As the urge to try again captures the essence of what Coin-op games were all about; they were designed to take your quarters and your time. While you don’t need to sink in cash for each continue, you’ll spend plenty of time learning through trial and error, it can be unforgiving and carelessness will be punished. However, the game can be supposedly be beaten in just 50 minutes according to the trophy list also holding up to the developer’s philosophy of being to beat and enjoy a game in one sitting.
So if you’ve got the skills and can prove it, share a video of your triumph in the comment section!
+ Arcade Nostalgia
+ Offers a hearty challenge
+ Variety of enemies and secrets!
– Hearty challenge can feel like the Cinnamon challenge
– Double jump is an item pick up L
– Some weapon pick-ups are useless
Graphics: 5/5 (pixel art FTW)
Replay value: 3/5
If you enjoyed Ghouls and Ghosts while being whipped by leather straps, then you´re going to love Locomalito´s hardcore 2D Platformer “Cursed Castilla” with no doubt.
Title: Cursed Castilla EX
Genre: 2D Platformer
Release date: 11/01/17
Spent time: 1 Hours
Average grade internationally: 80.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: E
Install Size: 121.5MB
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
More by Sharn Daniels: