Super Crush KO

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Vertex Pop
Release Date: Jan. 16, 2020


Switch/PC Preview - 'Super Crush KO'

by Redmond Carolipio on June 17, 2019 @ 12:15 a.m. PDT

Combining beat-em-up and run ‘n gun action, Super Crush KO, has players take control of Karen, a tough and fashionable brawler in a colorful world overrun by frantic robot enemies.

What would you do if some weird robots broke into your place and took away your cat? In the world of Super Crush KO, you don a neon jacket and take to the streets of a hybrid, futuristic city and punch some robot face if you're not shooting them to colorful bits.

This upcoming project from Vertex Pop (Graceful Explosion Machine, We Are Doomed) can best be described as a side-scrolling, beat-'em-up, shooter hybrid that will feel a little like an adorable version of Devil May Cry. For the short demo mission that I was able to play, it was some of the most fun 15 minutes I had at E3 2019.

Karen is the name of the game's butt-kicking protagonist, and the first thing I noticed is that she has the entire toolbox of high-tier, fast melee moves to tear through waves of these enemies that can be executed instantly thanks to some very crisp and intuitive controls. I was able to unleash a quick four-punch combo and string it together with special moves, like a tornado-like attack and a powerful uppercut. By the way, you unlock new moves through the power of food truck cuisine, so a piece of pizza begat the "uppercut slice."

I mentioned shooting, because for some reason, Karen packs what looks like a plasma assault cannon. Shooting was done with the pointing of the right stick in any direction necessary, giving the game a sort of Contra-like aesthetic. However, in a neat twist for the sake of balance, the gun can overheat, so you just can't sweep the area with an endless stream of cannon fire.

It took me only a few seconds to start tinkering around with which combos I could pull off to earn a DMC-like style grade that pops up at the upper right of the screen every time I finish off enemies. There's also a very essential dodge feature that helped Karen elude projectiles and tight fits, so she could create space for her combos or gunfire. If you get past the cute vibrancy of Super Crush KO and treat it like side-scrolling Bayonetta, the experience feels a lot more kinetic, bouncy and fun. You'll get a chance sometime in early 2020.

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