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May’s Games with Gold’s SHOULDYAPLAYIT?! CastleStorm – Definitive Edition

By Lauren McLean

I’m starting a new project.

For so many months, I have been downloading the ‘arcade’ Games with Gold on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with the whole intention to play them… but I never do. Because they’re ‘arcade’ games and, you know, it takes time; time I could be using to do housework (Hahahaha!), or cure world hunger, or just play a much bigger AAA title that I’ve finished already but I wanna search every nook and cranny for details. Honestly, it’s just the ‘arcade’ part of it. They’re games I’ve heard of, maybe, but they don’t peak my interest.

However, they’re free! And they may just be the best game I’ve ever played along with the easiest 1000GS I’ve ever earned. So, for you out there who do the same as me, I’m going to play and finish these ‘arcade’ Games with Gold and tell you if they’re … well… “worth” your time and hard drive space. And if you’re the kind of person who will play anything you come in contact with then you go, Glen Coco and maybe you can just read this for funsies.

The month of May has brought the Xbox One this little thing:

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And let me tell you: if you don’t like castle/tower defence games, DON’T PLAY THIS. TURN AROUND NOW. DON’T LOOK BACK. THIS ISN’T FOR YOU. However, I love them, so, perfect! Well, here’s the gist. You’re the blue guys, AKA, the good guys and you’ve got to defend your castle, filled with customisable rooms against the bad guys, AKA, the red guys, who have just so happened to have built their castle a stone’s throw from yours. Their loss, I suppose.

The game has four different modes: Campaign, Survival, Skirmish and Hero Survival. The others are pretty self explanatory, and since I’m trying to finish the main story of each game, I went with campaign.

First of all:

Metacritic: 69
Size: 641.14 MB
Normal Price: $19.95 AUD
Original Release Date: 24/9/14

Here’s how it went down:


STORY

The game start off with a rhyme (just FYI, blood does not rhyme with stood) about the lands and a couple of crystals on either side that keep the peace. So, you follow the wise and sarcastic Sir Gareth, a mean fighter, as he defends the kingdom, only to realise the vikings (red guys) stole the kingdom’s crystal, so Sir Gareth must go fetch it. Throughout stages, you’re met with fun, quirky and slightly childish text dialogue. It’s enjoyable. It kind of tapered off a bit, just randomly but they may have been dealt with past the main campaign. Either way, a little kiddy, but fun.


Gameplay

The gameplay is really entertaining and slightly violent/brutal. You’ve got ballistics to shoot at incoming enemy troops and their castle. You’ve got your own unique troops who’s objective is to capture the enemy flag and hunt down the enemy… if you want. Or you can claim their castle by destroying all the rooms and stopping the flow of enemy troops. Just normal castle-storming stuff. You’ve also got spells which allow you to play as Sir Gareth for 30 seconds and kick some arse with your sword and bow. I really enjoyed this gameplay, however there’s SO MANY levels and around 3 battles per location. It can drag on after you realise how long you’ve played it but up until then, it was smooth… yeah, that probably didn’t make sense but it’s the only way I can describe it, really. Let me try that again. It doesn’t take too long until your realise how long you’ve been playing. No? Ah, well. You’ll get it.

Also, you have the option to create you own castle and decide what troops you get. I highly advise you do this (there may be an achievement linked to this 😉 😉 ). Another thing: there is friendly fire… so… watch out.

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Castle go boom


Game Time

I’m a very leisurely gamer. For the main campaign, I played for an afternoon and a morning; around 7-8 hours, and that was just until the credits. You unlock more after then but that isn’t part of my rules. I did encounter a few really difficult levels in which I cursed and groaned about for a lot of lives until figured out the strategies, which may have dinted my time. However, here’s the How Long results if you don’t believe me.


Achievements

So in this 1000GS game, I scored 510 just by finishing the campaign, and that was only checking the achievements once to see how far off I was on finishing. Most of this came from finishing chapters and unlocking the next part in the story and some from doing certain things during battle. They’re pretty weighty, too. 15-40 per achievement. I could have gotten more had I killed people a certain way or upgraded more but I’d say that it’s a pretty decent haul. I’ll probably try to complete it; it seems pretty easy. If you want to know what the achievements are before hand, check them here.


Overall

It was fun, it was amusing, it was challenging, it was quick enough, I scored quite a bit of the 1000GS. So, overall, I’d say:

worth it!

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