Review: Super Win The Game

Posted: February 22, 2015 in Indie, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

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The first thing you may think when playing Super Win the Game is “pure plagiarism.” The sprites seem pulled from the source game – they have been subtly altered so they aren’t sprite copies, but the inspiration is obvious. Super Win borrows environments and elements from several well-known games.

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The most glaring of these is Zelda II: Adventure of Link – there’s a top-down map overview with 2D towns and dungeons – but the waterways are inspired from Metroid as well as a few snippets from other games. Because of this, you don’t feel you’re being cheated compared to other titles which may directly rip the sprite and change the colour to a different shade and pretend it’s new. It’s actually rather refreshing.

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It’s hard to think of Super Win without comparing it to other games. You start off in a black and white dream-esque tutorial of the basic controls, but if you’ve ever seen one of these games before you’ll know already how to play. You’re dropped down in the middle of the land with little to go on like the original Legend of Zelda, with a world for you to make your way through, and a Metroidvania-style approach of you coming back to certain locations later with newly acquired abilities. The storyline sees you entering dungeons, finding yourself a shiny new toy and then – after learning the lay of the land and the powers to traverse it – you’re charged with finding the six pieces of the King’s heart to restore him to humanity. Should you get stuck with what to do, most of the towns have a fortune teller who gives you a hint with where to go next. One recommendation I would make: if your memory isn’t as good as mine it’s best to make a note as to where you find the heart pieces. Since the dungeons all blend into one, it can get hard to differentiate between them and when the hunt begins you may find yourself needlessly visiting a location to look for a heart piece you’ve already found.

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For me, playing this game tugged at my heartstrings of nostalgia. Adventure of Link was probably the first NES games I owned (and one of the first I remember playing, bar a couple of Commodore 64 titles). The quick travel negative land of Subcon brought back fond memories of Super Mario Bros 2, another early title I owned and loved. If you appreciated these games, either as a younger being or on more recent outings, such as on the Virtual Console, you’ll have your memories pulled at too. This is further enhanced by the way the game can be presented, which resembles how games used to look on small television sets of old. You can fiddle around with these settings or just turn them off entirely. I kept them on, if only to remind me of a simpler me sitting on the carpet as a child playing a NES.

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The game is shamelessly tricky: you will die a lot, a lot, a lot. Thankfully most of these difficult sections are preceded by a save point, in this game a bell, which you get sent back to straight away after death. There are no offensive capabilities whatsoever in Super Win. All upgrades are purely for explorative purposes: a double jump to reach higher ledges, a wall grabbing power to slide down walls, the ability to breathe underwater and the ability to survive in caustic liquids like acid, water and lava. The wall grab power comes with great aggravation. The Sky Pillar dungeon requires several moments of wall jumping with precision timing and a small mistake can see you starting all over again. Since there is no way to harm enemies, all you can do is manoeuvre around them. In most cases it’s easy to avoid the few enemies you encounter except for a few instances with rapid fire projectiles which will see you dying more than once.

The gameplay in Super Win is solid. It’s a tried a tested formula which has been around for years and will most certainly live on for years to come. And apart from a few moments of frustration I loved the experience. If you love retro platforming action, you will too.

Pr0’s
A] Brings back fond memories
B] Solid gameplay
C] Retro presentation

Cons
A] Some tricky sections
B] Brings nothing new to the table

Final score

8/10

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