- System: PC, Linux, Mac, Steam, Wii U, 3DS, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Yacht Club Games
- Developer: Yacht Club Games
- Release Date: March 3, 2017 [Switch] | April 5, 2017 [Steam, Wii U JP, 3DS JP]
- Rating: E
- Genre: Platformer: Platformer
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: http://yachtclubgames.com/2016/09/specter-of-torment/
Dimension Jump Trailer
Who it Caters to
Each stage you embark on comes with fresh new elements and so you’ll need to get accustomed to how everything works, in order to take out the stage boss effectively. Similar to the classic Mega Man series, as you traverse through the stage ascending or descending ladders, the camera will pan in the direction you’re headed in which just brings back all the nostalgia for players who grew up in the popular era. If you’re a huge fan of this type of playstyle where you’ll need to come up with certain strategies to win, then Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is certainly the right pick.
What to Expect
An Absolute Blast from the Past!
Much like its Mega Man ancestor, Specter of Torment allows you to choose the desired path in hopes that your strategic endeavors may pay off. Every stage gradually increases in difficulty as Red Skulls become a little harder to obtain, and require a little more effort on your behalf. Instead of blasting enemies away with a Mega Buster you instead use your powerful Scythe to slice your way through and eliminate any threat that gets in your way.
Instead of collecting Relics as you would in previous Shovel Knight games, you collect what’s known as Curios which are your special abilities to take advantage of in battle. As more Red Skulls are collected, you can then take them back to headquarters where you can unlock new abilities which then can be used in various scenarios. One of the more exciting aspects about Specter of Torment is the Dash Slash, where if you’re airborne and see a gash symbol on an enemy or object, simply pressing the attack button will have you dash straight towards them in the direction you choose. This can be used as a tactical measure especially in boss battles because once you’re able to adapt to the patterns you can simply use the Dash Slash to avoid taking very little damage.
Another strategy that’s a throwback to the Mega Man series is that, once you’re actually hit your character is in hit stun invincibility. This means, for example when fighting the boss on the snow stage and you get hit by a snowball, your character will flash for a short period of time and this is where you can run over the spikes without dying. This strategy is so useful because it can help you to set up your attack methods more efficiently, and while you’re purposely taking damage you can always heal back up with your Will special ability.
We often times fell to our death because we just didn’t pay attention to the gap, or there were plenty of occasions where we tried to quickly scale the walls only to fall to our death. It’s not that the control scheme is poor, it’s that Specter of Torment isn’t meant to be an easy feat. It’s not so much a game about rushing, but more a game about proper timing and placement. That in itself is what makes speedrunning look fast and flawless, not the rushing factor. One other great aspect about Specter of Torment is that, at the Tower of Fate, the headquarters itself acts as a tutorial for new players. You can freely run around and get accustomed to the abilities that Specter Knight has while understanding the mechanics behind the game.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
For casual players, this is a truly genuine experience, but for speedrunners or those who are fond of the Mega Man franchise, it’s another challenge waiting to be completed. Whether it’s trying to collect every single Red Skull without dying, or beating a boss without taking one hit, Specter of Torment has every element of thrill thrown into the mix which is enough to keep you hungry for more.
- Paying homage to one of the greatest titles out there is a huge plus.
- Love the character designs and stage layouts.
- The soundtrack is outstanding.
- The game felt too short and perhaps needs more to keep you coming back. Online features maybe?
Honey's Final Verdict:
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.