Super Daryl Deluxe is something very rare, an unexpected gem with added Rock n Roll.
In order to prepare your gaming taste buds, let me ask you: Do you love hilarious adventure games? Remember Ren and Stimpy or Earthworm Jim for Sega? Possibly your eyes light up thinking about Disneys Hercules on PS1? Or do you drool over Castlevania’s gameplay? All these games contain the same core substances: humour, quirk, and action-packed fun. This embodies the brilliance of Dan and Gary games newest title Super Daryl Deluxe.
Being completely honest, my first two hours of this game were slow! You get a spoon full of action in the first 5 minutes in an awesome Dick Tracey detective narrative, only to then trudge through long overwhelming speech boxes as NPCs try to teach you the ropes and familiarise you with the plot. You quickly find yourself just bashing the X button to try flash past it all, a small price to pay for what treats lie within.
I implore you, please stick with it! You will cherish this game in that small gaming memory vault of joy alongside the “Hall-of-Famers” mentioned earlier.
Super Daryl Deluxe embodies a sense of freedom, adventure and humorous creativity that games were built on in the past and the gaming community has been deprived of lately.
As we all become addicted to big budget open world sandboxes and hyper-realistic environments, I for one forgot how fun it was just to play a wacky game with a fun story and more goof-ball adventures than Pinky and the Brain could handle. It really is a delight to play.
It’s strange and wonderful. You are a new student at Waterfall’s High School called Daryl, a Napoleon Dynamite sort of character, a weird misfit who does not speak, at all!
As you familiarise yourself with the school, you sense it has a sinister undertone running beneath it. The new principal and “Honor Students” who run the school are all weird and you can smell corruption in the air.
Paul and Alan are among the first NPCs you encounter. They run a dodgy textbook dealing business within the school and have you running errands for them to help their emporium grow.
The whole background of this story lies on two previous students of the school. Kent and Eli wrote a self-help book which changed the world, bringing peace and tranquillity. Suddenly, upon releasing their sequel book, things went bad and people who read it became mindless idiots. The school is implicated in this whole ordeal but you will have to play and find out for yourselves. The Janitor is the only member of staff still sane, resulting in him recruiting you to investigate the strange activities within the school.
Super Daryl Deluxe is an RPGvania game, a 2D side-scroller reminiscent of Castlevania. It is a hack and slash game. There are multiple combat moves. However, each move once used has a cooling off period, preventing button-bashing the same strong move over and over. However, you can create your own powerful combo sequences which can be cycled as the previous action refuels. It is effective and easy to use. You quickly find your Mojo and with the right combination in your arsenal, you can wreak havoc on enemies.
The funny thing is that most enemies do not actually attack you as you run through the areas. Although, the levelling system forces you to fight to advance and complete the many tasks in your journal.
The whole levelling system can be a bit confusing. There are 3 systems:
- XP which levels you up and your ability to use certain battle items, armours and increases health and strength capacity.
- SXP which you use to level up individual combat moves in a Tier system.
- PP which upgrades your social status, which affects your interactions with people.
Thankfully it does get easier to use the more you play.
Dwarf And Druids
There is a heavy reference to Dungeons and Dragons, or as the game dubs it Dwarfs and Druids. It is fitting to the nerdy environment you interact with. You get the sense you’re playing within the strange realms of Daryl’s mind.
It has a wonderful mix of NPCs that fit the different classrooms (or worlds) you travel through.
You meet Bilbo Joshins in the enchanted tree forest who requests your help to find him a special ring. Also, you assist Beethoven in the music world with a management dispute. You even help Julius Ceasar to get a few beers at a party. Super Daryl Deluxe constantly keeps you guessing who will pop up next and what zaney twist will develop.
The music sticks to the quirky theme and does not disappoint. Within the soundtrack are very familiar tunes, except with the odd sensual “Daryl” sung within the chorus. The music is perfectly matched with the environments and make it easier to become immersed in the world you’re exploring.
Super Daryl Deluxe is everything a game should be. It is a mixture of Castlevania’s side-scrolling combat together with Disney’s Hercules humour and polished off with the quirkiness and task solving environments of a Lucas Arts point-and-click game.
It is a winning formula which I praise Dan and Gary Games for. They brought me back to the clever imagination and creativity that games relied on in the past when it was not all about graphics and million dollar budgets. Dan and Gary Games revived a style of gaming I have missed since I was a kid, one that anybody can pick up and get lost within hours of fun.