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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Super Time Force Review Kookabunga! How many times do I have to say this is great?

Super Time Force
Capybara Games
Xbox One, Xbox 36

I was about to be lanced by angels and shot down with pulsar guns by robots in heaven, thank goodness for my skateboarding talking dinosaur pal taking a chomp out of them, "Kookabunga!," he says. This is but a brief passage, mere seconds of bullet hell time manipulation of me as Zackasaurus, the rude, crude raptor dude, saving myself from being killed on my way upward in Heaven. The main boss might be G-d or what if it's multiple religion's deities? Time waits for no man and luckily I'm a dinosaur right now playing Super Time Force.

Super Time Force has been a long time coming. You might remember TTDILA covering it back at IndieCade 2013, back then it was to have a 2013 release date. Now in the year 2014X the game's nostalgic beauty and time reversing game mechanic will make it remembered onwards through the annals of time.

Story Time

Super Time Force comes from the dream of one mad scientist Repeatski, who becomes Colonel Repeatski your boss and commander and even a playable character. Repeatski sends you throughout  different eras to make the universe a better place, ideally for himself. Be it 3072 or 9600 BC each era has robots trying to kill you. Much more than robots, known as Blounbots, are trying to kill you, the eras regular folk don't take so kindly to time jumping hooligans. 3072 has future cops on your tail, if you are in fact playing as Zackasoaurus they would be on your tail. 9600 BC has mer-folk out for your blood. Creative enemies for any era fill the screen and you have to kill them by any means necessary.

This officer should really become a pig! As Merlin I turn my enemies into animals. His special attack turns future cops into bunnies and other petting zoo animals. Weapons and powers differ for each Super Time Force member. While going through time you'll be able to save future members of the time force and add them to your team.

Your team starts of small with Jean Rambois, Amy McKillin and Shieldy Blockerson each with their own weapon of choice and power. Amy McKillin's regular attack allows her to fire trajectory shots, she can get an enemy if it's at an angle. Her power-up attack, which every Super Time Force member has, is a powerful energy shot that can even shoot through walls. Merely holding down the attack button until it's charged will let you send out acid spray, long winded gassy farts and all sorts of energy blasts keeping robots good and dead, we're the ever really alive? They were robots.

Why are robots trying to kill you? Many gamers would say that's a dumb question. They're robots. Robots kill humans. It's just a thing. For more clarity in the matter, all the time traveling has angered another time traveler, Dr. Infinity. A jerk who said you've played too much with time. So you've let dino-pals live and are potentially putting Atlantis back on the map. Who cares? The dastardly Dr. Infinity does. He'll be the boss battles you face. Though his face is somewhat covered by Tiny Cartridge's logo and mascot. Talk about homage and references. They made Tiny Cartridge, the gaming site, part of the game as Dr. Infinity's mask on a stick thing.

Design Time

King Yama, what? After just watching Dragon Ball Z this was a sign. A sign that the developers of Capybara Games also watched Dragon Ball Z or at least Dragon Ball. Was King Yama in Dragon Ball? King Yama was up in the Heaven level waiting on enemies I made dead. Homages and references to 80's, 90's, sci-fi and time time travel movies are in every part of this game.

The beautiful levels broken down into four per era, with boss battles being one of them, have so many little bits to spot. I don't mean that as the graphics are bits, as the games looks something between 8-bit and 16-bit. Each level represents it's era with references to many of the films children of the 80's and 90's grew up with, all now on basic cable and Netflix. You'll pause the game or reverse time just to look at your impending enemies demise and laugh as their flames are about to be extinguished. A video of how you progressed through the level is available to be watched or skipped over after you beat it.

Watching multiple Super Time Force Member take down enemies and bosses at the same time as you play is like watching a symphony of deconstruction where you know your playing all the instruments. No two weapons are the same, unless you come back and fire the same weapon at the same time again. Seeing all the different blasts and impacts take their toll on your enemy is like being the Indian God Vishnu with multiple armed arms outstretched dispatching those beneath you.

Gameplay Time

You can control time itself, well, aren't you special? The time manipulation game mechanic in Super Time Force allows you to come back from when you're killed . Very needed in a one player bullet hell 2D shooter. By pressing the B button or simply ending your life while running through a level dodging bullets and lasers and unsuccessfully missing one of them you may reverse time. Now that you've reversed time you can go back and shoot the robot or knight that took your life before you were killed or if too late kill them this time. Opening a gateway of how robots and dinos can be taken out gameplay changes rapidly on ways of protecting your future-self or past-selves or current-self.

So you can help yourself attack an enemy by adding fire to your attack. You can shoot an enemy in your path, reverse time and with the spare time go after a hidden item or attack a different enemy clearing your path. You can also block enemies attack with the nifty Shieldy Blockerson. So an enemy that fires at you will be impotent as your laser slices through from the safety of a protective blue bubble.

The ability to reverse time allows you to alter the path again by destroying barriers that might impede your progress. After you destroy a wall you can reverse time and save some time by having it already opened for you.

Time is an issue you only have so much per level. Your not just fighting blounbots, but time itself. You can earn time bonuses by collecting ten second plus coins or shooting unseen "shard" slow down time around you so you can get more done. Bullet time you might call it or slo-mo time, in either case you can avoid attacks by dodging or take out your enemies with greater easier after snag a shard by firing at it.
If you save yourself from dying the second, third or ninth time around that Super Time Force member's image will stay in place. You then touch their frozen in time image for when they last were and you'll gain another hp to the one hit you can take. You also take on their special attack and can become a entire team onto yourself. That includes saving a dead version of yourself for twice the power and that can go on.

Goals change, it's not always the same boss fight. It is with time travel and reversing the fight, but they differ as does level design. The varied nature of enemy bosses and levels doesn't leave you wanting more. Each one was eye-catching from a  giant cyborg dinosaur to protecting ancient an sea God's head, that was very hungry. Sometimes it might be an escort or an escape, each of which was exciting to maneuver through.

Writing Time

Lol, getting all the updates before their updated. The story for the game coming from the constant info of the commanding Colonel Repeatski is at all times a laugh. The game doesn't take itself seriously on time travel. Colonel Repeatski, who gives you updates before and after missions is changing time to make it better for himself and his ideas. These vary, but one is to get updates for cat videos before those updates are required. No more waiting for updates! The game was never meant to have a deep emotional story it was meant to be fun and the words that come out of Repeatski's mouth will not be forgotten.

Repeatski and Dr. Infinity are the only real dialogue in the game. Some time members do talk, usually saying "Sh*t," before they die. Only Repeatski keeps you laughing by his general lack of care that he controls space and time and is doing anything he wants.

If the game took itself more seriously it would never be as fun. Just thinking about it and the impending movie All You Need Is Kill, that takes a serious tone to repeating a battle over and over again makes me so happy were in the timeline where this game remains funny as it is fun to play.

Overall Time

Super Time Force is well worth your time. From the exaggerated Super Time Force Members mocking the 80's and 90's of all movies. The level of strategy you can come up to defeat multiple enemies with the amazing mechanic of reversing the game like you would a VCR, if anyone knows what that is anymore. Creative and funny level, combat, enemy and Super Time Force design. Then there's Repeatski, the best double eye-patch wearing, medals make up 40 percent of his mass, crazy talking time traveler of Super Time Force. He deserves another medal and Super Time Force deserves as many that are on his chest.

Super Time Force arrives on Xbox One and Xbox 360 on May 14.

Here's an XBOX ONE code for the game, when it's gone, it's gone


Reviewer was given copy by publisher for review purposes