Initial release date: September 17, 2020
Developer: Hörberg Productions
Publisher: Hörberg Productions
Platform: Nintendo Switch
"Review Copy Provided By Hörberg Productions"
Beat Em Ups have really been making a comeback with so many great entries in the genre from 2018’s Fight ‘N Rage to 2019’s River City Girls to current year where we had the return of 2 long dormant franchises with Streets of Rage 4 and BattleToads. We had a new brawler show up in the phenomenal The TakeOver and now we have a new game called Super Punch Patrol that seems to be a love letter and satire on the classics. Does Super Punch Patrol Live up to the returning genre’s rising success or does it deflate all the momentum and fall on its face? Let’s find out!
This is a by the book brawler meaning you have a jump, punch, kick button layout and the ability to do a crowd control move that drains your health. You can also run left or right to get out of sticky situations as well as double tap up or down to quickly move up or down the screen. When attacking you can mix in your punches and kicks which will end up either knocking your opponent down or launching them into the air. You can also do a rushing attack if you run forward and press kick which will initiate a knock down attack with different properties based on which character you are playing as.
You can pick up weapons from bats to knives to bombs which each do a varying amount of damage and will break after an extended amount of usage.
You can select from 1 of the 3 main characters with Anders Punch, Niles, and Selma. Anders is the strong but slow brute of the trio with Niles being the all-rounder, and Selma being the fastest yet weakest of the 3. Niles is your Cody of this group as he can take a decent amount of damage and dish it out in equal measure along with being able to maneuver in and out of danger fairly well. Niles also has many moves that are taken form Axel in Streets of Rage 2 such as the vault over back slam and his double kick finisher.
Selma is very similar to Niles and even shares his finishing double kick combo (which is pulled straight from Streets of Rage 2’s Axel), she has a rushing uppercut which also seems to be pulled from Axel and is performed in the same manner, and is the quickest when it comes to moving about the environment although she has some short comings of not being able to take as much damage as Niles or Anders and dishes out slightly less damage than Niles.
And finally, you have Anders who is just a powerhouse able to take tons of damage and dish out incredible amounts with his punches and hes devastating grab moves including his spinning piledriver taken from Zangief.
Per typical beat em up fashion, you can collect various items in the environment to raise your score which nets you a 1UP as well as health items like cake which can either partially or fully restore your health from the various destroyable items in the levels.
You can play the game in Single player or Couch Co-Op mode with a friend and take the fight to the streets. Like most modern beat em ups (sans Streets of Rage 4) there is no online multiplayer. There are several outfits to unlock as you progress and reach higher scores.
I really like the art style of the game with its sketch book look and the highlighted outlines on the characters you play as being blue and red for enemies’ vs the white backgrounds. The characters animate really well with how fluid they move and dart about the arena.
The backgrounds are pretty detailed in the sketch book style and really pop with the crazy amount of details that are being shown to the player.
Enemies look good albeit generic bad guy beat em up style so none of them really pop out or are memorable and the same can be said of the main characters as well as they also look pretty generic and maybe that’s intentional.
All in all it’s solid.
Audio is largely forgettable. To be honest I can’t remember a single song that stood out to me or was enough to get me hyped.
Nothing really to say here other than attacks sound par for the course but that’s about it.
The game isn’t a walk in the park and is fairly difficult and the main reason it’s difficult is due to the very limited amount of moves that you have, stiff controls, lack of quick recovery, and the incredibly aggressive enemies that you will end up facing with limited checkpoints. On top of that is some dodgy hit detection at times and hit boxes that can make no sense at all when it comes to how you take damage and dish out damage.
Enemies like to swarm you and can put you in positions where you will be ping ponged back and forth between them until you die.
The check point system also needs some retooling as the levels are fairly long and should you lose all your lives and continue, you’ll be set back at the beginning of a long level.
Some patches and quick fixes could resolve these issues in my opinion.
Super Punch Patrol is a unique brawler and decent for the price point, however, I can’t say that it’s the best bang for your buck when you can spend a few more dollars and get the infinitely superior and hands down best brawler out there being Fight N’ Rage. If you have a few bucks to spar and want to try something new and don’t have incredibly high expectations then you really cant go wrong here. Not a must own, not a must try, but a fun little change of pace of a title.