Playing with risk
Shovel Knight does a fun thing with checkpoints, it lets you destroy them for money.
The game pays you for increasing the stakes, you get a bunch of money but if you die you have a lot more ground to recover. This is one of many ways Shovel Knight lets the player take on greater risks for greater rewards. One of it’s other favorite ways of doing this is making some of the hardest parts of the game optional, but each has the promise of riches should you succeed. It is constantly introducing meaningful trade offs for the player to consider.
It clearly isn’t the only game that plays around with checkpoints, another game that does this in an even more brilliant way is They Bleed Pixels.