Here we have Super Daryl Deluxe, a “Metroidvania” having been released in a sea of its own genre, however the cream always rises and Super Daryl Deluxe is indeed the cream of the crop.
In Super Daryl Deluxe you play as a not-very-super Daryl who bears a slight resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite. If I had to sum up the game actually I would call it a cross between Napoleon Dynamite, Metroid and Castlevania with some RPG mechanics thrown in for good measure. You might think that sounds a strange mixture, but the fact is it works. I found out from one of the developers it was completely unintentional but it’s hard not to make the comparison.
Daryl is a newly transferred student to Water Falls, which has had the reputation of graduating two honor students who went on to write lots of self help books and created world peace all within their county. However, now there are very few students around, your vice principal Mr Robotto is in fact a robot and text books for studying now belong on the black market. What’s happened in between is sort of explained in the game.
“I don’t even have any skills”
Here’s where it gets a bit surreal. Your two new “friends” send you on missions to retrieve some textbooks hidden within the school and in exchange will provide you with new attack moves. These range from simple punches to swinging massive swords, firing electrical volts and surfing on a shark. Yes. Surfing. On a shark.
The reason you need these abilities? Each of your classrooms have seemingly bent the laws of space and time. In your science classroom the back wall has disintegrated and now belongs in space and you need to fight giant chemical beakers and the likes. In true RPG fashion they drop items which you may need for quests later on down the line or sell them on the black market for a few cents.
“Kip bring me my Chapstick!”
I love how each classroom is expanded and how the world’s mesh fantasy and true life together. Through your travels you inevitably end up helping Mozart, Julius Ceaser, Cleopatra, Watson (of Sherlock Holmes) and even Ebeneezer Scrooge. The main quest is a long way around as your goal is extended from meeting other characters. Need a music instrument? Well, first you have to go see Picasso because he owes Beethoven money and even then you need to get items to give to Picasso. I actually don’t mind this as it gives you plenty to do in game.
Furthermore the menus are easy to navigate, as well as the actual map — not once did I find myself lost. The attacks are brilliant and was always looking forward to upgrading them or buying the next level up once I reached a pinpoint level. Boss fights are brilliantly done.
“So, you got my back and everything, right?”
I could honestly write about Super Daryl Deluxe forever, I think it’s a game that’s best experienced first hand. One particular moment I had in game was at I completed a quest meaning I could open certain chests. One of the items contained an eye patch and something else not really relevant. You can equip items which can increase health, attack power and defense and some have special abilities. I equipped the eye patch because it had a great attack stat and went back to playing the game.
As a result half of my screen was gone. Only seeing the right side, menus were fine and maps etc but the whole left side barring my health and attacks was gone. I quickly rushed to a save point as I didn’t want to lose any progress and quit out the game hoping it was simply a bug. I load my save and notice it’s still there. “Oh no,” I thought, “I’ve made so much progress.” I really like this game. How can I carry on? I wonder should message the developers somehow? I saw people discussing it on Reddit and made a comment about the bug, only for an hour later one of the devs of the game commented I had simply equipped an eye patch and it had covered half my vision.
Genius. I laughed. I went in to game and sure enough when I unequipped the patch I could see the whole screen again. The level of detail in this game is nothing short of brilliant.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Super Daryl Deluxe was provided by Stride PR.