Locomalito, the maker of wonderful games such as Hydorah, has another freeware release that once again probably should have been something that cost money -- the overall quality is just that good. This one is an arcade-style action title called Maldita Castilla, and you owe it to yourself to play it. Don't procrastinate, either.
One of the things I dig about Locomalito is the willingness to be up front about inspirations, allowing players to trace back to games they might have missed. The main one here is obviously Ghosts'n Goblins, but there's also some elements of Tiger Road, Black Tiger, Shinobi, Rygar, Karnov, Trojan and many others ... taking influences from medieval paintings and places, and inspired by the best chivalry book ever: The Amadis of Gaul."
While the jumping gets a bit tricky in spots (I'm looking at you, swamp level), everything feels mostly right, and Maldita Castilla isn't so unforgiving that those who got frustrated by the classics won't be able to enjoy themselves here. Highly recommended.
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