Gut Check – Super Crush KO

Super Crush KO is the kind of game that’s best played on the couch while something else is playing on the television.  It’s not a bad game by any stretch, but it is a pretty mindless and repetitive one to be sure.  But what it lacks in variety, it makes up for in tight controls, satisfying combat, and a whole lot of style.

The story of Super Crush KO is pretty slight, involving your character having their cat kidnapped by some alien-lady who has a robot army at her disposal.  Naturally, your character decides to take on every last robot that stands between her and her kitty.  The writing is charming and the cut-scenes are done in a comic book style that really works for the whole aesthetic of the game, but the story isn’t why I’m sticking with Super Crush KO.

The main attraction of this 2D brawler is unsurprisingly in the combat.  You’ve got your standard attack that chains into a combo, then you have directional power moves like uppercuts and ground pounds, but you also have this gun that locks on to nearby enemies that’s really good for dispatching flying baddies or keeping your combo going.

I’ve reached the third world of Super Crush KO, almost solely because of how good the combat feels, but it isn’t without its flaws.  As I said earlier, the game is woefully repetitive, from level design, to enemies, it is quite literally you running from combat arena to combat arena, to fight the same horde of robots.  It’s a real shame considering how strong everything else in the game is, because the repetition starts to feel like a real wet blanket on a game with such a strong first impression.

That isn’t to say it doesn’t introduce new mechanics or abilities, it just doesn’t do enough of that at least from what I’ve seen.  I think I’ve seen about 5 or 6 different enemy types which is fine, but the bosses at the end of the first and second level are basically the same, only changing their attack patterns.  In the first set of levels, you get four or five new abilities in rapid succession, but since that there hasn’t really been anything new aside from jump pads in some of the combat arenas that do more harm than they’re worth.

The only other gripe I really have with the game is how it handles difficulty.  Super Crush KO is part 2D brawler and part bullet-hell that seems to just throw more enemies at you to make the whole game seem harder.  Mission accomplished on that front, but it feels really cheap when you clear a screen of enemies only to have more just respawn in their wake.  This might be a me specific issue, but I constantly found myself unsure of which attack would interrupt the attack of an enemy.  Sometimes you can uppercut them out of their wind up, but sometimes, despite hitting them, they still just follow through with their attack and hurt you.  Like I said, this could very well be a failing on my part, but its happened enough times for me to vocalize it here.

But at the end of the day, I’m going to keep playing Super Crush KO, almost solely because of how satisfying it is to play.  It’s repetitive and at times tedious in terms of level design and combat arenas, but the gameplay is strong enough to keep me playing for the time being.


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