It’s 2020 and the Playstation Vita, at least as an indie platform, is still alive and kicking. We’re taking a look at a trio of recent releases for the platform today: Reed Remastered, Vasilis and Bucket Knight. Here’s our look at Bucket Knight, which was originally developed for Steam by PigeonDev and was ported to the Vita by Sometimes You.
Despite the name, Bucket Knight isn’t some kind of spiritual successor to Shovel Knight. It is, however, a platformer – albeit a very straightforward one you can get through in about an hour of your time. Your protagonist isn’t wielding a mighty bucket as a weapon, but rather has one for a head. The game’s premise is creatively laid out in the first level as you find out you need to find money (and ideally the holy grail made of gold) to pay back a loan you’ve taken out – all of which is explained without the use of words through emoticons.
The rest of the game isn’t quite as creative, as it’s a fairly generic run and gun platformer where it’s relatively easy to get through the levels and acquire the funds necessary (to earn the associated trophies). The levels are filled with the usual spikes, platforms, health pickups and an assortment of enemies. Some of these are best avoided when you start running low on health, but once you upgrade your weapons they become far easier to deal with.
While some levels allow you to blast through them by going straight for the exit (which looks like a warp hole), others require you find keys first as you open up passages that help you get closer to your goal. There’s another category of levels as well, which doesn’t feature any enemies but requires you to get up to the exit as quickly as possible because a row of spikes is quickly rising up from the bottom. This creates a bit of diversity in the gameplay, though the standard running and shooting mechanic remains a constant throughout.
Somehow the Vita seems to struggle when you start using the heavier weapons, creating a bit of framerate stutter. This is a bit of a disappointing thing to see in a game that looks like it could have been made 30 years ago, and we know the Vita can do better. It’s not gamebreaking, but certainly noticeable. Bucket Knight, as with many other recent Vita games, is a short title that will net you an easy platinum but won’t leave any lasting memories.