Man the ballista! Ready the troops! Prepare for battle! 'CastleStorm' is just that; a game about destroying an enemy castle while defending your own stone keep. Something of a twist on the tower defense genre, 'CastleStorm' combines the physics of the 'Angry Birds' series, the RPG elements of the 'Orcs Must Die' series and the never-ending onslaught of enemies in the 'Plants vs. Zombies' series. While the colorful presentation may seem geared toward younger audiences, there's a surprisingly deep level of strategic thinking required to navigate through the entire campaign.
The world of 'Castlestorm' is extremely colorful and the levels are quite detailed for a side-scroller. It's also smooth as silk. I didn't notice a single slowdown problem when transitioning between hero mode and the main camera angle. Character animations are slick and the physics of the ballista operates along the lines of 'Angry Birds.' The only issue I found with the animations is they often last too long and put the player / enemy at the disadvantage. Basically, players and enemies can't recover quickly enough when cycling through the "I've been damaged" sequence. It seems like it could be a bit more fluid, however I'm probably spoiled with action titles like the 'God of War' series.
The sound folio within 'CastleStorm' is easily the best aspect of the audio work. Due to the repetitious nature of the levels, you will hear them over and over. However, they all seem unique and it does help the player to identify an attack that's headed towards the castle. The music can become somewhat repetitious over time, but it's not annoying. If you didn't mind the title track in 'Orcs Must Die,' you won't have a problem with 'CastleStorm'. My only wish is that the developers put a bit more time into voiceovers. Even just the inclusion of a single person narrating the tale would have been welcome. The majority of the story is handled with text on the screen and somewhat detracts from the overall presentation.
There's hours upon hours of entertainment to be found within the campaign mode of 'CastleStorm' making the game easily worth the $10 purchase price. In addition, the multiplayer modes are a welcome addition, particularly the co-op mode. While you will need to give the game a couple hours to adapt to the control scheme, it's really difficult to stop playing once you've got the hang of it. Also, for anyone into 'Game of Thrones' or 'Skyrim', you are going to find some tongue-in-cheek references that may make you chuckle. It doesn't really matter if you are on the PlayStation 3 or the PlayStation Vita; 'CastleStorm' is a fantastic title on both platforms. If you are into tower defense titles or 'Angry Birds,' don't hesitate to pick up 'CastleStorm' immediately.
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