If you’ve never heard of Castle Crashers, here’s the rundown: In 2008, indie publisher The Behemoth (creaters of Alien Hominid) released an Xbox Live arcade beat ’em up that took the online world into dark alleys and beat it into submission with classic 4-player gameplay a la X-Men Arcade and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Adding progressive levels and upgrades at each level made characters unique and the unlockable playable characters, weapons, and orb power-ups made the game a must-play title.
The story is… uh, pretty non-existent. You play a knight with superpowers chasing princesses and gems across a violent medieval wasteland. What? you need more?
The artful animated violence and overall sense of humor of the game is silly and juvenile and fits the style of this flash-based fighter perfectly. The figures are somewhat strange in that they were never advertized in any major way. Basically, if you don’t stumble across them looking for merch or customs, you probably won’t know they exist. Of the four main characters, I chose my favorite–The Red Knight, master of good and cutesy lightning effects.
I can’t believe how many f@$%ing boxes this thing comes in. Makes me feel like singing.
Oh the UPS tag is connected to the package, the package is connected to the mailer, the mailer is connected to the (say it with me, Kids) display case, the display case is connected to the inner white box, the inner white box contains the baggies, and finally I get toys!
There’s a lot going on, but it all serves to protect your toy, so I guess that’s okay.
Sculpt & Paint:
Yup, this is pretty much it.
The figure is small, around 3 and a half inches, and what little detail there is to the character is molded in, other than the cross of his chest. He looks just like the character art, down to the little crease in his brow to show he is pissed off and ready to lay some medieval smackdown!
The paint is good, with little slop. The whole thing has sort of a matte finish and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s paint and what’s plastic.
He includes 4 weapons from the game: a sword, mace, broad axe, and even the fish! They all include painted details from the game including cartoon lining and dried blood. Wicked! The included base comes with holes for each as well as a peg for your knight’s foot. This way you can display the lot together without needing a ton of space, like so:
He is a bit tough to get onto the peg, so I recommend placing your knight on the stand first and then weapons afterwards, lest you break a handle off in the peg hole and lose it forever.
You want articulation? You got… wait.
There’s not much for him in this category unfortunately. He swivels only at the neck, shoulders, wrists, and waist; and both the shoulders and the head sculpts work in tandem to restrict movement. No awesome poses from the game here. But to be fair, this is a collector figure, not an action toy.
I don’t think this hurts quite as bad as it would with some, as too much articulation on an animated style figure can lead to disastrously ugly sculpts at this scale.
So the question remains. Is he worth it?
One thing I sort of breezed over was that all the knights also include basic display cases. They might be simple, but they will help protect your investment here. For 20 bucks you get a collectible articulated figure, 4 different weapons and a shield, a base that displays it all, and a display case to house it.
While I wish it was more in the 15 dollar range for my poor brow-beaten wallet, I have to admit that 20 bucks sounds just about right. Not great, mind you, but just about what you’d expect to pay for a figure like this. And hey, if you decide to pick up the set of four, they knock off 20 bucks! That’s a whole other figure for free! Not too shabby.
They’re pretty much stand-alone pieces, as they won’t fit in with much else in your collection, but I do like him posed with one of the Mega Bloks dragons.
For me, this is a great buy and considering how difficult these were to come by when they were first released (some dude were paying as much as a hundred bucks on the ‘bay, yowza!) I’m super happy I was able to grab him at this price point. If I’d seen the deal for all 4 before I checked out, I probably would have gotten them all. They’re just so damned cute, you see.
If you loved the game, this is a definite get for you and will look great on your desk at work or your personal geekosphere at your crib. If you haven’t tried the game, you can download trial versions of all Xbox Live Arcade games on your internet-enabled Xbox for free. Give it a shot, and if you like what you see head over to the The Behemoth Store and pick one up. As far as I know, this is the only place to get them.
I promise there are few things in your collection as cute…or as deadly.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.