Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
In an age where remakes and remasters are basically king, especially with the launch of a new console generation, there are some older styles that while we wish we were still getting but unfortunately are not. Coming from FairPlay Studios and being ported over from the Apple Arcade, the gap in the lack of Mega Man titles has been filled a bit more with an interesting play on the Knights of the Round Table as you get to play as either Lancelot or Galahad in this side-scrolling action platformer.
Unlike the 20XX and 30XX series (which are awesome) that are direct homages to Mega Man / Mega Man X (see Mega Man 11 review at DDnet) and Mega Man Z (review at DDnet), Fallen Knight takes the idea behind the concept of getting more powerful by defeating foes and getting their powers while changing it up a bit. Instead of having a gun, cannon, or mega particle cannon, you instead have a real sword that you’ll be swinging around in normal mode as Lancelot. While one could argue that you are just playing as Zero, where things change is that while you are running around with a sword, the sword is just the beginning of your repertoire.
Fallen Knight surprised me in its accessibility and versatility when it came to the 2D platforming style. Instead of having to wall jump your way up, which you can do, you can also simply run up the wall and then jump once you need to. Either that or an air dash. While fighting enemies, you can swing your sword at them but when it comes to certain more powerful ones, or ones with shields, sometimes just waiting for the right moment is a better idea as you can disarm and then take them out in one hit. Much more efficient and offers a different gameplay element than simply swinging at them until they are dispatched.
Whether you are attacking enemies head on or waiting for the perfect moment to strike, either or these methods will help against the final score of the stage which gives you currency in order to buy upgrades. Double jumping, air dashing, stronger attacks, more health, etc, each of these can be bought and equipped to make you more powerful and make the stages easier to go through as being able to double jump or air dash open up a fair amount of shortcuts especially if you’re planning on just blitzing to the end of the stage to face off against the dreaded boss that awaits you there.
These five monsters, six including the boss of the game, will test you on everything that you’ve learnt up until this point and make you wonder if perhaps you shouldn’t go back and do the first stage a few times in order to load up on some upgrades. What I loved about this though is that their movements are unique from one another making you really have to learn patterns and not simply swing with wild abandon like I’ve done in a few of the Mega Man titles over the years. Special moves, moves to be blocked, moves to be dodged, you’ll have to figure each of these out if you’re going to win and it’s not easy.
This is perhaps my only real issue with Fallen Knight. The stages are easy enough but the boss fights are almost stupid hard making you wonder how many times sometime will be willing to die before walking away. In my case, it’s something to overcome, but that’s because I’m tenacious enough and that’s about how I’ve finished Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and more over the years. So I have to wonder if perhaps the bar wasn’t set too high, however, for those loving a challenge, you’ll get plenty of that with Lancelot before moving over to Galahad which is essentially hard mode.
All in all though, Fallen Knight even if it has a higher entry point due to the learning curve for boss battles is one worth looking into. It’s not very long but it does have separate paths for our two Knights of the Round Table as they fight to protect the city and its people from those currently attacking it.Score: 7.5 / 10