Cursed Castilla Ex is an enhanced port of Maldita Castilla which is a free to download title for the P.C. Having seen ports drop on all the main consoles it’s now time for Nintendo Switch to get a slice of this Spanish action pie. Worthy tribute or shameful cosplay? Read on to find out!.
Cursed Castilla Ex features our budding hero and knight extraordinaire Don Ramiro and his band of brothers who are tasked with taking down an ancient demon who has used tears of the princess to create a key unleashing demons across the land!.
The story is very very basic and is apparently based on a Spanish novel called Amadis of Gaul, the game is very 8/16 bit in nature so there is a basic narrative but don’t expect reams of text and character development. The story that is in here is for one purpose only, setting and excuse, the game is heavily influenced by Spanish mythology, what this creates is a very similar game thematically to the Ghost n Goblins series but with a slightly different spin and some very distinct looking creatures.
Visually Cursed Castilla Ex takes an early 16 bit look, it doesn’t quite have the fancy sprite work of Super Ghosts N Ghouls but still manages to look just as good and is so buttery smooth you can forgive the game for not quite delving into those details.
The level art is fantastic as are the enemy designs, especially the bosses, throughout the game you’ll face some horrific monsters but the bosses all manage to top them with ease. There are a few generic mid bosses but the end of stage bosses are easily the main meal on this buffet in terms of design.
Cursed Castilla Ex has several touches to add to the theme and allure of the game making it feel like something you would of spent alot of money on at the arcade or neglected homework over with a console version. You can give the game scan lines, change the aspect of the screen and the game even boots up like an arcade game, the only thing missing in this port is the screen making it look like it’s running on an actual arcade unit like in the 3DS but that’s due to the fact we only have 1 screen here.
The music and sound effects on offer here are too very reminiscent of the 16 bit era, very arcade sounding effects coupled with ear worms aplenty which will burrow their way into your mind with relative ease as you play though Don Ramiro’s quest time and time again.
So if you haven’t guessed from the screens and what I have said so far, Cursed Castilla Ex is very very similar to Capcom’s Ghosts N Ghouls series, if you have played one of them or seen it being played you’ll have an educated idea of what the deal here is.
If you haven’t then the game is a scrolling action game in the vein of titles such as Castlevania, Megaman or many of the classic action platformer games that launched on the 8/16 bit consoles of yesteryear. Cursed Castilla Ex does a fantastic job of tweaking the existing formula, for as good as Ghosts n Ghouls is, they are very very very hard, Cursed Castilla Ex sees this, makes the game a little more approachable but also allows you to play the game under the most difficult of setups too.
The overall difficulty of Cursed Castilla Ex is still quite high and will take quite a few playthroughs before you reach the better of the 4 endings. The weapons and items you can collect through the games’ 8 stages will also aid you in your quest, from knives that cover a large arc infront of you to a fairy who follows you and adds another attack for double damage, it’s fun finding a new item and seeing how you can use it to help beat your high score and get further into the game before using a continue.
The level design on offer in Cursed Castilla Ex is also fantastic, rather than just following the same formula each level, the game does it’s best to keep you on your toes and throwing action heavy scenes and a varied mixed of stages to keep you fully engaged throughout. The bosses as mentioned earlier are a highlight with this title, it’s always exciting to come up against them and see how well you fare against them, it’s all about old school pattern learning and quick reactions and if that’s your thing then you’ll be right at home here.
There is also a Speedrunning mode for when you feel you know the game inside and out and want to see just how quickly you can make it through the adventure, it’s a fantastic addition and it’s always good fun to see if you can shave sometime off your score and get further up that online leaderboard.
The only issue with this title is the fact it’s readily available on every console by now including the 3DS and this version doesn’t offer anything else really to tempt the money from your wallet. If you don’t already own the game then I would suggest this version if you don’t own a 3DS as the screen really pops out the graphics and the game is fantastic to take on the go, if on the other hand you already own the game then it’s a much harder sale with no additions to make this game the must have version for double dippers.
Cursed Castilla Ex is very much one of those games that will eat you up, spit you out and you go back for seconds, thirds, forths and so on. It’s a tough cookie to crack but the smooth controls, pleasing visuals, adrenaline inducing bosses and fantastic musical score keep you coming back for just “one more go” until the early hours of the next morning