LifeisXbox’s Starry Knight review | Ever wondered what it would be like to walk through the famous Van Gogh his paintings while fighting all kinds of monsters? Yeah, me neither. Still, that didn’t stop Peace Blvd Games from developing a game that is exactly that. In Starry Knight, you walk through Van Gogh’s paintings, fighting with the struggle that he too went through. In this 2D boss rush game, the focus is put on unique boss design and hardcore action combat. Even though I’m the worst at boss fights, this game really intrigued me. I absolutely love the combination of art paintings and gaming that was used in Starry Knight, but was that enough to convince me when I was actually playing? Let’s find out!
It’s an absolute unique experience to walk and game through Van Gogh’s oil paintings.
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we liked!
- Van Gogh paintings | What will strike you most about this game is the art style. It’s absolutely beautiful and an absolute unique experience to walk and game through Van Gogh’s oil paintings. Whether or not you’re familiar with his paintings, I’m sure you will come across a painting that will make you go ‘ooooh I know this art’. I found myself amazed at the sights I got to witness, which made me lose sight of the bosses every now and then, but hey, I already have to try a million times to defeat a boss, why not a million and one times, right!
- Hardcore boss fights | Now, Starry Knight is all about that boss rush all the time. Unfortunately, I’m the kind of gamer that is really bad at defeating a boss, has to try a million times to get past said boss, and gets frustrated because she is no good at all at beating some boss’ ass. However, that does not stop me from objectively reviewing games that are all about bosses! There are a total of 9 bosses to defeat, each representing to something terrible that Van Gogh encountered in his life. It might not sound like a lot, but seeing as this is a hard and cheap game, it’s exactly what you expect it to be. I do believe this is a fun game, even if you very much suck at boss fights because the surroundings are still stunning to behold.
- Grow as you go | Your Van Gogh character starts out with two simple moves: attack and defend. However, you will get stronger the further you advance through the bosses and chapters. Unlocking new abilities after defeating a boss allows you to fight more powerful bosses. The first ability you unlock is crow attack, which means you summon a crow to attack the opponent. Starry Knight offers all kinds of useful abilities, including increasing attack range, jump attack, scream from hell (successfully blocking trigger blast that damages enemy), and many more.
- Different modes | Starry Knight has three basic game modes, but they do very much differ from each other. The normal difficulty is how the game is meant to be played. I tried this one first but I ended up completely sucking at it. So I quickly turned to the easy difficulty mode. This is described as ‘casually walking through the story’. I was able to get a bit further in this mode, but it was still quite challenging. I’m happy that it was because, after all, this is still a boss rush game so you can’t go through them in a breeze. The third and last difficulty mode is, of course, hard. You cannot play this until you’ve played through the whole game in normal mode. But that’s not all. In hard mode, you start will all the abilities from the start and bosses have some new moves to keep the gameplay refreshing. As you can see, the variety in difficulty modes does offer some replayability.
- Controls | I feel like the controls aren’t optimal in Starry Knight. They are very simple: use the arrows to move left and right, space to jump, and then three keys to attack, defend, and use your special attack. There also the option to play with a controller, so that’s great too. However, I struggled a bit with how fast the controls reacted. Sometimes, I had to move quickly and switch from going left to going right, and it felt like the controls didn’t go as fast and smooth as I wanted them to go.
- Luck-based | As I mentioned, the bosses are incredibly hard. Because the controls don’t feel smooth, it’s already hard to defeat them sometimes. On top of that, I feel like sometimes the game is more than just patience and strategy: there is also a certain amount of luck involved. This is where I have mixed feelings. It’s a fun game, but if you add a luck factor to something that can be experienced as frustrating to some players, it’s just going to feel ten times worse.
What we disliked
- Nothing to add here.
How long to beat the story | 4 to 20 hours (depends on how good you are)
How long to achieve 1000G | 20+ hours
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂