Review – Super Daryl Deluxe

It ain’t easy being super. Making friends is imperative, simple as that. It’s a lot easier when you’re a young child. Chances are then you were acclimated to your neighborhood surroundings with the aid of your parents. They want their child to grow up with as many friends as possible, because come High School, that’s when it gets real and difficult. For starters, your childhood friends may move and go to other schools, forcing you to start all over. In other occasions, you’ll develop interests that are deemed unpopular with the majority demographic, labeling you the outcast. I know, I’ve been there, and thankfully I’ve grown to just accept it and not care what others think. Regardless, it is a very problematic hardship.

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I can’t take this kind of pressure!

Enter Daryl Whitelaw, the main protagonist in Super Daryl Deluxe, the new 2d dungeon scrolling brawler platforming RPG (takes deep breath) from Dan and Gary Games. He fits the profile of the previously mentioned “unpopular” new kid at Waterfalls High School, a school praised for its academics, yet oddly set in a time where there are no classes. Oh and the principle has been replaced with a robot, appropriately named, Mr. Robatto, who is part of some secret plot unbeknownst to Daryl, and who is always asking you for a hall pass. To best describe our main character, think Napoleon Dynamite and his friend Pedro having a love child from the 70’s; a goofy, lanky mouth breather with funky hair and clothing, and who will show off some sweet dances if you leave him idle for too long. Unfortunately, unlike Dynamite, our main character does not talk, but the game brilliantly uses that to its advantage; the jokes revolving around it never get stale.

Your main objective of the game is to meander around the main campus of Waterfalls High School, talk to NPC students and staff, and accept their quests in order to earn currency, experience and popularity points. Quests may include: Defeating a certain number of a type of enemy or obtain a certain quantity of an item dropped by a specific enemy, and much more. Classrooms are considered the dungeons of this game. For instance, if you gain access to the Science Classroom, you can expect to be fighting walking beakers and graduated cylinders. Enemies also grant you EXP like any other RPG, so you can feel at liberty to do some grinding, but doing so excessively is unnecessary. Also concealed around the campus are textbooks, the most important thing in the game, yes. Textbooks are a hot commodity at WFHS and you are to fetch as many as you can and trade them in to unlock special abilities or redeem them for SXP, skills experience points, which is used for leveling up your abilities. Don’t worry; you gain just as many EXP when you gain SXP, so level-management is balanced and not a headache.

Your character also will find articles of clothing and items/trinkets that you can equip to increase your health/defense/attack. Although you don’t get to see your wacky combination in-game, it does give you the pleasure of seeing a drawing of it in the equipment menu, so have yourself a laugh, some combinations are quite hilarious. In fact, the game itself as a whole is comical, in almost every possible way. The dialogue is your typical high school adolescent humor and tongue in cheek innuendos.  Even the pause menu made me chuckle. YOU PAUSED DARYL. I can’t explain why, but it works.

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Let me just say: the graphics in this game are quite a pleasant treat for the eyes and stand out as a glorious accomplishment. Like a crossbreed between Cuphead and Archer, everything is hand-drawn and reminiscent of a comic book. And, from the expansive cast of characters to the level design, everything is just an absolute wonder to look at. The soundtrack in the game is also very impressive. The game has an incredibly catchy theme song, the HUB world is a groovy stroll along jam that doesn’t wear thin, and each world has its own well written jingle. Maracas shake, cymbals crash etc., and with every punch and special move landed, they connect with such strong sound effects that stay true to the game’s comic book feel. Despite the majority of the game having that classic RPG text scroll, there are moments in which there is very convincing voice acting.

As said beforehand, Super Daryl Deluxe is a 2d dungeon scrolling brawler platforming RPG (takes another deep breath), so aside from talking to NPCs and obtaining items, your main objective is to beat up a lot of things. The game teases you at the beginning with a daydream your character is having in which you are fully leveled up with all of your best abilities and stats unlocked, and then you snap back to reality (oh there goes gravity) and actually start the game from square one. This is always a smart thing to do in a game, because it gives the player incentive to want to reach such levels of greatness. As you level up you obtain abilities, that which you can set to one of four buttons to your liking. Again, this is where the prologue comes into play, because the combat system relies on a World of Warcraft style cooldown system that prevents Dynasty Warrior button mashing and requires the player to strategize which four moves they want and when to use them in order to get the most efficient crowd controlling combo; there will be many times where an influx of enemies are attacking you, so crowd control is very key. Controls are extremely responsive with no input lag whatsoever, which made combat and platforming tremendously effective. My deaths and mis-jumps were my own fault.

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69 Damage. Nice

As with any other side scrolling brawler, one may have the urge to stop playing after a certain amount of time, and depending on who you are, it may be the case with Super Daryl Deluxe. While the game itself is pretty approachable and not super difficult, there will be times where you stumble across an area in which you are under-leveled, think you can cheese them into victory, suddenly realize how wrong you were, and die, forcing you to start over from your last save. Saving is quick and easy and definitely your best friend in this game. Quests tend to lead to backtracking, and unfortunately there is no quick travel in the game. There is a run button, but it’s not much of an improvement over the regular run cycle. There was also a particular part in the game in which my quest required me to go upstairs and into a vent to start a new dungeon, but I could not for the life of me find an access point to the appropriate stairs to go up (indicated by the area name showing up on screen). I backtracked through the entire area a good five times before I got fed up. Thinking I had screwed something up, I restarted my game back from my previous save, only to find that loading the game fixed an in game-glitch that had prevented me from continuing at all. It was unfortunate to come across, but thankfully I was able to fix it.

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Does the the inventory include a razor for those hobbit legs?

Despite the tedious backtracking and that one issue I had, the concerns I had with this game are simply overwhelmed by all of the positives. From the humorous dialogue to the inventive combat/equipment system, from the gorgeous and wacky hand-drawn, comic-book visuals to the modern theme-fitting soundtrack, Super Daryl Deluxe has a lot going for it. I am the type of person that, when it comes to a fighting game with a tier system, will choose the low-tier characters, the underdogs, and find my way to victory. With that said, it was very easy to relate to Super Daryl Deluxe and its tall, lanky, dorky mouth breather of a protagonist. Super Daryl Deluxe is, in fact, pretty super, and thanks for asking!!

Graphics: 9.0

Beautiful, comic book visuals.

Gameplay: 8.5

Super responsive controls and cool-down abilities lead to numerous possibilities of beating up baddies.

Sound: 8.5

Respective world themes and funky hub-world jam that doesn’t stale.

Fun Factor: 6.5

Backtracking can be tedious. If you aren’t into beat-em-ups, it could test your patience.

Final Verdict: 8.0


Reviewed on PS4.

Super Daryl Deluxe is available now on PS4 and PC.

A copy of Super Daryl Deluxe was provided by the publisher.