Title: Super Crush KO
Developer: Vertex Pop Inc.
Publisher: Vertex Pop Inc.
Genre: Platformer, Arcade, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 16/01/2020
Price: £11.59 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title. * £10.43(-10%) Offer until: 23/01/2020 *
How far would you go…for your cat?
We all know that we’re devoted to our beloved furry friends. But, are you so devoted that you’ll destroy killer robots and save the world to rescue your kitty? I mean, the answer should be yes, especially when you’re armed with a laser blaster and badass fighting abilities.
In Super Crush KO, your futuristic city has been taken by Ann the alien and her animalistic robots. And what’s worse, she has stolen your cat, Chubbz, too! Running, punching and shooting your way through urban landscapes, your goal as protagonist Karen is to defeat every robot thrown your way and chase down Ann.
I have to start by saying the entire aesthetic is stunning and right up my street. The pastel pinks, blues, purples and oranges look gorgeous and add to the eye-pleasing design of both the characters and the maps with their soft shapes. There are no harsh outlines bombarding you, which works well with the fast-paced action so you’re not overwhelmed.
The cutscenes or story-telling were then done in a manga style, which really suited the atmosphere of the game. As much as I like the style of the actual gameplay, showing the story in the form of manga strips, as well as detailed drawings of the characters alongside dialogue boxes, brought it to life. There was also some great humour thrown in these parts, such as Chubbz seeming pretty indifferent to being stolen from his owner!
Chasing Down Chubbz
There are a lot of enemies in your way on your quest to rescue Chubbz. Luckily, you have many combat moves and a handy laser weapon to aid you. You learn new skills as you play through the levels, starting from double jumping, shooting your blaster and quick attacking, to being able to air pop, ground slam and uppercut.
The controls are relatively simple, but at first, it can seem overwhelming when you acquire new skills. However, you can pick them up easily. ‘B’ is to jump, ‘Y’ is to quick attack, ‘ZL’ is to dodge, ‘ZR’ is to shoot and ‘A’ is to use your ultimate. Then, ‘Z’ combined with a direction on the joystick does special attacks, such as ‘Z’ and up to uppercut, or ‘Z’ and sideways to roll. It looks like a lot, but once you’ve memorised it, you’re moving and attacking lightning fast.
Like most games in this genre, it may seem as if this is a button masher, but Super Crush KO has a powerful feature to combat this. You have three power bars; bullets for your gun, a purple bar for your special attacks and a blue bar for your ultimate. Your bullets have a cooldown, so you have to wait a little before it refills. Then, enemies drop blue stars and purple diamonds to refill the other two bars. This stops you from dodging and hitting infinitely, instead of relying on your skills to be swift and combine attacks.
Speaking of combining attacks, the game revolves heavily around achieving combos. The more combos you get, the more your score increases. These are then ranked from D to S, so the higher your rank in each section, the higher your overall score/rank will be at the end of the level. You can then submit your score and take a look at the worldwide rankings and compare. But be warned, your score will be penalised at the end if you’ve lost lives or taken hits!
Overall, there’s a great level of difficulty across the levels. Of course, it increases as you are introduced to new enemies in large numbers, like rabbit robots that explode after destroying them and elephant robots protected by a shield alongside a huge blaster. But I never felt frustrated, and never lost all my lives in a level, the checkpoint placement fair. You could earn back your five hearts easily as they drop from enemies. The boss levels aren’t particularly challenging either, so I feel like it’s not for people who want a challenging brawler but a bit of fun, like myself.
Though there are things which make the game stand out, it’s still missing that something to make it innovative for games of this genre. The soundtrack had a nice variety in its soft techno style instrumentals for each level, but for me, they weren’t memorable. Though each map was slightly different in its colour palette and design, as well as introducing environmental hazards like lasers and saws along the way, they were all quite similar.
With four sections consisting of four levels and a boss, it felt slightly repetitive. With new enemies and hazards, it stopped it from being too much so, but I feel a change of scenery might have helped too, maybe with a map set indoors.
The story as well was funny and sweet (particularly the ending!) but it wasn’t that fleshed out, not that I thought it had to be. However, it meant that this wasn’t a mind-blowing element of the game either, not taking itself too seriously and popping in between each section to say hi.
I had a lot of fun taking down giant robots with insane combos in such a beautiful setting, and as a cat lover, I found Chubbz adorable! It’s not a game to enrage or push you too hard, but I didn’t feel it was too easy either, as it could get very chaotic with the number of enemies. It may not be enough for hardcore players, but it’s easy to pick up and play whenever you like. I just think it’s missing an extra spark that could make it stand out in the genre.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Super Crush KO from the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Super-Crush-KO-1696450.html#Overview
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