Review by Jack Bankhead
Game provided by publisher
Take a high school. Then take the apocalypse, and put a spin on it. Mix that with wacky art, grade A humor, and a super-powered awkward teenager with a totally tacky outfit. (I mean, totally snazzy!) That’s Super Daryl Deluxe in recipe form. Except there’s a three course meal to the simple dish I described. A unique art style, addictive gameplay, and non-stop jokes make Super Daryl Deluxe probably one of my most favorite games, ever.
Super Daryl Deluxe is a self described “RPGvania”. The setting is a multidimensional high school where two kids who started the Apocalypse graduated. The entire map is interconnected, and after an hour or so of playing, you’ll know the map like the back of your hand. Being 2D, there are some platforming sections, but for the most part, you’ll fight your way through enemies as Daryl. Daryl is a new student at Water Falls High, where Daryl somehow is dragged into a textbook business and likely, a hero business.
Let’s talk about the art- it’s incredible. Featuring a diverse set of monsters, eccentric characters, and a variety of backdrops, the art just makes you stop and think how much time and work was put into the art alone. Everything looks like it was carefully thought out- down to placement, punchline, or theme. I have a lot of respect for the artist. I haven’t even discussed the animations. The animations enhance the art even more! The way Daryl runs, walks, jumps, and crouches is hilarious. Each animation is different depending on the enemy or character, which are all incredibly detailed. Basically, art is an A+.
The RPG part of this game is straightforward, level up, get more health and strength, equip armor for better stats, and upgrade abilities. What isn’t straightforward is the brawler styled combat system- it’s simple, yes, but super addictive. Daryl has a set of many abilities, but only a certain amount at a time. When equipped, you as the player cannot randomly press buttons. Each ability has a cooldown, which can leave you defenseless if you’re not strategic. The combat does become second nature, though, so it’s not hard. Getting good at it and adapting is, though.
The humor in Super Daryl Deluxe is hilarious. I chuckled way more than once. In one instance, Daryl is on his way back to Julius Caesar. He is stopped in a cave by some shady person saying, “give this invitation to the Emperor.” It is an “invitation” to the Senate meeting where, as we know, Caesar gets stabbed and killed. When you meet up with Caesar, Daryl gives him a World Wake Up day invitation, and Caesar makes plans for that. Basically, throughout the game, Daryl screws up history and literature.
The system of “currency” is interesting in Super Daryl Deluxe. Fighting enemies will net you cash to buy things in game, such as equipment and items. It will also give you experience, so Daryl can level up. SXP is what lets you upgrade abilities, you’ll net a bunch of these. Textbooks is the final type of currency. Textbooks are what let you buy abilities in the first place. Textbooks are gained by finding them throughout the map, buying them, and doing quests. Speaking of quests: Besides the main story, there are a ton of quests. While they are mainly fetch quests, the dialogue you get to read is totally worth it, the writers of this game are SO clever.
Super Daryl Deluxe delivers. It has found a place in my heart, even though I don’t have one. That’s how good Super Daryl Deluxe is: It will give you a heart, because it will make you laugh. Oh, the gameplay is good, too. Don’t forget the gameplay.
This is one of my new absolute favorite games. I highly recommend this be in everyone’s collection.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by Dan and Gary Games