Super Rude Bear Resurrection Review: Platform Til You Die
There’s a sub-culture born out of the side-scrolling platforming genre that’s devoted to fetishizing the intense challenge that these types of games can offer. These players relish the sort of difficulty that has them at the edge of their seats, diligently timing each and every action they take with pixel-point precision. Super Rude Bear Resurrection by Alex Rose is the newest take on that style -- and arguably one the most refreshing one that’s released in some time.
Within the last the last decade, we’ve seen plenty of these games -- ever since early affairs like I Wanna Be The Guy and Super Meat Boy have gone on to inspire contemporaries like VVVVVV and 1001 Spikes to satiate the niche of gamers who crave more adversity in their side-scroller. As popular as this sub-genre is, however, a lot of the software in this category admittedly hasn’t done much (if anything) to cater to other platforming enthusiasts who might not possess the necessary skills to engage these hardcore platformers head-on.
Super Rude Bear Resurrection addresses this divide between players, and works to bridge that gap between the two demographics -- offering a twisted take on the skill-based formula that’s wonderfully bizarre, and enjoyable without any compromise to the brutal challenge that it offers.
A Wonderfully Weird Experience
One of the first things that jump out at you in Super Rude Bear Resurrection is how hard it owns its eccentric weirdness. And while a weird video game is hardly groundbreaking, there aren’t many titles out there that use the strange factor to the advantage of the game’s entertainment value quite the way Super Rude Bear does.
The tale begins in East London, where a gang of misfit thugs is loitering in front of a rundown alley -- when all of the sudden a Wizard fairy barges in to recruit the services of Rude Bear, whisking him away into the ether before the furry gangsters can even respond.
The premise only gets stranger, as players will be tossed into a gauntlet of lethal obstacle courses they’ll need to overcome if they ever hope to get Rude Bear back to the hood where he belongs. The courses will range from Medieval torture chambers and ice dungeons to barbaric temples and killer factories.
The vibrant art that paints this world together is oddly charming. The deeper you dive into Rude Bear’s surreal landscapes, the more you see how its art style is reminiscent of the grotesque works and colors of Zero Friends’ Skinner and Alex Pardee -- which definitely adds to the visceral themes within the game’s cartoonish violence.
The soundtrack, on the other hand, is a bit hit-and-miss.
How much you take to the OST will depend on your taste in music, as the composition is almost entirely made up of polarizing House tracks that are rife with synth-heavy slide beats and simple EDM rhythms.
Although some of the tracks do work to compliment the neon-soaked visuals of the Rude Bear, a majority of the set list is tepid at best and nauseatingly commonplace at worst -- which is par for the course for that saturated genre of music, if we’re being fair.
Deft Design and Excellent Execution
Questionable sound design notwithstanding, the appeal of the presentation isn’t simply because Super Rude Bear is fully aware of its absurdity, but also that it works so brilliantly with the game design of its levels and mechanics -- making sure that everything in this indie platformer is homogeneous to the controllability of its masochistic dynamics.
Every stage in Super Rude Bear is orchestrated with an immaculate sense of detail. We’re talking the kind of concept proofing that was achieved from hours upon hours of fine-toothed combing in development.
The polish is obvious in every element that's crucial to the gameplay flow of an intense platformer. Every frame of animation and its respective point of collision are consistent with the physics that dictate Rude Bear’s movement, with a control scheme that’s equally intuitive. Pinpointing the apex of the ursine hero’s jumps is responsively proportionate to the sensitivity of input on the jump button -- while the maneuvering the bad dude is sharper than all hell, as he can turn on a dime in any instance where the situation calls for it.
This platformer is as punishing as it is polished...
In spite how pristine the execution of Rude Bear’s mechanics are, the game is still really freakin’ hard -- and you’ll undoubtedly die more than the Dodo ever did. But that’s also OK, because there’s an intriguing exception to the rule of death that works to make this venture extraordinarily accessible. Whenever the furry guy is maimed, sliced, or impaled, you’ll respawn back at the last checkpoint you passed, leaving behind a corpse of your former self on the trap that originally did you in which often gives you an advantage the second time around.
Let’s say you come across an unusually long bed of spikes that you’ll need to jump across in order to get through. No matter long of a running space you have, you’ll always end up short of clearing the leap and fall to your pointy demise. When you return to the prickly gap again, however, you’ll get the advantage of being able to use that cadaver from the previous failed attempt as a stepping stool that you can safely land on, giving you more of lead to reach the other side of the spike trap that was too far to cross otherwise.
The dynamic helps soften the blow behind any of the setbacks you’ll come across without entirely diluting the impact of failure. Just to be clear, it is entirely possible for every single level of the game to be beaten without a single life being lost -- and you're subtly encouraged to be challenged in that regard -- but Super Rude Bear doesn’t expect you to try and tackle that tall feat right away either.
Recycling your bear-boned efforts into a new opportunity is an excellent way for players to get intimate with many of the game’s death traps and challenges without it ever feeling bittersweet to get to that level of play.
Despite a few minor gripes, Super Rude Bear Resurrection is truly bigger than the sum of its parts -- and this is some of the best platforming action that hardcore players are going to get.
When you do get it, maybe just turn the music volume down a bit when you boot it up, because Deeco is certainly no Deadmau5.
This intense platformer is an affair that caters to all of the nuances of the genre. From speed-running and crowd play to hidden levels and challenge trials, there’s a plethora of content to gorge yourself. And it’s all for a price that’s criminally low for what you’ll get.
Note: This copy of Super Rude Bear Resurrection was provided for free by the developer for this review.