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Super Daryl Deluxe makes a case for rock-opera themes

Super Daryl Deluxe

Not enough games have the confidence to open with a rousing yet tongue-in-cheek rock-opera piece introducing their protagonist. Fewer still are those daft enough to launch straight into that level of absurdity in their trailers.

Super Daryl Deluxe, debut title and ‘RPGvania’ platformer (blame the devs for that one) from Dan & Gary Games goes all-in with its release date trailer within, and it doesn’t look half bad as a game, either, if you don’t mind cringing a little at its world of exaggerated American high-school awkwardness.

Daryl Whitelaw (or SUPER DARYL DELUXE, to give his full trailer-given title) seems very much from the Napoleon Dynamite school of gormless teenage protagonists. Armed with all the natural grace of Kermit the Frog in a wind tunnel, a dusting of facial hair that nobody could reasonably love and a headband-contained mullet, he’s a special kind of protagonist. With no natural skills of his own, he learns all his tricks from textbooks, which probably helps in a weird pan-dimensional school like this.

Combat in Super Daryl Deluxe, at least in the trailer, reminds me a little of the Nintendo DS Castlevania games, where you equip a palette of abilities stolen from monsters, giving you a weird and wonderful range of powers. Those willing to crunch the numbers will probably find themselves able to break the game over their knee, which is probably as much of a perk as a problem with this particular breed of platform hack n’ slashers.

One thing that does stand out to me (other than the music) is that this game seems to nail the ‘scribbled in a school notebook’s margins’ art style that a few other games have tried to leverage and failed. I’m reminded of the awful Drawn To Death as an example of just what not do do with the style. Assuming the humor in the final game doesn’t make me want to crawl inside myself and die, it’ll be interesting to see how this one shakes out at launch.

Super Daryl Deluxe is launching on April 10th, and you can wishlist it on Steam here.

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Dominic Tarason

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