Castle Crashers Remastered is a pretty straightforward update to the cult hit beat 'em up, but that doesn't mean it's any less fun. The PlayStation 4 re-release has been refreshed with higher resolution visuals and a rock solid, 60 frames per second performance, but it's otherwise the same cartoonish brawler you know and love, warts and all.
If you've never played it, Castle Crashers is a hand drawn, side-scrolling beat 'em up for up to four players. Playing as multi-coloured knights, your job is to defeat hundreds of baddies and bosses across a relatively short campaign in order to save the princesses. The addictive hook comes from the simple but satisfying combat, concise RPG elements, and a huge range of stat-changing weaponry to unlock. It's still uproarious good fun, and the remaster comes with an arena mode and mini game to flesh out the package.
Unfortunately, some niggles carry over from the initial release. The screen can quickly become overwhelmingly busy; it can be all too easy to lose your character in all the mayhem, and some slightly stingy checkpointing means deaths can be frustrating. Movement can feel a little stunted; you drop like a stone from jumps, losing any speed, and this is a game screaming for a dodge roll. These issues are more of a problem when playing online, where some severe input lag is present. Hopefully this is smoothed out, as it makes this portion of the game pretty unpleasant to play. Fortunately, local co-op is a blast with friends. Whether playing for the first time or picking it up for old time's sake, Castle Crashers is still capable of providing simple, senseless fun.