It’s never easy starting a new school, finding new friends, impressing the teachers, and dealing with time warps and/or rips in the space/time continuum. Look I said it isn’t easy and even more so for poor Daryl. There’s a gap in the market for good old Metroid-vania style games that blur reality with fantasy. Super Daryl Deluxe is an ambitious throwback to 90’s style gaming, with humor and surreal fantasy themes. Does it work? Let’s find out!
About The Story
Super Daryl puts us into the shoes of silent protagonist Daryl, a new student who’s been transferred to Water Falls High, where students and teachers are going missing, classrooms have been blocked off from students and the new principle is a robot. Everything seems pretty normal then. The combat focuses on Daryl completing a number of missions, leading up to an infamous holiday that celebrates World peace and the end of the world. Actually, I think that would be the only way World Peace would happen.
Daryl starts off as a lackey who’s tasked with finding a rare and valuable resource in the school, textbooks. Soon enough he meets a host of colorful characters, all with their own problems including a grumpy Vampire, D&D players trying to summon a great Beta Boss and a caretaker trying to seal up the inter-dimensional rips in the school. Soon enough Daryl becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that could see the end of the world … again.
The Game’s Social Commentary
Super Daryl quirky story does hold some interesting social commentary. And it relies heavily on a dry wit. This reminded me very much of Napoleon Dynamite. Certain social situations and events just seemed so bizarre yet grounded at the same time. The humor may not work for everyone. Certain characters can seem very mean-spirited without having very much to like about them. There’s also a problem with the length of many of the cutscenes. Dialogue segments tend to run a little too long. This can be extremely tedious if you’re repeating segments after dying due to the manner of manually saving the game.
There’s, of course, the elements of fantasy where Daryl enters rips in the universe and explores areas themed on popular school subjects including Art & Music, Science, and Literature. All of these places have you dealing with famous figures from culture and history. All of them are played in a satirical manner that’s actually rather fitting. As mentioned there are some interesting themes within the story regarding education and social standings.
A Brawler At Its Core
Super Daryl is an RPG at heart with brawler elements and Metro-vania style world design. Daryl will have to explore numerous areas to complete a number of primary and side objectives. Each could involve finding rare artifacts or defeating monstrous foes. Daryl will have to venture into a number of different locations, themed on popular school subjects. Players will be exploring the depths of parallel space in Science 101. The will battle giant lumps of animated clay within a world constructed of various art movements ranging from Classic to abstract. They’ll even travel through time to historical events that may or may not have involved goblins.
There’s plenty of creativity here when it comes to world building. Everything is easy to navigate through from the altering worlds and the school itself which acts as a central hub for the game. It can be a little tedious when you’re backtracking often to complete various quests. And the game is a little slow to progress and offer new areas. Still, there are plenty of secret areas to find and plenty of good reasons to venture into areas you’ve already found.
Combat is simple yet highly enjoyable for newcomers and brawler experts due to the variation of attacks and defenses. Players can assign up to five different attacks that could include ranged, close combat, stun and aerial damage. Picking what suits the situation or what you prefer to combo together is entirely up to you and there’s plenty to choose from. You can level up attacks and as you progress through the game and rank up Daryl, new and more powerful attacks will unlock. Progression felt meaningful and acquiring new attacks as I leveled up was a great incentive to completing side quests and exploring the school.
Combat is a strong aspect for Super Daryl. And fighting any of the dozens of enemies in the game felt rewarding due to the loot they dropped and the number of different tactics that could be applied. My only issue was with the boss battles in general which felt a little too easy to beat and there were not enough considering this is meant to be a Metro-vania style game. If you look at Castlevania SOTN or Shadow Complex, they have lots of entertaining and invigorating bosses to defeat. Some of the designs are pretty cool but not enough to stand out compared to other titles.
Another minor issue with Super Daryl are the side quests which often amount to fetch quests most of the time. There are some interesting characters and backstories to many of these encounters. Yet through all the needless dialogue exchanges, everything resorts to go here, kill enemies, collect loot and bring back. There’s often some massive backtracking, no direction on where to go and some quests take forever to accomplish as key components could be found much later in the game. One early side quest had me trying to find a locker combination that was found halfway through the game.
Super Daryl might have some glaring faults with its pacing and execution of humor. But overall is a fine and highly creative adventure game. It’s imaginative, very witty at times and offers many hours of enjoyment in exploring strange worlds, fighting stranger foes and of course being the lovable loser who does look very much like Napoleon Dynamite.
Get real time updates about future posts directly on your device, subscribe now.