Nearly a year after Shovel Knight burst onto the scene and blew away everyone with a Wii U or 3DS, Yacht Club Games has finally completed work on PlayStation and Xbox versions. Shovel Knight was one of our absolute favorites of 2014, and one of the few that I’m still playing constantly to this day… but should you buy the new version? My gut tells me “yes,” though with some obvious caveats:
- If you already own Shovel Knight on Wii U, 3DS, or PC, there’s not a ton of new content on the PlayStation or Xbox versions. PlayStation platforms get the always-great cross-save feature, which lets you start on one system and resume progress on another (PS3, PS4, and Vita!), as well as a fun-but-brief battle with Kratos from the God of War games. Winning that battle also nets you some exclusive armor and weapons that make Shovel Knight feel a little bit more like a 2D God of War game.
- Xbox One owners get some sort of Battletoads cameo, and that’s—wait, what? Battletoads? You heard right: Rare’s gang of lewd, crude, acne-fueled TMNT ripoffs are back in action for the first time since their 1994 arcade game, and while we have absolutely no idea what kind of shenanigans they’ll get up to in Shovel Knight, we do have this teaser to hold us over until next week. My face is getting oily just thinking about it… too bad I don’t have an Xbox One! Ah, well. We’ll always have Let’s Plays.
- Shovel Knight is still getting several platform-agnostic content updates throughout the year, starting with this summer’s Plague of Shadows campaign that lets you play as Plague Knight, one of the bosses from the original game. You don’t need to buy anything extra for that content: if you own Shovel Knight, you’ll get it, no matter what platform you’re on (or if you contributed to the game’s Kickstarter.)
So, other than these platform-specific features—along with some extra content for the music player and a couple other hardware specific Easter eggs—Shovel Knight is the same amazing game it’s always been, and I’d recommend grabbing it immediately on whatever system you game on… assuming you haven’t already. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of platform-specific content, as it makes it impossible to own the definitive edition of the game… but if I had to recommend one version over all the others, I’d say you’re probably best served with the PlayStation release, if only because it’s the only one that’s cross-save compatible.
Need to know anything else about Shovel Knight? Check out my 2014 review of the Wii U version.