Review: Cursed Castilla EX - The Hacklog | UK Based Gaming Blog | Reviews | Features | Streaming


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Review: Cursed Castilla EX

Retro style platform games seem to have become somewhat of a trend over the past few years. Yacht Club Games NES inspired hit Shovel Knight was the game that appeared to kick start the movement back in 2014 and was so popular that it got ported to every format you could think of, even the Amazon Fire TV, and is widely regarded as one of the best platform releases of recent times.

Cursed Castilla EX takes the retro-inspired theme of the aforementioned title and dials it back a few more notches to a more innocent time when the coin-op was king. It's a side-scrolling action platformer that is extremely reminiscent of some of Capcom's finest, particularly Ghosts 'n' Goblins and its successor Ghouls 'n' Ghosts. In fact, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were playing one of those classics if you didn't know otherwise.

Taking on the role of the games hero, a valiant knight known as Don Ramiro, you must run, jump and climb your way through the levels while all the time defending yourself against the many creatures that lurk within. Along the way you'll discover treasure chests containing new and more powerful weapons to experiment with, as well as gold coins and valuable food items to help restore your limited health. These food items will most likely be the thing you'll be hoping for the most to be honest because Cursed Castilla EX is pretty damn tough. Not in an unfair, throw your Vita across the room in a fit of rage style of toughness, but it'll most certainly present most players with a bit of a challenge.

But it never gets tedious. Each time you mess up and lose a life it'll be down to an error of judgement on your part and will make you even more determined to get that little bit further on your next attempt. Every continue that you use feels kind of like feeding that extra 10p into an arcade machine. Yes you may lose your score but you'll get to see what awaits you on the next screen. Of course, if you're more interested in going for a high score or if you're just after a much more hardcore challenge then you could stick to a single-credit approach. However you choose to play, there's plenty of fun to be had.

Visually, Cursed Castilla EX looks great on the Vita. You can customise how the game looks on screen by adjusting the level of zoom or adding some border artwork, and I particularly loved the boot up sequence as well. A gentle nod to the arcade machines of the era.

I was lucky enough to secure one of the limited edition physical releases of the game from Play-Asia which comes with an art book and a soundtrack CD. Sadly this is now out of print although they are available from a number of eBay sellers at the time of writing. Naturally, you can also download the game on its own from the PlayStation Store if you're not too bothered about having any of the extras.

Overall, Cursed Castilla EX is a fine tribute to those classic arcade hits of the mid-80s. If you enjoyed playing Ghouls & Ghosts back in the day you'll love this!

Version played: PS Vita
Available on: PS Vita/PS4/3DS/XB1/PC
Buy it here:

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