They always say you’ll have the time of your life at school, but things couldn’t be further from the truth for Daryl in Super Daryl Deluxe. Newly enrolled at Water Falls High School, he quickly becomes wrapped up in a textbook profiteering business with fellow pupils Alan and Paul, but as time passes, Daryl begins to discover an underbelly of mystery as students and teachers go missing (as well as the fact that the classrooms have been locked up for weeks). In order to become the most popular kid in town, he’ll have to face the audacious task of roaming the school hallways to find an answer to the problem plaguing the establishment.
This is a really fun story that manages to be both surprising and incredibly humorous in many ways. Witty writing in both text conversations and cutscenes keep up the funny streak as interactions with Alan and Paul regularly concluded in a laugh or two from us. In a more surprising move, you’ll encounter famous people from the past throughout the campaign who also joke about their achievements and play about with how that influenced the world of today. There aren’t many jaw-dropping twists or revelations to be uncovered, but the plot is sure to impress you with its wit and charm at the very least.
At its heart, Super Daryl Deluxe is a side-scrolling brawler that tasks you with taking advantage of numerous abilities to eliminate enemies. As well as that, you’ll also be engaging with some light platforming and puzzle mechanics. Daryl can have up to four skills equipped at any one time, all operating on a cooldown. With each one mapped to a face button, you’ll use them to kill any foes in your way, and combine them to deal even more damage. One minute you could be slicing and dicing a foe with Sharp Comments, then clamping them in a bear trap with Catching Lies, and finishing them off with a tsunami as you unleash Ride The Tide. With over 40 skills to choose from, there’s so much variety on offer which enables you to experiment and shape Daryl to your preferred playstyle. There’s melee combat, ranged attacks, status ailments to inflict, and even more to keep things fresh if you want to switch things up.
Beating up your opponent will reward you with both XP and skill-specific XP, and these feed into two different upgrade systems. SXP can be spent on enhancing the aforementioned abilities, while XP boosts the character of Daryl with increased health and access to new equipment. Unfortunately, this is one of the few areas where Super Daryl Deluxe is ever so slightly lacking due to the variety found within the skills themselves, it’s then disappointing that you can only ever improve their damage output. Some more customisation in this area would have been appreciated.
Outside of combat, you’re free to roam the grounds and hallways of Water Falls High School as you please. Exploration is rewarded with an abundance of side-quests that’ll have you searching high and low for all manner of things. A lot of them are fetch quests, but the humorous streak that runs through the entire game makes them a bit more enjoyable than the bog standard template. Elsewhere, there are secrets to discover, rare items to find, and padlock combinations to uncover. Finding one of these will allow you to unlock a fellow pupil’s locker and take their stash, but finding out which one is theirs is just as much of a challenge as locating the code in the first place. Not all of it is especially deep, but the side content is sure to keep you interested past the 12-or-so-hour campaign.
Graphically, Super Daryl Deluxe is spectacular. Its art style manages to make even the dull grey walls of the school’s hallways stand out, while the character of Daryl is particularly striking with a red tone that runs throughout his outfit. Every classmate you meet has their own look and style, while environments manage to look grungy and cool when they need to, and stylish and flashy when you wander somewhere else.
Super Daryl Deluxe is one of the coolest games on Nintendo Switch right now. Its skill-based combat will have you coming back for more as you unlock numerous abilities that change the game, the story will have you laughing with its witty through line, and the visual presentation is a sight to behold thanks to a stylish art style that is sure to please. If you ever need a bit of a pick me up, there’s not much better than playing Super Daryl Deluxe on the go.