Chivalry is not dead! Phew. It’s been a long time since I’ve chivalled so when Maldita Castilla’s demo asked me to don armour and beard to fight off a wave of evil in the cursed Kingdom of Castile, I immediately sprang into action. We've talked about Locomalito's lovingly crafted games before and this is shaping up to be a beauty. But what is it? Well, the most important thing about Maldita Castilla is that it’s not Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. The second most important thing is that it’s really bloody close to being Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins.
A knight moves inexorably rightwards, throwing blades at zombies and demons, cracking open chests to find new weaponry, keys and the occasional fully plated chicken supper. This is Maldita Castilla. The reanimated dead are the first things our brave knight faces but the idea is that the monsters, as the game progresses, will reflect the medieval European setting. Mythology, chivalry and old-school action are three of my favourite things. This is Maldita Castilla and it is good.
So far, it’s also Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. Even though the graphics deliberately beckon the murky past onto your 64” 3D-capable flatscreen, they are exquisite. The backgrounds manage to be interesting and believable, while the creatures are varied and fun. One particularly deranged individual ran at me, headless and handless, jumping over the vast armoury I lobbed in his direction. It’s not Serious Sam: Double D but there is good spritesmanship at work here and it’s being used to show something more interesting than a skeleton with a sword and then a skeleton with a bow.
This is only a demo so it may well be too soon to judge, but Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins was punishingly difficult. The level on show here only took me two attempts and I am woefully cackhanded. But it was a whole lot of fun and, despite the apparent simplicity, I think Locomalito’s love of the Age of Chivalry comes through in the design. Personally, I can’t wait for more. I just wish my little knight’s clothes fell off whenever he was wounded. Chivalry demands it.
Download the demo here.