There was once a time when the mention of an RPG adventure would see players immediately prepare for an all-serious adventure, usually revolving around numerous factions, a war across the land, in-depth management systems and enough lore to outlive the Harry Potter books. Nowadays though, RPGs can come in all shapes and sizes, and having recently caught up with the rather exciting Costume Quest 2 all these years later, I was more than prepared to step into another cutesy and colourful world when Super Cane Magic ZERO arrived.
Super Cane Magic ZERO is a cartoon stylised adventure in which players roam an expansive world littered with story missions, comical characters… and lots and lots of things to throw. Eventually you’ll be setting off to save the world though and that is where this hero story begins – after you’ve crashed into the world first that is.
To kick things off players choose from one of four available characters, each of which have slightly different stats and abilities. As you progress, there are many items that can be found and picked up that can change your stats, such as new gear or consumables that can give a variety of effects on stats. Some are permanent buffs, whilst others are just temporary.
Despite being an RPG game, the majority of the time is spent in combat and searching the world, and after progressing out of the opening area, you are let loose in a sprawling world that holds no hands as you search for your next objective. Of course searching around in any RPG game always has an element of excitement and adventure to it, and here, should you be keeping a close eye on signposts, it generally isn’t too difficult to find your next area. However, blink and miss some bits, and there’s always a chance you’ll be left wandering aimlessly until you come across something else in the world that will side track you from your objective.
In terms of story, Super Cane Magic ZERO is very much like something you’d expect to hear from a child who’s just whipped up a story that could only really be fulfilled in a Michael Bay movie. It’s extravagant, it’s wacky, and it’s unique. But it is enjoyable, and should you want something that you can sink your teeth into, then chasing down a world destroying dog is certainly a good way to go.
As for the combat, the usual RPG feel is gone, with combat taking place in real time with the right stick aiming attacks whilst the R and ZR buttons are used for attacking and special abilities. The biggest part of combat however is the throwing. I’m not talking aiming a knife and throwing it like you’ve seen in all those parkour/combat games over the recent years, I’m talking any item you pick up, and throwing it. Maybe you will even want to throw the enemies themselves, as this is a great way to deal extra damage once you’ve knocked one down, and by pinging them off into surrounding walls, or enemies, you can even give up with weapons altogether!
Throwing isn’t just for combat however, and should you see an item you want to interact with – such as a chest that may harbour hidden treasure – throwing it is a sure fire way to get the goods out.
Now when it comes to games of the RPG variety, we often tend to compare and the closest comparison for Super Cane Magic ZERO would be to call It a hyped-up old school Zelda game. The map is huge and packed with puzzles and paths to find and conquer, enemies litter the world as you progress and often you’re left to figure things out on your own. Yet still it somehow manages to retain a unique feel to things. Something which is rarely seen in the expansive RPG genre these days.
The general crux of the game comes down to simply finding and completing puzzles, bashing enemies, looting and exploration; not to mention a fair dollop of dungeon crawling. None of it is really game changing, however it all comes together well enough that the whole experience is memorable, even if the story is a tad long.
Now there are two modes in place. Story mode can be played with up to four players, and Arena mode is a 2-4 player brawl. The latter is pretty much your typical Deathmatch type experience and whilst it isn’t quite as exciting as the core Story, it does bring a competitive edge to what is otherwise a solely co-op adventure.
Away from gameplay and if you like retro, then this is a game that will scream retro from the rooftops. With an artistic old-skool feel to the soundtrack and visuals that paint a picture of classics such as Adventure Time, everything here is sure to bring back fond memories of some iconic games and TV programmes. You can also include some easter eggs and little nods to other known media which are hidden away for players to find.
Overall and if you like RPGs, but want something a little different to the usual overly serious tone of things, then Super Cane Magic ZERO on Nintendo Switch will be the one for you. It has humour, eye catching colours and a retro vibe from start to finish. Most importantly though, it brings enjoyable and wacky fun that can be enjoyed solo or with friends and in an adventure that brings so much to look at, playing with those friends is the best way to enjoy this one.
Release date: May 2019
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review)
Massive thanks to: Intragames