Genre: Role-Playing, Action
Developer: Dan & Gary Games
Publisher: Dan & Gary Games
Release Date: Apr 10, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger
Super Daryl Deluxe classes itself as an “RPGvania,” a cross between an RPG and a Metroidvania. Whatever the genre, it is certainly a very unique game. It is developed and published by Dan & Gary Games and is available on the PC (Steam), PS4 and Nintendo Switch. This review is based on a playthrough on the Nintendo Switch.
You play as the titular character, Daryl, an unlikely protagonist who gives vibes of a socially awkward teenager rather than the hero of a story. As you get into the game, you are introduced to what seems like a typical American high school setting. As you explore further, though, you will find it is anything but normal. You might walk into the art classroom and find yourself exploring endless rooms and running into Mozart or walk into the history classroom and end up in a historical battle. This school is filled with some unusual people, too, ranging from the robotic-seeming principal to the legion of shady trenchcoat kids. That doesn’t even include the enemies, such as the rats which try to stab you with knives or the tuba-playing ghosts.
At the start of the game, you are “befriended” by a couple of students, who turn out to be bullies. You find yourself running errands for them. The first of these errands can be summed up by breaking into someone’s locker (unknowingly) to give them flowers, stealing their money and then beating them up when they get angry and turn into a gorilla with obvious Donkey Kong references. The story can certainly be described as off-beat or quirky.
The metroidvania elements in this game are obvious. Super Daryl Deluxe is a sidescrolling platformer which takes place in a large world made up of interconnected zones, some of which are limited until you find keys or pass other requirements. As you proceed through the game, you will get into fights where you can use up to four skills and jump to defeat the enemy.
I am quite impressed by the skill system. While you can only equip four skills at a time, there are quite a lot to choose from. Each skill is unique, too. For example, an early skill dazes the enemy for a few seconds. While they’re stunned, you can summon a lightning bolt from above. Follow up with a fireball. If another enemy sneaks up behind you in the meantime, use a sword skill to knock away anything nearby you. You can switch between skills at your locker to try and find a good combination.
When I think of RPGs, this game admittedly would not top the list, as it is overshadowed by the metroidvania aspects and the story isn’t typical, but it certainly is an RPG in its own way. You will spend a lot of your time completing small quests, such as going through a dungeon to fetch an item or going to talk to a certain person. Much of the story is told in this way. There is also a levelling and experience system. Equipment which is locked to level. Skills both to learn and to level up. Inventory and shops. It has all the basic features of an RPG video game.
Unfortunately, one aspect of the game I’m less than impressed with is the flow and direction of the game. I often found myself with multiple quests but very little clue on where I was supposed to go to complete them. This had me wandering into areas which weren’t suited for my level at all. This can be somewhat mitigated by skill, but there’s not always much you can do while surrounded by half a dozen enemies which are all more powerful than you are.
The artwork is hit or miss but certainly adds to the uniqueness of this game. Much of the artwork looks like it could have been drawn in pen or pencil by the style. I personally liked it but could see people avoiding the game due to it.
The music is definitely worthy of praise. The game has a wide and varied background soundtrack. They often seem to sneak the word Daryl into the songs, too.
I would recommend Super Daryl Deluxe if the player is interested in an off-beat metroidvania game with tons of customization and humor. This does seem to be one of those titles that people will either love or not really like, so I’d advise checking into it carefully to see if it’s for you.
As this title is reviewed, this is a single player game. It is worth noting that a co-op mode is currently in beta on the Steam version and is said to be coming to console versions later.
- Varied combat system based on skills.
- Lots of humor.
- Great soundtrack.
- Unique premise.
- Easy to get lost along the way.
- Doesn’t always scale well.
- Too much filler/side-quests.
Eden gives Super Daryl Deluxe a Drastik Measure of 7.5 out of 10.0 (75).
Many thanks to Dan & Gary Games for the review copy.
Super Daryl Deluxe is available on the Nintendo Switch, Steam, and PS4 for $19.99 (USD).