Super Daryl Deluxe is a weird game. Of that there is no question. I’ve spent the better part of three weeks dipping in and out of the titular hero’s adventure, and I’m still in a bit of a daze. A good daze, no less.
Super Daryl Deluxe is not a sequel or a “Deluxe” package of an existing game. At first I thought it was. I scoured the internet looking for the first game, but alas, this is the first game. It’s just really oddly named. And it fits in with the overlying oddness that is Super Daryl Deluxe.
Daryl’s story takes place in a weird high school where everything is not as it seems. In fact, it’s a bloody weird place to go to school. Daryl is a misfit and that much is obvious from the first moment you’re handed the reins. He actually reminded me a little of the cult-favourite anti-hero Napoleon Dynamite. He’s got the gormless look down to an absolute tee.
But what is Super Daryl Deluxe? It’s a hard game to categorise. It’s part open-world adventure, part side-scrolling platformer, part RPG, part brawler. It’s a mess in that regard, but it’s a beautiful mess that comes together brilliantly. Through smart mission design and some of the best writing I’ve witnessed in a long, long time, Super Daryl Deluxe is a fun little game. Sure, the jokes may fall on their arse from time to time, but they land more often than not.
As the new kid in school, you’re trying to fit in and make friends. You soon end up being the skivvy for a pair of idiots (Paul and Alan) in the hope they’ll accept you as a friend. You’ll be sent off to find textbook pages that the two aforementioned idiots are hoping to flog for some coin, and from here on in you’ll go to them to buy all of your power ups. It’s all a bit daft but it perfectly fits the daft tone that the developers were going for – and it sets the tone of the rest of the game very well, too.
- Developer: Dan and Gary Games
- Release Date: April 10th
- Price: $19.99/£15.99
The bulk of the game sees Daryl exploring the school’s classrooms and beating down on bad guys and bosses, all the while doing little quests for the random folk that call the school home. While the story may be a little hard to keep track of – a common complain for me and games with dozens and dozens of side activities – the main pull is in the combat.
Super Daryl Deluxe’s combat is quite unique in that you don’t simply have a button for kicking and punching, but you have four unique moves that can be customised on-the-fly. Each button will deploy a different attack, and there are around 40 to buy and upgrade. It takes a bit of getting used to as you can’t just mash your favourite move; each move has a cooldown period that forces you to use the other attacks while you wait for the others to become available. Like I said, it takes some getting used to but once you’ve found your rhythm it feels great. It looks pretty good in action, too, with each combat move having a dazzling animation to go with it.
There’s easily over a dozen hours of gameplay in Super Daryl Deluxe, what with the main story missions, the Metroidvania-style exploration, and side missions. It all comes together to create a game that shouldn’t ever work. It’s weird game, but in the best possible way. So, Dan and Gary Games, what’s next?
Super Daryl Deluxe PS4 Review
Super Daryl Deluxe is a weird yet wonderful little game. There's a cracking story with well-written characters that actually manages to pull of comedy without inducing the usual groans. Then there's the superb combat which is often a dazzling display of skill from the animators. Then there's the world itself which begs to be explored and then explored again. With so many secrets to uncover, moves to unlock, and bad guys to beat down, Super Daryl Deluxe will keep you busy for a long while, especially if you're a trophy hunter.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read of Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.