Most of the time, when you see a game that really looks good, they could be worth getting even if the gameplay doesn’t end up being that good just because of the aesthetic quality. However, there are those that don’t make the cut as well as they should, despite their charm or potential, and this is sadly one of them. There is still a need for
Super Comboman is a 2D action platformer from Adult Swim that’s basically a beat-em-up with a colorful art style that makes it look like something that should sell and play well. It has comic book aesthetics and the combat seems like the kind that goes WHAM and BAM with flashy moves and combos; it’s a bit like Abyss Odyssey in that regard. Upon seeing the trailer though, confidence may start wavering, and for good reason in this case.
It does have quite a bit of pep, mostly coming from its visual style and presentation, as if it’s a cardboard version of Viewtiful Joe without the superhero trappings. However, it does try a bit too hard at times to be funny, although it may still be for those who are of more lateral humor. While its comedy is hit-or-miss, it still scores points for having its own unique charm that gives it a whiff of originality. The interface though feature text that are barely readable most of the time, especially the ones on top that indicate the score and total combo. Putting them either in a box or having light borders around them would have made a difference.
Despite having charm, that’s where the problems start coming in though. Controls, the most important factor in any sort of platformer, is far from responsive due to input lag. Coupled with the odd control scheme makes for a steep learning curve and prevalent mistakes during play, which can give way to much frustration. Further compounding this problem is the difficulty that’s far from consistent throughout the game, so you’ll find some parts to be very hard while being preceded by a cakewalk.
It’ll take a while before you get the moves and combos down, but it’s not like you would want to hit combos anyway here as the game will not let you ease into learning them, so you’ll have to die a lot in order to perfect them since there’s no training mode. If you’re not someone who plays fighting games like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, then you’ll find the combo system to be a handful as the timings and delays will make it difficult. It would’ve been better if it had easier inputs like in Tekken, and that’s saying something as this game only has 2 buttons to begin with.
To top it all off, there are quite a few technical issues involved in this game that some may find to be too much to let pass. There are various glitches that come up every now and then, and even enemies would get stuck or end up killing each other. The graphics and user interface would start giving up the ghost, and the music would skip and loop all of a sudden. The developers are now on the mission of correcting as many of these faults as possible, but it’s still a bad first showing nonetheless.
They’ve obviously tried to make it more complex than what could have been possible within constraints, even though it could have been better due to how it looks and how thoughtful they tried to be with the system. Super Comboman costs $15 in full, which makes it not recommended at all. Perhaps when they’ve patched up the shortcomings and if it’s on sale, then you can get it and enjoy without having to face the aforementioned perils.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 4.5/10