The Woodpecker with the crazy laugh stars in his first game from Melbourne developer Tantalus.
The first thing I noticed when beginning Crazy Castle 5 is just how lifelike Woody is. It sounds strange and weird that a fictional, blue, talking, walking woodpecker would appear lifelike, but it's true. In the level I played, for example, there were vines where Woody had to cross hand over hand, and when he did this, you could see his legs dangling as he crossed with his arms. There are other vines you can slide down or climb up, and when you slide down them, the leaves detatch and fall to the ground. The little details like that really look quite impressive.
Although Crazy Castle 5 is similar in its premise to the other previous games (collect a certain amount of keys by looking around the various rooms and then head for the exit), Woody now has special 'suits' that transform him into different characters and give the game a change of pace. When he's normal, Woody can peck bricks to break them down, and when he wears a rocket pack, you can press the B button to rocket into the air (complete with a smoke trail). He can also swim underwater when he wears Scuba Gear, and when dressed as a wizard, he can shoot fireballs. There are around seven different characters that you can turn into.
The other trick to Crazy Castle is that you can't jump. It feels really weird when you first play it, much like you're glued to the floor. However, you get used to it and learn how to maneuver around the levels without that ability. It also makes it much harder when avoiding enemies (you can get popguns and other weapons, but they all have limited shots), so the best offense is a good defense (or running away a lot). Having the suits allows for a bit more fair play. In later levels of the original, all you could do was run or push objects into enemies - and there were about five enemies all after you at once!
The music and sound is clear (in other words, it's not distorted like Wario Land 4 was when it was ultra-compressed), so you can listen to it clearly without having to use earphones. I never hate videogame music, no matter what it sounds like (just as long as there are more than two tracks through the entire game), but others may not feel the same way. I'm sure if I played it more often, I'd have the tunes stuck in my head pretty soon. But I don't mind that.
Although the copy I got to play was a complete version, I only got to play the first level. It really looks promising from what I saw though - I can't wait to play this one again.