Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Black Knight Sword

Review: Black Knight Sword

5:00 PM on 12.13.2012 // Chris Carter

Gray, by Grasshopper standards

Within my first thirty minutes of playing Black Knight Sword, I encountered a menu option called "cat head grass," a giant mother eye that eats hearts, and severed skulls in a microwave oven that serve as health power-ups.

Yep, this is definitely a Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality joint.

Black Knight Sword (PlayStation Network [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture, Digital Reality
Publisher: D3Publisher
Released: December 11, 2012
MSRP: $9.99 / 800 Microsoft Points

Black Knight Sword features a minimalistic story, which is really what you make of it, all the way up to the game's unfulfilling ending. Set behind the backdrop of a theater play, it combines this premise with platforming mechanics resembling linear old-school Castlevania titles. There are giant fire-breathing chickens, pig-motorcycle hybrid creatures, and a lot more I don't want to spoil here.

Still, despite the addition of quite a few obvious oddities, it doesn't really feel unique. Everything on offer here, whether it's level design or gameplay mechanics, you've seen before. I don't know whether or not Grasshopper is losing that "Oh my God, it's Grasshopper -- I have to buy it on principle" effect, or if this is an isolated incident, but going in with lowered expectations for Black Knight Sword is probably a good idea.

The art style, while not wholly original, does look pretty neat however, especially on-screen. The best way I can probably describe it is as the illegitimate lovechild of LittleBigPlanet, Rock of Ages, and Monty Python (that's a compliment, mind you!).

The aptly named mysterious hero can attack, evade, double jump, and use magic, as well as utilize a charge attack, and a few other typical staples of the genre. Everything pretty much works as advertised, save one move: the evade mechanic, which is enacted by pressing down and jump.

This counter-intuitive dodge method can be a problem, as you need this ability fairly often in higher difficulties, and the controls are so finicky that it's hard to perform consistently. I don't see why it couldn't have corresponded to a button like Symphony of the Night's back-dash, especially since so many buttons go entirely unused.

Once you actually get a handle on the jumping physics, you'll have to do quite a bit of precision platforming. Truth be told, I didn't really think any of the platforming sequences were that difficult until one small section on the game's final stage.

That's either a good or a bad thing, depending on what you want from the game, but I know a lot of people will most likely have trouble acclimating themselves to the sometimes floaty jumping system. Also, when the Black Knight attacks, he sort of thrusts, kind of like Sir Arthur in Ghosts'n Goblins, which may take some getting used to as well.

But the controls aren't the only thing you may be at odds with. Since you're in a "play," a giant stage obscures a lot of the screen. You can use the right analog stick to move the camera around and view your surroundings, but this might not be enough to work around the annoyance. For me, it was fine. The ability to manipulate the camera while running and jumping was a godsend (and should be in a lot more games), but it still would have been nice to turn off the stage in subsequent playthroughs.

Nearly every enemy drops hearts, which can be used in the game's shop. It gives an incentive to fight enemies, but odds are unless you're playing on the hard difficulty, you won't go out of your way to get them. The shop is pretty barebones, and isn't really needed outside of the crucial maximum health bonuses. It would have been neat to see the shop expanded, but sadly, like a lot of the rest of the game, it feels way too familiar and trite.

Another strange design choice is the fact that there's no autosave function. If you want the game to remember your progress, you have to manually save -- and when you do, there's no notification that you were successful. I can imagine quite a few people glossing over this (as it's only briefly mentioned in the tutorial), and getting pissed off at the loss of progress.

One major thing to factor into Black Knight Sword is the difficulty level, which harkens back to the days of yore, when 2D platformers were actually challenging. While it will probably give you a run for your money more than most contemporary platformers, you have to play it on hard to really get the feel of a true challenge. Provided you do that, you're in for a treat.

For a $10 platformer, there's a decent amount of content to hold you through after you finish your first playthrough. There are easy, normal, and hard difficulty levels, as well as a number of collectibles, an Arcade mode, and a few Challenge missions. It took me about three hours to beat the game's five total levels, including the final "Dr. Wily-esque" re-boss stage.

At the end of the day, there's not much to Black Knight Sword. It's a platformer, it's kind of weird, and it doesn't really do anything new. When I was finally finished with the game's controller-flingingly hard final boss, I kind of looked at the screen and went "Huh, that was nice." I guess I'm a little numb to Grasshopper's tendency to exploit the world of weird, but either way, I did enjoy my brief time on stage, and fans of old-school platformers should too.



Black Knight Sword - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Black Knight Sword

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

Meesa Back! (or, here, or something.) Dev Log #1

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I want Just Cause 2 and Metal Gear Solid V + Peace Walker to fornicate together so we can have a beautiful big open world to blow up and/or fulton. Then I want to build an infinitely-sized base of soldiers, each with their own personalities and stats.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
When SFV drops next year we gotta get some DTOID noob battles on, practice with online lag with friends, be really bad casuals together. We can call it Kanye Night Fights. #Swerve on FNF (just kidding...maybe).
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So someone messaged me on a Lightning fast, comment board that bow they're super depressed. And I worry for them now. Because a comment board is not something to get depressed over, just because someone disagrees with you if your an ass, people will be 2.
arkane9 avatararkane9
Guys, a sequel to Retro City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii! Someone should really write about it. Lots of Dtoid staff were in the RCR after all.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Fuck racism man, shit ain't fair. Can't stand it and I shouldn't have to. Nobody should.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Embedded pictures in Quickposts seem to be broken for me right now.
Flegma avatarFlegma
To my surprise, I've more or less figured out Rodea Wii U controls. Still a different game from the Wii version, but not as decidedly inferior in my eyes. Did the legacy medals do anything in Wii version?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
"Am I a kid, or a squid?" I ponder as I stare off into the horizon. A wise man once told me "Son, you can be whatever you want to be. You are only limited by your lack of ambition " And I want to be a squid. A squid now.
Parismio avatarParismio
Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped!: [youtube][/youtube]
lewness avatarlewness
Gah, wanna go Alexander farming but The Old Hunters ;_;
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Holy shit, Splatoon is addictive.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -