SuperEpic is set in a non-distant future where a single videogame development company, Regnantcorp controls a society by creating an addiction to their free games. In order to liberate society from Regnantcorp’s hold, it’s to Tantan, a raccoon and its faithful lama to bust down the doors of Regnantcorp and put an end to their shenanigans by uncovering the conspiracy behind this addiction.
SuperEpic is a Metroidvania title where you navigate throughout various levels taking out employees of the evil corporation in your way as you fight your way to the boss of each level. As you navigate through the castle-like office, you’ll notice unreachable areas. As with any game of the Metroidvania genre, remembering these areas are key as you’ll be able to revisit them after finding obtaining skills such as double jump or dash.
The game has a surprisingly deep combat scheme. Right off the bat, you’ll start with three weapons: an umbrella, a broom, and a plunger. Each weapon is assigned to a different face button in order to ease doing combos in combat. There’s the umbrella for a direct lightning-quick attack which can, in turn, be your starting point for a combo, there’s a broom that acts like an uppercut and then there’s the plunger that basically smashes your enemies to the ground. Other weapons such as a stop sign and a swordfish, for example, can also be acquired; all with their pros and cons.
As you progress through Regnantcorp’s diverse levels, you’ll unlock new skills that use a Stamina meter and other types of skills that use a Rage meter. The Stamina meter is used for things like dashing or floating in mid-air after a double jump and regenerates itself over time. While the Rage meter allows Tantan to perform strong attacks; to regenerate this one, you need to perform well in combat through varying your attacks and performing combos.
Our heroes will come across a few comrades in their fight against Regnantcorp. First, there’s Xyloc, a bunny merchant who will offer new and cool items such as additional melee weapons, energy drinks, and other helpful things. Then there’s Migjorn who’ll let you upgrade your weapons, but only if you have the right number of jewels to pay him. And Gregal who will kindly show you new skills.
SuperEpic also features a neat light RPG system where you can equip stronger gear for better defense, upgrade your weapons and also increase your health, stamina and rage meter. It gives the game a decent sense of progression despite some upgrades feeling completely obsolete against certain enemies.
As you navigate through RegnantCorp, you’ll come across QR codes which you can scan with your mobile device. It’ll give you access to web-based mini-games on your phone or tablet. The mini-games will allow you to generate a code to use at a Pigbank ATM and withdraw your money and thus using in-game. While defeating certain enemies, avoiding ATMs and its related QR mini-game will make the game a bit difficult as with in real life, the ATM is the best way to obtain money. Money is key to survival as you need to upgrade your health and skills to survive to the top. The problem with the QR codes is that not all apps can read them. Some of them are gold-colored and not visible by most QR code apps. I had to try different apps before I found one that could read them all.
Visiting toilets serve as checkpoints. Meaning if you die, you’ll have two choices: either respawn at the last toilet or use half of your hard-earned money to continue where you died. While it can avoid a bit of backtracking, money can be put to much better use in SuperEpic.
Also, if you wish to re-visit a previously cleared floor, simply find an elevator and you’ll be brought back to the previous level; allowing you to explore further and discover new secrets thanks to newly acquired skills.
Once you’re done with the game’s main story, you can tackle a replayable roguelike mode with procedurally generated maps; meaning that no runs will be the same, providing hours and hours of replay value.
My main complaint about SuperEpic is how they mapped the item usage; it has been delegated to the right joystick; pressing it will prompt the menu while pointing the direction of the desired item will use it. It’s a bit counterintuitive and can sometimes lead to the wrong item being used; having players go into a pause menu to make sure we’re choosing the right item would’ve been a more intuitive design.
SuperEpic’s presentation is an homage to 16/32 bit era cartoon sprites; our duo still manages to look adorable in sprite forms. The game is also incredibly colorful with each level having a different color tone; some a bit darker, others a bit more bright, each fitting the environment to a tee. The soundtrack is also very interesting and upbeat; including some mesmerizing tracks which will stay with you. Considering this is a retro-looking game, don’t expect any voiceovers.
SuperEpic will definitely go down as one of my favorite games of the year. Its Metroidvania influence feels perfectly balanced here as it doesn’t feel too overwhelming nor too simplistic. The variety in level design also voids any possible feeling of repetitiveness and with those bonus QR code games is an interesting new mechanic which provides great gameplay variety. Sure, it’s not perfect; combat can feel a bit unbalanced despite weapon upgrades and odd choice of assigning item consumption to the right stick, but once you’ve found your groove, these things won’t hinder the experience in the long run. Don’t miss this one. The game releases on December 12th for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
*This Review Code was so generously provided by the publisher for review*
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