I like to think that the name refers to the fact that you don't need quarters to play.
After giving himself a swift kick in the tassets, Shovel Knight took up his weapon again and fought to save the world.
That in itself, that unusual ridiculous-yet-serious tone, is a large part of why I fell in love with Shovel Knight. I was able to laugh at the over-the-top characters, yet dig deep enough to appreciate exactly how much was at stake both for the world and for Shovel Knight himself. There's a rich and surprisingly dark world buried just beneath the campy veneer.
The game-play, as I said before, seems to balance the best aspects of many old games. The movement style and eight-boss setup should feel familiar to anyone who's played Mega Man, yet your attacks could be pulled straight from Zelda II. There are wandering mini-bosses reminiscent of Super Mario 3, but collectibles, loot, and buyable stat boosts like an RPG. Though Shovel Knight is a game all its own, there's something around every corner that can give retro-lovers the warm fuzzies.
Finally, the music is nothing short of fantastic. If there were a Grammy category for best chiptunes, Shovel Knight would win it. If you didn't listen to The Vital Vitriol when I linked it earlier, then scroll back up and do it right this instant. Then realize that the entire game is filled with songs that are just as good.
So, you might say that I have high hopes for Plague of Shadows. We don't have many details yet, but Yacht Club Games is demoing this new installment at PAX East this year, so I'll be back next week with the details! Just another reason to be excited for the weekend: so much good news for games, so little time to cover it all.