March 18, 2019 at 10:27 PM #1267
Castle Crashers Remastered
Rating: 1.5 – Bad
A minor patch you can get for free if you own the original… if you hurry, that is.
This is a review of the remaster and not the game itself.
As someone who has played this before on 360 and PC, there isn’t anything worth coming back for here. The only genuine improvement over the PC version is the 60fps. I don’t care for the new mode. They said the online was improved, I’m not sure if they just mean it finds people easier or what, as it’s as laggy and unenjoyable as it’s ever been. I’m on an Open NAT with a 60mbit connection, and when I host I get input delay. That’s right, as *host* on a P2P game, *I* get input delay. This doesn’t make any sense. I get *why* it’s happening (clients who lag lag everyone else so the game stays synced, instead of just lagging them out and ruining *their* experience, they’ve designed it so their bad connection ruins the experience for everyone else in the game), but it doesn’t make any sense to build it this way.
The online would also be better if you could just start a game and have people drop in and out as you play, like quarter-driven arcade games. Instead you always have to search for a new match if you want to find more people (say you had a room of 4 but 2 left – if you want to go back to 4, you need to leave your game and start a search), you don’t get to see your connection rating to individual hosts, it just slaps you into the first game it finds and if it’s a crap connection you stay and deal or leave and hope it gives you something better. Everyone can steer the guy on the world map which makes for some hectic level choosing, Player 1 should be the only one in charge of it. Whatever they did do to improve the multiplayer experience in Remastered was negligible because I see no improvement. Online is still so bad that I couldn’t be bothered with it for more than fifteen minutes, which is too bad because coop is the only way this game shines.
CC still doesn’t make use of surround setups. I’m not asking for channel-panning 5.1 sound effects but they could’ve at least done something simple like put the sound effects in the front speaks and music in the rear. That alone would’ve dramatically improved sound quality, it makes better use of space for those of us that have it, but nope, I have a 5.1 setup and even this Remastered version still leaves me on a 2.1.
1920×1080 resolution is a first for console users but if I’m being completely honest it doesn’t look *that* much better than the 1280×720 360 version, nor do the 5x texture sizes stand out. It’s just due to the nature of the visuals, it sounds like a huge bump but it’s a pretty minor visual increase, and both are easy to do. The 1920×1080 is hardware dependent not software, that was an easy toggle for them to make, as was 5x texture size, they likely just took the source uncompressed textures and dumped those in. The game is still under 300mb so overall that should really show how little of a quality improvement this actually is, though it makes for a good tag in trailers.
The 60fps is inarguably nice though, but again this is more hardware dependent than software. Unless they had the original game timings set up to only run on 30fps (games that are designed this way literally break when pushed beyond the cap, I doubt the original was designed this way), this would’ve been an easy thing to introduce as well.
Really all the improvements made here have everything to do with a system upgrade and outside of the added game mode, next to nothing to do with any elbow-grease on Behemoth’s end.
I got this upgrade for free, which is nice, I mean they could’ve been like any other company making remasters on XB1 where even if you own the original you have to pay full price, or they could’ve charged but provided a discount for owners of the 360 version (which is how it’s going to go once this promotion has passed – I don’t know why it has to end to be perfectly honest). But the fact remains that even if they charged for this, as someone who owned the original version it wouldn’t be something worth paying for. The upgrades are minimal and honestly pretty easy to do, this is what a patch for a Blizzard PC game would do.
Overall the remaster experience is incredibly middling, and it’s largely due to the poor online support. A three mainly due to multiplayer issues may seem pretty harsh, but considering this needs solid multiplayer in order to be enjoyable, they really dropped the ball here. Also gets docked points for eventually being a $5 patch. This is something I extend to all "remasters" that are just performance patches, part of your investment is ongoing game support. If they really wanted to charge existing owners for this at *any* point they should’ve thrown in an extra world, something beefier than a throwaway mode. As it is this is, again, just a minor performance patch so 360 CC owners can take advantage of their XB1 hardware. You don’t need to re-buy software to boost your resolution, texture size and FPS in an old PC game after spending hundreds upgrading your hardware, I have no idea why people are accepting this with console titles.
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