By TheMasterDS 0 Comments
This blog thing will mostly about Super Time Force. Okay, now that I’ve established that let’s travel back in time to the late 90s so I can avoid that topic for another 60 seconds or so.
So it was 199X. I was X years old naturally since I was born in 1990 and Rareware ruled the Earth. They made most of if not all of my favorite games! Banjo-Kazooie was out, Donkey Kong 64 was either out or soon to be out, and I believed deeply that casts of playable characters could only go up from there. As an X year old it made perfect sense really. Banjo-Kazooie had just B-K together & animals, Donkey Kong 64 had 5, Banjo-Tooie was going to have an transformation in every world, Mumbo and Banjo and Kazooie separate. Clearly a trend of cast sizes going up. I imagined single player game franchises that would go on for decades, continuously adding characters and getting up to a roster of dozens over time.
A silly idea now obviously as clearly adding more characters to a Banjo Type game is the last thing people want and backtracking and character switching were big issues for many in DK64 and Banjo-Tooie. But at the time it made sense and, honestly, I did like it a lot in DK64 and loved it in Banjo-Tooie. And while time has made me see DK64 for what it is, a platformer with its content randomly split between 5 characters who play mostly the same, I still love Banjo-Tooie as its characters manage to work quite differently from one another and the game isn’t terribly over padded as a result only slightly so. Clearly the imaginary games I wished for would've been terribly overstuffed or would feature characters not meaningfully different. Anyway oh shit we’re back at the present. Wait, what? I just said something about Super Time Force in the first paragraph. Oh wow!
In the wierdest way imaginable Super Time Force is my stupid idea from the 90s seen to fruition. There are so many characters in Super Time Force, all of them are novel in some way, all of them can find a place while playing and you basically, through the mechanisms of time travel, use them all in tandem. It’s amazing actually. It’s really cool learning how to handle each one, learning to use their strengths to do things that other character can’t do as well or can’t do at all.
For instance there’s Zachasaurus, the Dinosaur on a skateboard. He’s equipped with a short range bite and some long range goo, but that’s not all! He can also jump on enemies and bop off them because he’s on a skateboard! So it turns out that makes him super useful for just booking through stages since where other characters would just die if the fastest jump happens to land where enemies are Zack will just happily bop off them. Kookabunga!
There’s also Dolphin Lundgren the dolphin with a machine gun. At first I thought he was a bit weak since his normal is just a sonic ping which is short range and really weak. However eventually I got to using his special on a boss, which is a concentrated stream of bullet fire, and realized he’s fantastic for concentrated fire.
There’s more where those two came from. There’s Squirty Harry who can send off fart clouds and light them on fire for a great AOE. There’s Cleo who can surround herself with boomerangs which can stop bullets and protect Cleo while damaging others. There’s Lou Don Jim whose lightsaber is pretty powerful and can deflect projectiles making him real good for quickly dealing with streams of bullets without Blocky. And of course the main 4 are all pretty solid and there are others that are quite good and others still who I haven't oh god I’m out of time. Going back a bit.
Okay, now that that’s taken care of I’ll spend some time farting around with collectable lines of inquiry. Like does Super Meat Boy qualify and what about the MOBAs of the world? For Super Meat Boy I don’t really think so because at the end of the day Meat Boy was always the correct character choice and it never felt like the levels were meant to be played with the other characters. As for MOBAs I’ll say it’s different here because Super Time Force is single player but I do admire how they make characters of a team seem special unto themselves. The characters in a MOBA game are like star athletes. They’re all bigger than life like Shaq, Hulk Hogan, President Obama, the Undertaker, Magneto or Jerry Springer. It’s very cool.
Let’s wrap this bad boy up. So when I was a kid I dreamed of games with overly big casts that managed to be super diverse offering loads of gameplay opportunities and making each character matter. Games that were like amped up Banjo-Tooie's. As as 2X year old I’ve since come to the conclusion things aren't that simple and such a game would naturally be burdened by backtracking and copying but here is Super Time Force making the dream come true in a way I could've never imagined. It’s quite good. You should probably buy it.