Not so ‘Super’ Daryl Deluxe.
Super Daryl Deluxe, produced by Dan and Gary Games, was brought to us earlier this year and was somewhat underexposed. At a very reasonable price it is certainly worth a buy if you are looking to kill some time. Don’t judge a game by its cover, in this case it certainly isn’t very appealing, but this is made up for quickly with the witty and over the top humour found in the game. Super Daryl Deluxe has a slow start, beginning as a detective looking to save a princess, it couldn’t get more cliché if it had tried, that is of course until the point you realize that it is all just a dream. Yes, a dream. The good old dream sequence rears its ugly head before you even know how to fully control your character, or who he is, but that is part of the experience you will have with Super Daryl Deluxe.
The clichés, cheesy lines, unsurprising characters and all round general predictability of the game is what makes it enjoyable. Embracing the probable nature of the old platform game and creating a comedic effect you’d be hard pushed to ignore. Anyone who has played games for their comedy value will know it is extremely tedious if a game doesn’t quite hit the right notes with its humour. Whilst it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and at times was quite enjoyable, Super Daryl Deluxe had moments where it was sincerely lacking in substance and often came down to cringe worthy attempts at a laugh, this in my opinion is a worse feature than no joking.
Following Daryl in his new position as a student at Water Falls High School, the player needs to complete a series of tasks so you can develop relationship stats and in turn unlock a variety of skills. Every time you complete a task you gain rewards, and on this basis, there is plenty to do within the game. The general mission of the game is a little ambiguous without much material. The basic premise being that you need to assist two other characters, who are fairly repulsive, in their quest for textbooks. It is an unusual premise, but give it a chance, it becomes surprisingly addictive. The school is failing, the students are mostly missing and the classrooms are blocked off. However, what starts as a scarce and drab location quickly turns into a pretty bizarre series of rooms. It’s pretty fun exploring, completing puzzles and killing the bad guys along the way.
If you are looking for a high stress race against your enemies, this is the wrong game for you. It is fairly chilled out, even the high-pressure areas were slow and laid back. That having been said there are some extremely frustrating tactical boss fights. In most circumstances these would add to the fun of the game, however, Super Daryl Deluxe has a less than desirable feel to the game play. The attacks are completely customisable, again – usually a good thing, however in this case the custom content means that if you change the combat options you have to remember which attacks you have assigned to which buttons. If you choose correctly there is potential for some good attacks, but the charging periods are different for all the attacks and, in most cases, you wait too long for each attack to recharge and end up button bashing until you are free of the threat. I found myself using the wrong attacks at the wrong times and as result ending up having to restart.
Whilst this game has great potential as an RPG it lacks any kind of smooth storyline, it feels like a game that can only be described as poorly composed. Whilst there is the overarching theme that Daryl is trying to become a part of the unusual textbook black market business, you require a good memory and patience to fully immerse yourself in the storyline. I would suggest that it is probably best as a binge play if you value games for the storyline rather than just for the puzzles and action. On top of this, there are a series of side tasks, which are excellent to play and, in some cases, are more fun than the actual main story, but as a result it is easy to become bogged down in side missions and forget what the main point of the story is.
Worse than this is the lack of auto-save, which is an unusual feature. The save points are located in bathrooms around the map, but if you forget to save your progress you can find that one death will take you back significantly in the game, especially if you haven’t been focusing on the main storyline which will, on occasion, remind you to save. I found myself having to re-hash the less entertaining sections of the game every time I died as I hadn’t saved in appropriate places. As each new character comes with a new mission it is an essential part of the game to visit the bathroom once in a while if you don’t want to find yourself back at the beginning of your level.
The characters, whilst one dimensional and lacking any particularly interesting offerings towards the plot, do have a bit of entertainment value. Each character you meet provides you with pieces of advice, tutorials and in some cases mildly amusing anecdotes about the school and other characters. A common feature of the students at the school is there love of D&D, and so most of them will be dressed as magical beings, which isn’t as relevant to the story line as you may think. Again it isn’t based on a strong storyline, but none the less this is an interesting feature of the game and gives an extra element of entertainment.
Unfortunately, when looking at the overall game it appears that for every good feature, there is equally one that is bad. With the simplistic game play comes a clunky and awkward feeling to the attacks. There are remnants of a storyline within this game, but nothing that stands out as a vital element of the game. Having said that, by no means has this game been rushed, writers have clearly put a great deal of thought into the exact words and phrases to use during the long text segments, perhaps too much, because it lacks flow and feels awkward and over done. The unique levels which bring education to life and equally distinctive characters from history show that there has been a lot of thought put into each individual mission and element of the game.
A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by the publisher