There is a subculture of gamers who love a challenge and also grew up on 2D side scrolling platformers. These gluttons for punishment get a new game every so often, some are amazing, like Super Meat Boy, for example, with new and innovative gameplay or design ideas, but most keep the same twitchy controls and insane difficulty level that is the standard. Super Rude Bear Resurrection is the latest of these games to come along and challenge your thumbs, your brain, and your patience. The difference is, anyone can beat Super Rude Bear Resurrection, with enough time, and corpses, lots of bear corpses.
Super Rude Bear Resurrection is the creation of 24-year-old Alex Rose, a budding game developer from Manchester U.K.. His site says he has been designing games since the age of 6. Pretty damn impressive! Rude Bear himself is a gangster bear from East London. He is recruited by a strange fairy creature to go back in time, to medieval England, and defeat his nemesis, The Wizard. Honestly, the premise for Super Rude Bear Resurrection could’ve been anything. The hip hop-flavored, gangster bear is pretty cool mind you, but the stars of Super Rude Bear Resurrection are the gameplay and insane level designs.
What makes Super Rude Bear Resurrection unique is the persistent corpse mechanic. When Rude Bear dies, his corpse stays there. This now deceased bear can then be used as a platform, or, as being impaled on stakes is the most common cause of bear death, a buffer between you being skewered again. Can’t make that jump across a sea of spikes? Just die and use your body to leap to the next dead body and so on. Nothing is impossible with a huge pile of dead bears at your disposal. Last year, Life Goes On: Done to Death used this mechanic in many of the same ways, but was more puzzle-centric in its use of static corpses. Super Rude Bear Resurrection is pure platformer, full of tough wall jumps, thumb cramping obstacles, and interesting bosses; it’s challenging enough to keep players happy and coming back again and again, in search of that “perfect run.”
Alex Rose is so confident in the challenge level of Super Rude Bear Resurrection that he is offering a $1,000 prize to the first person to complete it without dying. But for a game where dying is your only reprieve, good luck with that. I ended up completing Super Rude Bear Resurrection in a couple sittings, but only after literally more than 2,000 deaths. I make no claims to be a good player, but I have been playing this type of sidescroller since I was child, and even I ended up at times deciding to throw as many lives as needed to safely allow me to just waltz on over said death pile to victory. Another nice feature is that players can take control of their sarcastic flying fairy sidekick and scout levels. This was very helpful, as once Rude Bear gets moving, it’s usually essential to keep moving and jumping, so either plan ahead or be quick when heading out to the next checkpoint. Thankfully there is no load time after each death; Rude Bear will spawn in a split second at the last coffin shaped save point. At times there will be an over abundance of corpses that will block your path, and your fairy friend can shoot a player-directed laser to destroy them or use an area blast to clear every body in the area.
While the graphics for Super Rude Bear Resurrection are not particularly special, it is definitely busy and really trippy at times. The levels vary between ice, desert, factory, and eventually a bone-infested hellscape. There are no enemies besides bosses, but spikes, as mentioned, are most plentiful on the walls and the ceiling, along with swinging axes and falling objects; something deadly is always nearby. Many options are available to customize your experience in the advanced options sections. I turned off rotational screenshake, changed the blood color to red, and turned off the fairy comments, as they got a little old and when trying to navigate the higher levels, distracting. The music is this trippy hip hop with splashes of 90’s beats. I dug it quite a bit.
If Super Rude Bear Resurrection was just another impossibly hard platformer, I wouldn’t have spent more than a few minutes with it; don’t get me wrong, it’s very creative in many ways, and addictive once you get the hang of it. It’s the availability that the corpse mechanic opens up to every skill level, that makes it stand out for me. Difficulty is still there to taunt and challenge speed runners who want to be up on the competitive rankings board, but everyone can have fun with Super Rude Bear Resurrection. I did. I died and died, but still, I had fun. I spoke with developer Alex Rose on Facebook Messenger, about how I was looking forward to art created with dead bears, and was told he already made a penis, “just to be the first, someone had to.” Indeed sir, indeed. So good luck if you take up the “no death challenge,” and if not, pick up Super Rude Bear Resurrection anyway, because it’s fun in the death factory.
Super Rude Bear Resurrection is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. This review is based on a PS4 copy provided for that purpose.
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