By Dalton McClain / October 2nd, 2019
|Title||Super Cane Magic ZERO|
|Publisher||Studio Evil, Intragames|
|Release Date||May 30th, 2019|
|Platform||PC, Switch, PS4|
I’m just going to come right out and say it, I was hooked on this game by art style and comedy alone. It reminded me of Castle Crashers with a bit of the Cyanide and Happiness web series, both of which I’m a fan of. Everything looked so Newgrounds-ish, for lack of a better word, and I was eating it up. Did the game manage to live up to my expectations though? Let’s jump in, or in this case crash land, and find out.
You seemingly crash land on a strange planet, but you are NOT an alien. The game makes it very clear at that point. A couple of guards come up and ask your name. There you enter a series of name fragments, which is absolutely the best way that you can pick out a name in a video game, and you’re whisked right off to alien jail. They’re aliens, not you. You have too many eyeballs to be an alien. The main plot of the game is about your character going on a quest to get a magic cane to stop a dog and that is literally the best way I can explain it. The story is so whimsical and nonsensical that you just have to experience it. The comedy and randomness of the game is so on point with my own sense of humor that I had to keep playing.
The other thing that hooked me in was the art style. It looks so simple, yet so polished at the same time. It’s hard to find games with the style of art that Super Cane Magic ZERO has, and every time I find one it’s equally as charming. Everything looks gorgeous in the flash-esque style, and the enemies are varied and very inventive when it comes to design. There’s honestly not a lot I can do other than just show you how wonderful it is. Especially as someone who grew up in that time period of the early 2000’s. The simplistic art style and animation work beautifully, and everything flows how you’d expect it to.
The music, as well, sets the tone wonderfully. With a mix of synth and bit-style music, it gives the player the feeling of a very lighthearted romp through a dungeon. It’s trying to hit a nostalgia chord that isn’t touched on a whole lot, and boy does it succeed. The Main Theme and Arena Battle Theme in particular are absolutely stunning.
Now the part of the review that I’ve been dreading, I actually have to say some bad things about the game. In particular, the gameplay and how it functions. Super Cane Magic ZERO is a beat-em-up action RPG, for lack of a better title. You fill out skill trees, and use various weapons and equipment to make your way through hoards of enemies until you get to the end of the stage. Maybe with the odd boss thrown in here and there. You can also choose different characters depending on your own playstyle, and even play a few minigames. All in all it sounds like a very serviceable game, and it would be truly amazing, if not for the cracks in the system, so to speak. Allow me to explain.
The first main issue is the loading times. They aren’t too bad in single player, but in multiplayer they get exponentially worse. It’s almost Chrono Trigger styles of loading. At one point, me and some of the people I played the multiplayer with sat on a loading screen for what had to be almost 4-5 minutes. The gameplay, as well, can get really tedious if you’re playing it for long stretches of time. You can do some quirky things like eat and throw your teammates, but other than that there’s nothing too interesting to really sink your teeth into gameplay wise. On top of that, it feels a little clunky to me. Not enough to hinder my enjoyment a ton, but just enough to be noticeable.
Overall, Super Cane Magic ZERO feels like a good game that could have been great. I still enjoyed my time with it, but I feel like if the gameplay was just smoothed out a little more then it would be in my top games list. As it is right now, I still recommend the game for its $19.99 price point. Especially if you have 4 friends for the couch co-op. Me and my friends had an absolute blast. I got about 9 hours of enjoyment out of it, and I’m sure you can get more by going back and finding secrets, as well as playing the minigames with a few friends.
Review copy provided by the publisher
Intragamesstudio evilSuper Cane Magic ZERO