Super Crush KO plays like a 2D iteration of Bayonetta or DmC: Devil May Cry (yes, the Ninja Theory one). It is immediately understandable and controls like a dream. I compare it to those games and not, say, Devil May Cry 5, because the combat isn’t nearly as demanding. Instead, the focus is on reading the battlefield, using your full repertoire of moves, and achieving high scoring combos without getting hit.
The thing is, that’s really all the game is about. Over the course of a few hours you move from combat arena to combat arena, fighting a small variety of robot enemies in environments that all look the same. There’s a mobile game sensibility to Super Crush KO’s structure that can be off-putting. The level selection screen is reminiscent of the Angry Birds or Candy Crush Sagas of the world—a UI design that screams out, “you will find no surprises in this game.”
At least the UI isn’t lying. The harsh reality is that there really aren’t any secrets or surprises to be found. The fun collectibles or platforming challenges that break up the action of Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, and God of War are absent here. The only real reward is the rush of a high-scoring run, and the minimal comic book-style cutscenes between each world.
Aesthetically, it’s all colorful and pleasant, just barely rating above “fine”. You can see where the plot is going from a mile away—mainly because it’s becoming a bit of an indie game trope—but the story is mostly there for laughs anyway. The cast of characters seem to be rolling their eyes at the idea of trying to tell a story at all.
All this may seem overly harsh, but it’s what I was left with in trying to think about Super Crush KO critically. The entire experience was ephemeral, over in a few hours, with very little worth chewing on or returning to.
That said, the few hours I was actually playing Super Crush KO were an absolute joy. Sure, it was repetitive, and simplistic, but the core loop of this game is polished to a near perfect shine. I couldn’t get enough of chaining my combos from one combat encounter to the next. You just feel so cool, launching around, dodging expertly, and juggling groups of enemies into the air. At the heart of this little game is a perfect understanding of what is fun about action games.
Super Crush KO is a few hours of fun and then it’s gone. It’s a little bit of therapy, like meditation. Empty your mind and combo your way through it. Save it for a day when you need a simple distraction. You probably won’t remember much about it, and you might hope for a more ambitious sequel, but those few hours will still be a welcome escape.