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Yacht Club Games isn't finished with Shovel Knight. The crowd-funded indie phenomenon is getting a successor in the form of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. The new game premiered during the 2016 Game Awards with an awesome 8-bit trailer.
PlayStation Lifestyle posted up the new trailer, giving gamers a brief but thorough look at the upcoming 2D platformer from the independent game developers. The trailer starts by showcasing the new Specter that gamers will play.
The trailer transitions to showcase the new character swinging across platforms using a new grappling hook, and being able to get to hard-to-reach places using the new wall jump feature, not unlike Super Metroid or Mega Man X. The Specter wields a scythe that can be used to cleave through enemies and cling to walls, which we get to see in a series of small clips where enemies are turned into small puffs of smoke after being swiped with the large bladed weapon.
The Specter also has some magic attacks at the disposal, where we get to see how projectiles can be utilized to overcome some challenges.
The trailer transitions into an old Gameboy gray-scale with a slight tinge of green tossed into the hue. It's obvious the visual mode hearkens back to the days of old when Nintendo ruled the portable gaming scene during the 1980s and 1990s. The flashback sequence appears to show the Specter before they attained their power, and there's a fellow who follows behind. I'm sure the story will delve deeper into their relationship, not unlike how the story surrounding the Shovel Knight unfolded over the course of the game.
We then get to see some of the creative new bosses that players will face off against. They're as big and as bad as what you would expect from a Shovel Knight game. It's still skill-oriented, though. So it's based on learning the patterns, picking your targets and getting good.
They also reveal two other interesting additions to the new Shovel Knight experience, including a rail-riding segment where the Specter glides across disjointed railing structures, and the ability to float around, which seems interesting.
The remaining bits of the trailer blur by in a haze of high-adventure and tense excitement. We see that some obstacles standing in the way of the Specter can be cleaved in half (such as the rolling cannon balls) and we also get to see some of the platforming and enemy challenges that will be present in the game as well, requiring timing, reflexes and patience. It's like a blast from the 8-bit past.
These kind of hardships aren't usually present in today's flock of games. Most titles are made to be very easy and hand-holding so that they appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Yacht Club Games appears to have thrown caution (and casual gameplay) to the wind and have instead focused on making sure that Shovel Knight's newest entry is challenging, fun and memorable. We'll see if they nailed it down when the Specter of Torment releases in spring of 2017.