I love Castle Crashers. Not as much as these fools, but it was definitely worth the almost $20 price. The music is a tad bland, but I've also been playing a lot of Scott Pilgrim, and the music in that game kicks a lot of ass.
This game is what, 2 years old? It was first released on Microsoft's XBox awhile back and has been in development for the PS3 for a long long time. As of this past Tuesday the game was finally released. I played the demo cooperatively with my brother and made the purchase shortly thereafter.
You choose from 1 of 4 characters at the start, each with varying abilities. I had no idea from the outset, but there are 26 playable characters. That's a lot of characters. Most are unlocked by playing the game with various characters which is a great unlock system. You try out the new characters, then unlock some more just for playing.
Ice, Fire, Lightning, and Poison are the ability types for each of the 4 starting knights. You can level up your magic power as you gain experience with stat points to distribute. It's a pretty basic (although familiar) system and it works quite well. Especially considering I had no idea the levels would go up so high. My brother Eli and I are currently at around level 27. Scott Pilgrim (which is a similar styled game, although not as big in scope as Castle Crashers) has the level cap set at 16, and I expected something similar. I'm not sure how far the levels go, but I'm guessing 30 (Edit: Since writing this I've seen level 99 characters), which is damn awesome considering there are 26 characters to level up fully.
Each character can also have a unique pet that follows them around. There seems to be plenty of different types of critters to collect. Some help you move on different terrain, while others can give you more EXP from enemies or raise stats. Some also attack the enemies in different ways, sometimes stunning them or knocking them down.
I'm not sure if there are any secret dungeons or anything of that nature after you've beaten the main story. I certainly hope so though, it would give me a reason to go back and max out my characters. Otherwise I might not see the point in having so many things to collect and unlock if you're just killing everything with ease. I just want to see some special weapons and some really hard bosses or something like that.
One thing is definitely for sure though, Castle Crashers is well worth the $20 ($14.99 so I paid almost $18 with all the taxes) There's even an arena mode where waves of enemies come at you, as well as a pretty deep volley-ball themed mini-game. If you are connected to the PSN on your PS3, try the demo.