From the plot to the gameplay, there is nothing ordinary about Super Daryl Deluxe. Everything has a certain level of obscurity to it that draws you in and rewards your curiosity. Super Daryl Deluxe, according to developer Dan & Gary Games, is an RPGvania with Brawler style combat. The protagonist Daryl, plays the role of the new kid at Water Falls High School. His goal at his new school is to make new friends but his efforts to do so are stonewalled by the strange and sudden disappearance of the students and faculty.
Left before him is a quest to traverse his enormous school and become the popular kid by saving everyone. As I said, it’s obscure but this doesn’t stop it from being a creative and entertaining brawler. I was fortunate to play the first 10 minutes of the game before release and got to experience some of Super Daryl Deluxe firsthand.
The absolute first thing that stole my attention when playing Super Daryl Deluxe was the art. I really enjoyed the extremes used by the developers when choosing colors for characters and levels. Gray is used in over 90% of what you see at any given moment but it’s accompanied by some rather illuminating colors that —by my observation— randomly accentuate items of clothing, attacks, and even enemies. The contrast comes off as arbitrary but when moving from stage to stage, it cuts out redundancy and gives you a fresh feel throughout.
The original soundtrack and sound effects compliment the style of art used in Super Daryl Deluxe. It walks you through the level narrating your adventure. It’s a soundtrack that I wouldn’t mind listening to for a couple hours while playing.
The sound effects didn’t seem too repetitive which I was surprised about. Usually, when you have a skill-based combat system you’ll end up hearing it throughout the entirety of your gameplay. In Super Daryl Deluxe you do hear the sound effects of your skills but it wasn’t an overpowering sound. There are no awkward grunts or catchphrases being said when you use them which I appreciated. This allowed for the feeling of gratification when hearing my skills connect last throughout my run, albeit being a short one.
What made Super Daryl Deluxe most enjoyable — and what drew me to the game in the first place — is its combat. The brawler-style combat had a lot of things going for it and much like everything else in the game, it’s a little unorthodox. You don’t have a specified attack button or special move button. Instead, you have skills assigned to buttons that you then chain together to attack enemies. It sounds complicated but it handles smoothly in practice. I think the fun I had in this was discovering the different sequences in which to chain certain skills together to augment damage output.
I think one of the toughest aspects of the game for me was keeping track of what was going on storywise. Maybe it was the prologue I was playing but I couldn’t really grasp why I was fighting these weird flying textbooks or why I was being attacked by a guy in a trenchcoat.
I’m not going to condemn it for this because there were a lot of factors — loud showroom floor — that distracted me from taking in the story completely. I did read up on Super Daryl Deluxe and got some info from the developers that helped piece things together. I think the game has a lot of tools that help with the storytelling aspect and that’s something I will look for in the complete game upon release.
Is Super Daryl Deluxe unconventional? Sure, but not for the sake of being defined as such. It tries new things and aims to eliminate the monotony that many brawlers have dealt with. I came away from the preview slightly convinced that it’ll overcome that obstacle but I’ll only know for sure once I play the full game. What I can say is that the preview did a good job of grabbing my attention and keeping me locked in with its quirky protagonist and supporting soundtrack and gameplay.