Review: Superfighters Deluxe

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Review copy provided by developer

The only thing that can really make unbridled chaos better is sharing it with friends. There are a number of games on the market that tap into that niche, and Superfighters Deluxe is one of the most recent. In a similar vein of something like Duck Game or Broforce, this one mashes together brawling, shooting, and platforming mechanics to give you unprecedented reign to utterly ruin things. Of course, all those mechanics bring with them added complexity, and adding that much learning to a game that’s basically an online deathmatcher can be a bit of an ask, but I can’t deny how crazy things get once you get the right group of people making the wrong decisions.

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Obviously there’s no plot to follow here, you just trick out a beefy little dude or gal and pop into the tutorial to learn how to murder folks. The controls seem simple enough to start, with running, jumping, rolling, punching, and kicking. Superfighters takes this to another level, though, adding systems like dodge rolling to negate falling damage, different stances for swinging or throwing melee weapons, a block key that doubles as manual aiming for firearms, and so on. This means you can interact with a lot of each arena by picking up and throwing things or dodge rolling into hard-to-reach spots, but it also means you need to internalize all these moves and buttons if you want to put up a real fight.

Battles in Superfighters can take place on a single screen, or across a large, sprawling map with events that trigger. There are two official campaigns you can play with friends or bots, one where you beat up nazis and another where you clobber clowns. There are also a few survival maps for holding out against waves of thugs or zombies, and a bunch of deathmatch rooms for just battling randos. You also get a map editor included with the game, which also means plenty of user-created levels in the Steam Workshop. I’ve also noticed a lot of randomized elements to each map, from spawn points to environmental hazards, so don’t worry too much about the longevity of fighting on the same maps.

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The real question here is how much mileage you’ll get out of running the campaigns and sparking brawls. Obviously if you have a group of friends willing to learn the game and cause a ruckus with you, you’ll have a grand old time with this one. If you’re looking for pickup groups online, your results are going to be much spottier. You’ll find a few folks playing each day but don’t expect to just join a room for the game mode you want and go. And for anyone planning on playing solo with bots, I really doubt you’re going to get much mileage out of this one. The bots are certainly competent and some of the single-player challenge maps expect you to put up a real fight, but the chaotic battles just don’t hold that much appeal if you’re walloping CPUs with more CPUs by your side.

In terms of look and feel, Superfighters Deluxe is extremely solid. The pixel art is bold and very evocative, making it easy to see where everything is while still preserving that classic chunky charm. The sound design is great as well, with every weapon and impact producing a nice, rich click or thump to enjoy. It controls well, as long as you know what you’re doing, and I’ll mention again that it takes awhile to get to that point. If you can get there, and find some folks who are also there and want to brawl, you’ll get plenty of fun out of this one. Just don’t show up expecting mindless brawling or a deep single-player experience, and you’ll be fine with this technical, chaotic little action title.

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