Black Knight Sword Review
The latest game from Grasshopper Manufacture and the twisted mind of Suda 51 hit the arcade market last week. Having left the side scrolling genre behind with my Sega Genesis, and the combined price tag left me hesitant to play this off color title. Suda 51 was ultimately the reason for picking up this sick piece of art, and after it was all said and done, I can say this, “Yes, it’s a Suda 51 game.” My Black Knight Sword review:
Black Knight Sword is a tale of death and rebirth in the form of a knight. Your weapon is the Hellebore, a demon who grants you sword and magic. Gems are your life force while hearts of fallen foes, and those gathered from microwaves, are used as currency. Heart currency isn’t spent at shops, but rather one wandering eye vendor. No, the vendor doesn’t sell eyes, it is a floating eye. This form of vendor system is very similar to Suda’s underrated Shadows of the Damned.
Black Knight Sword‘s art style is interesting, playing like a form of puppet theater, much like Bunraku and shadow play with deep rooted East Asian heritage. The Black Knight’s design screams Dark Souls while the game has a very classic Ghosts’n Goblins feel, which is appropriate since Black Knights Sword is almost as hard at certain difficulty levels. Since BKS has a very similar feel to 8 bit games of old, the emphasis was put into level and enemy design, all equally as weird as the next.
Black Knight Sword is filled to the brim with the odd and macabre. A side game, if you can call it that, is “Cat Head Grass Theater”. You find Cat’s heads sprouting from pots throughout each level, and watch these “cat pots” dance while you make different sounds, attempting to create jam session caliber music. Checkpoints are rainbow trouts (I think, maybe carp), the head enemies with legs get sombreros in one level, skeletons of a biker gang ride actual hogs with wheels, and a defeated giant chicken boss becomes your flying transportation in an arcade type “maniac shooter”. I honestly could of stopped at giant chicken boss or floating eye vendor.
Black Knight Sword is the Ghosts’n Goblins with maniac arcade shooter flair. You can finish the game in under 4 hours, but it’s not considered beating rather, proving it can be done. The game can be completed under three different difficulties, and then has an “Arcade” and “Challenge” mode to ensure those daring enough will continue to pour their heart, soul, and undying patience into it’s unending madness. While I completely sucked during the Black Knight Sword review, it was well worth the adventure, even though I don’t think I’ll really ever play it that much after.