Super Dungeon Bros Unleash the Awesome
Four Rock Gods must “unleash their awesome” and save the world in order to become Rock Legends in React Game’s newest title. Reminiscent of a small-scale version of great titles such as Castle Crashers (http://store.steampowered.com/app/204360/), Super Dungeon Bros is a bro-dacious dungeon arcade brawler full of surprises, action, and adventure that keeps you constantly engaged.
If you could take that college frat kid that seemed to be permanently glued to his couch drinking beer and playing RockBand; and turn him into a 2D monster-fighting game character, that is exactly how you get the Super Dungeon Bros. The four Rock Gods named Axl, Freddie, Lars, and Ozzie are fun-loving characters that all have their own compelling and distinct personality. Much like the personalities from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there is the muscle of the group, the brains, the flirt, and the reckless one that constantly gets them in trouble. These college-based characters really make Super Dungeon Bros interesting and relatable; especially when you find out their source of HP is beer. Also available as free downloadable content is the Broettes, the equally fun, and enticing butt-kicking female rockers.
While the interesting characters initially grab your attention, React Games has incorporated many ever-changing attributes that increase longevity and difficulties, making you want to play for days. For example, what I loved best about Super Dungeon Bros is that the levels are never truly the same. Every time you get a “game bro-ver” and have to restart, the level slightly changes and different traps are set in different locations. This way, you aren’t simply remembering how to get through each level and are met by different room sequences and challenges preventing you from saving the world. Also, if you think your going to lollygag through the level, you best be prepared to fight. There is a threat meter that increases based on the time it takes you to complete levels, and once that threat meter rises, you’re bombarded with a mountain of enemies that sometimes seem impossible to get past.
So, do you go back for that extra coin and risk the imminent attack, or do you haul your butt out of there?
The ability to set your challenges and modifiers in multiple ways provides endless possibilities. Although there are no set difficulty levels, you can set your own challenges by increasing the damage you take from enemy attack or decreasing your own attack damage. During levels, you also receive random power-ups from “no penalty falls” to “attacks do life-steal”, allowing you to change-up the level, your character’s attributes, and the overall difficulty. Traps that are meant to take you out can even be used to your advantage to take out your enemies, which further shows just how much you control your own environment and play. Besides saving the world, the goal is to forge multiple weapons. There are four types of weapons: sword, hammer, crossbow, and wand; creating sixteen weapons to unlock, each that determine your character’s ultimate skill. No weapon in each category is the same and creates different abilities for your character that uniquely modifies play.
Even though I have been gushing about Super Dungeon Bros up until now, the bros do receive some negative points. Mostly, I think it is because you really have to play online or couch co-op play in order to get the full experience. Playing single player gets boring faster and you really don’t get the same experience when you don’t get to hurl your friends across pits to level through. Also, the cut-scenes for each level are all exactly the same except for a couple of words here and there. I think that React Games really could have done a better job incorporating a captivating story that fit each different map and challenge, especially with so much character personality to work with. The individual character personalities also do not shine as well through the levels and it would be interesting if the “genius personality” had special abilities that helped him perform “genius moves”. Also for being advertised as a rock game, I wasn’t impressed with the music during the levels and think that the rock-age could have been amplified.
As far as playability, sometimes you could simply run through certain levels without attacking anyone which creates boring plays. Some power-ups were a lot better than others making it sometimes trivial and really easy to complete. Other power-ups such as the “no penalty falls” creates an unintended consequence where sometimes after falling you would respawn on a ledge that prevents movements, leaving restart as your only option. Not even suicide can save you. There was also a problem where sometimes, the characters just decided they weren’t going to use their main attack move anymore. During play, I would sometimes lose the ability to use R2 on my PS4 controller to attack, and instead it would keep bringing up the menu screen when pressed. Although I was still able to use the other attack, it made it highly annoying when I accidentally hit R2 thinking I could still use it to attack.
All in all, for a game that React Games initially created in ten days for a competition, this action-packed “Bros before Foes” brawler is a good addition to any skull-busting, head-banging rocker’s library. Although it does have areas of improvement and potentially unintended setbacks, Super Dungeon Bros brings together bro-tastic characters with many difficulties and modes to form a fun game that is everlasting and enjoyable for days. I recommend giving Super Dungeon Bros a try, so unleash your inner Bilbro Baggins and “go forth and be filled with the spirit of rock!”