Super Knockoff! VS Review
Taking a page from the import-only Jump Super Stars, Team Four Star and Action Panel’s Super Knockoff! VS pits a number of anime-styled pugilists against each other in a last-man standing battle. Unfortunately, this title gets a number of things wrong.
Super Knockoff! VS Review
Fans of 90s-era anime will likely recognize the cast and crew found here, even if they’re knock-offs (hence the name). Paying tribute to Dragon Ball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Astro Boy, and even Slam Dunk, this game wears its inspiration on its sleeve. However, what could have been a loving tribute just feels like a shameless ripoff. Sprites all look like modified Mega Man caricatures, the voice acting is amateurish, and even character portraits are DevianArt-tier. The source material deserved so much more.
The same goes for its core gameplay. The ultimate goal is to knock people off the stage or make them fall to their doom, but the main method to do so is with projectiles and guns for some reason. Machine guns, shotguns, laser guns, and other weaponry don’t really come across as something you’d see in anime, and the lack of detail makes them somewhat generic. Each characters’ moveset does offer some variety though, with teleportation moves, grappling hooks, and more. Players can also build meter to unleash a super move, like the Goku-inspired “kamehameha blast” or a snowstorm.
It often feels like the ultimate goal of the game is to play defensively rather than offensively. Once players are out for a round, they’re gone until the next match – no ifs, ands, or buts. In addition, players are given 60 seconds to survive – after that, a number of the destroyable game tiles change to bombs, making things that much more difficult. Finally, each of the eight stages does not have a lot of real estate to maneuver – the “Ruins of Ashur” stage is especially guilty of not giving players enough room to move around.
Perhaps Super Knockoff! VS’ biggest offense would be its lack of modes. Not only is there only one main mode without any options, there is no single player or online mulitplayer mode to speak of. This is a huge oversight, and that means the only way to play is to crowd anywhere from two to four people around a computer. Bots or even simple netcode could have been easy to implement, so it’s sad to see that neither one is available here.
Super Knockoff! VS feels phoned-in. It’s lack of options, questionable level design, and lack of single player or multiplayer modes make it a hard sell for multiplayer gaming fanatics.
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