This is the moment that many of you have been waiting for, Super Time Force is finally in our hands and reviewed. My first run in with Super Time Force was at the Polygon and Verge party at E3 way back in 2012. It was two years ago but it feels like it has been a lifetime since I played through a few levels of this game. I’m not the only one that has changed drastically over the last two years, Super Time Force has as well, yet it is also still very much the game I played way back then.
Super Time Force is a game where you take control of the eponymous team to right wrongs and generally make history more awesome by fighting your way through levels in a very Contra-esque style. That idea itself isn’t completely original, but then the folks of Capy Games’ take the crazy and turn in up to eleven by having you manipulate time while in the game. You can take a “time out” and rewind time as far back as you want and even switch up characters if you choose to. After taking a time out, you will see your original character still playing like you had seconds before. If that character was killed, you can rescue them if you stop their death from occurring, this will allow you two to team up and they will essentially be a power-up for you upon being saved.
There is also a timer that runs down constantly while you play. This timer usually starts at sixty seconds and once it reaches zero, you are dead. You can pick up extra time while playing and also utilizing your time-out abilities and getting power-ups will allow you to progress each level with time to spare. You’ll always need to keep an eye on the clock but at the same time it isn’t something that will ruin the game for you, since you are the one that controls it anyhow. You have a set amount of time-outs in each level and these can be manipulated if you control time well enough. If you hit zero though, you are on your own and risk a game over.
Using those characters’ strengths is the core of what Super Time Force is all about. You may get cut down by a barrage of bullets, only to bring in Shieldy Blockerson to block the bullets while you press on. There are also many situations where a single member of Super Time Force is unable to deal enough damage when needed. Rewinding and bringing in extra firepower can usually help you in these situations. Oddly enough, much of the game is like playing co-op with yourself. Boss fights always rely on making use of a majority of your characters strengths while doing as much damage in a limited time frame.
The game is essentially also a love letter to much of 80’s and 90’s pop culture. There are nods to classic movies, such as an obvious Mad Max reference early in the game, while also toying around with things like the Mega Man level select screen. The whole game feels like an awesome 80’s cartoon, complete with silly catchphrases and butchering of simple words. Long story short, I didn’t laugh at all the jokes, sometimes I didn’t even smirk but at the same time, I got it. The humor is left intentionally bad, I kind of love it for that.
Super Time Force uses pixel-style graphics that make the game look like it belongs on the SNES more than the Xbox One. The good part of that is the art style fits the personality of the game perfectly. Everything about it screams ‘throwback’. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any performance reasons to own this game on the Xbox One over the Xbox 360 as both consoles should have no issue running this game on the same level. Yes, the Xbox One has a great integrated system for sharing replays, but outside of that I am not sure what other differences are to be had. In fact, the first time I played the game was on a 360 built, now on the Xbox One, I see no differences.
The psuedo chiptune soundtrack provided by 6955 is absolutely the most perfect choice for this game. It captures a slightly campy, retro-style feel to the game which is awesome. It’s also totally chill, which is hilarious when you are up to your neck with enemies trying to make you super dead or you just made a big mistake and need to rewind time to avoid repeating it.
Super Time Force is easily one of the most unique games I’ve ever played and I love the entire concept and execution of it. There are a few hangups with general flexibility of the game but it does everything it should like a champ. Ironically, Super Time Force is slightly on the shorter side of things and could easily be played through in about one sitting. Getting 100% in the game though, that is a completely different story. Fortunately, those looking for value will find that the game is only $14.99, which is a fair price for the fun your will get out of it. As I said with Child of Light, games like this show that the industry still has a ton of fresh ideas up their sleeves. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Super Time Force Review: Deja Vu
Absolutely unique game play
I promise you, it's awesome to see your play through happen all at once
The game oozes with awesomeness in its artistic approach to things
Who DOESN'T like 80's cartoons?
Some of the jokes are a bit dumb
Combat can sometimes be a bit frustrating with awkward hit boxes
While there are a ton of characters, they aren't all super useful
It's on the shorter side of things