I’m a week late on this review for two reasons. One, Super Daryl Deluxe is a really weird and unique game – so much so that it’s verging on hard to describe. And secondly, there is a crazy amount of depth in Super Daryl Deluxe, so I wanted a decent amount of time with it before I put pen to paper. They’re the excuses I’m going with anyway. Welcome to the weirdest high school ever…
If you were going to describe Super Daryl Deluxe in layman’s terms, you’d say it’s a metroidvania game set in a multi-dimensional high school with RPG elements and brawler-style combat. The students in Water Falls High are going missing, and a normal school routine is non existent. You play as Daryl, and it’s your job to essentially perform a loads of tasks for other kids, all while kicking ass in the classrooms of the school. Now when I say kicking ass in the classroom, I don’t mean doing well on your GCSE’s. If you head into the history class, you’ll be at Napoleon’s Camp and near a war battlefield. If you head into Science, it’s all trippiness and Bunsen burners. If you head into Music & Arts, you’ll meet great composers like Mozart all while having fights with enemies such as Tuba playing ghosts. Honestly, the school room turning into another world is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a video game for a long time. It also really needs to be seen. Me saying “oh and you then fight a tuba playing ghost” doesn’t really do Super Daryl Deluxe justice.
Everything here has been incredibly well thought out, especially the combat and utility system. You get to equip 5 attack options at a time, which are for sale in the skill shop. You buy these with text books found throughout the game. You then get to assign any attack to any button you want in your locker, and these are then displayed on the screen throughout in case you forget which button does what. I won’t spoil the attacking skills at your disposal, but they range from the sublime to the ridiculous, and all can be upgraded too. Next up is your Quests.
You have your main story quests to complete in order to progress, and then side quests too. There are so many quests here that it can get slightly overwhelming. Now obviously you can turn down some side quests, but they are all so bloody tempting. They sound so easy at first, but before you know it you’ll be fighting bats in the school ventilation system for a vampire. Plus you get rewarded for doing them. The thing is, it means you’re constantly getting side tracked. It sounds frustrating but Super Daryl Deluxe has a genius set of characters with hilarious dialogue that genuinely makes you want to do everything here.
As you can see there is a lot to keep track of at Water Falls High, but luckily the game does it for you, so you can easily check something if you forget about a certain task. They’ve got you covered in the form of Daryl’s quest page and journal in his notebook. Here you’ll also find a list of items you’ve picked up along the way, locker combination codes, a written story of what you’ve done so far, a school map, who are friends and not friends…the list goes on. And the scary thing is, I haven’t even come close to covering everything. There’s stat boosts, passive abilities…I could go on forever. The amount of depth and attention to detail here is quite staggering, and the developers are going to have a hell of a challenge following this game up. You’re also getting serious bang for your buck here, with over 15 hours of story to enjoy. Plus I love that they literally called the game Super Daryl Deluxe and included quirks like having to go into the toilet to save the game. So yeah, all in all, Super Daryl Deluxe is truly bizarre in the best possible way.
On the surface, Super Daryl Deluxe dresses itself up as a goofy game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And while it is that to an extent, it’s also one of the most intelligent games on the Nintendo Switch today. Thanks Daryl, you’re pretty awesome.
Punk rating: 8/10