Super TIME Force (Xbox One) Review
Kalvin Martinez / May 22nd, 2014 No Comments
Super TIME Force is the latest game from developer Capybara Games. It was born out of a three-day game jam and shortly thereafter development started. Microsoft awarded the game its “XBLA” at the 2012 Independent Games Festival, securing it as an Xbox exclusive. Originally only slated to release for Xbox 360, Capy delayed the game to plan a simultaneous launch on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Super TIME Force operates on a number of different layers with its gameplay offering players plenty to digest and utilize when approaching various awesome time periods.
Whoa, I Know Gun-Fu
In Super TIME Force, you command an army of certified bad asses, each with their own skill sets and strengths. In the beginning, a small, dedicated squad of three is at your disposal. As you move through time, you enlist the services of more diverse soldiers, who make the world more awesome. The Super Time Force has six specific time periods to visit, where they must prevent a major catasrophe in order to make present time a much more magical place. From the present to the far flung future and all the way to the time of the dinosaurs, the Super Time Force has to kick some ass and correct time.
Each soldier has a basic attack and a powerful charge they can use to destroy the opposition. Both attacks have their own unique properities. For example, Aimy McKillin’s basic shot bounces off walls while her charged shot is a laser that can penetrate through walls. Using attacks as you maneuver through levels in the game is the first layer of Super TIME Force–shooting enemies while avoiding bullets while trying to reach the final boss fight looming at the end of each level. Utilizing different skills is important as the game ads new layers.
The other layer of gameplay comes in the form of time. Players are only given 60 seconds to complete each level. Levels leading to the final boss confrontation have time power-ups adding 10 seconds, allowing for up to an additional 60 seconds per level. At the start of each level, you have 30 time outs to help you more effectively take on the level. Within the non-final boss levels, there are 10 glorbs (yellow diamonds) that grant an additional time out. If you are judicious with grabbing power-ups, you can gain up to 120 seconds and 40 time outs to tackle a level.
Time outs serve as lives in Super Time Force. They allow players to rewind time as little or as much as they please. The time out mechanic is where the game really sings. It turns the game from a charming bullet hell shooter into something more. At first, time outs are primarily do-overs for dying carelessly. If you rewind and prevent your previous deaths, you gain an extra life as well as the charged attack of the dead character. Smart play sets up moments where additional firepower and lives can be gained to make players more effective.
While getting a do-over and powering up your characters is important, what time outs really offer is the opportunity to create a ghost time army. Every death is not only a learning experience, but it creates additional fire power. Time outs can rewind time all the way to the beginning of the level or a specific point in time. Rewinding effectively allows you to layer firepower on firepower to help get through tough spots and destroy difficult enemies.
Boss fights demand effective use of time outs to create a screen full of gun fire, explosive methane and rockets to decimate bosses. Certain boss fights require protecting an object from destruction; rewinding is really the only way to keep it alive while taking out a boss. Using your time outs smartly creates phantom attacks occurring at different points in time, allowing present you to focus on staying alive and doling out damage.
Chillin’ With Some Bros, Broettes and Tunes
What Super TIME Force does exceedingly well is pack the different time periods with whimsy and imagination. The game’s levels are chock full of enemies ranging from the dangerous to the ridiculous. In Super TIME Force, players fight knights, robots, dinosaurs, celestial beings, dystpoian psychopaths and killer starfish. There is a huge breadth of wonder to experience in Super TIME Force as you move from 1,000,000 BC to 3072. Oh, and you also get a jet pack sometimes.
The same sense of fun and imagination guiding the enemies and environments applies to the soldiers you employ. In the game you can use a skateboarding dinosaur, an out-of-work not-jedi-for-legal-purposes knight and an anthropomorphic pile of feces along with other clever action hero analogues to cause havoc and destruction.
Watching replays of levels where all your dead soldiers are working together in concert is a thing of beauty. Helping create the particular light hearted tone of the game is Jason DeGroot’s flouncy score. The music just gives off such good vibes that it coalesces the entire package into a purely joyful experience.
The extent of strategy given to gameplay with time outs turns Super TIME Force from a good bullet hell shooter into something much more. Super TIME Force has the best use of a time mechanic in a game ever. While story is far from the focal point, it weaves together time periods in a spectacular fashion. It takes a light hearted approach to deliver a story full of hilarity and joy.
The journey of Colonel Repeatski and his fabulous Super Time Force is memorable. While it doesn’t have the blockbuster power of Halo or Gears of War, Super TIME Force is a Microsoft exclusive that truly makes an impact.
tags: Capybara Games , review , Super Time Force , super time force review