Super Time Force Ultra – Game review by Zephyr

STFU-Logo

After having spent a great deal of time playing this on console, I was more than thrilled to hear an updated version of Super Time Force was making its way to Steam with new playable characters and extra content. Bought to us by the fellows people over at Capybara Games – this once Xbox 360/Xbox One exclusive has finally arrived to grace our PCs.

Filled with humorous time-travel tropes and classic side-scrolling action, I was delighted to add this charming little game to my Steam library.

Gameplay

Super Time Force Ultra (aka STFU) brings an innovative twist to the side-scrolling, run n’ gun action shooter genre. One can say it’s a mix between Contra and Braid. The player takes control of the Super Time Force; an ever growing squad of time-traveling military agents with the ability to…well…control time!

While you’ll only be controlling one squad member at a time, you can freeze/rewind time and spawn in as another member of your squad. Doing so will not erase your previous actions; instead you’ll fight alongside your previous character. It only takes one hit to kill you. Rewinding time to prevent a squad member’s death will turn them into a power-up which you can collect. Due to the silly nature of this mechanic, it’s possible to have duplicate characters fighting on the screen at once, which can clutter the screen up a quite bit and make it pretty chaotic, but that’s part of fun.

When it comes down to the core of the game, you’ll be using these mechanics to boost your firepower, fix any blunders you’ve made, or experiment around with different moves. Just remember, you’ll be working against the clock; missions are timed, but you can collect extra time, as well as lives, and other collectibles. Upon completing a stage, you are treated to a nice replay of your carnage (from start to finish) in real time. Think of it as what a bystander would see (without all the time powers.) It’s a pretty neat feature.

Super Time Force Ultra

Characters, Stages, and Enemies

The full roster originally consisted of 16 playable characters, but with the addition of Pyro, Zoey, and Saxton Hale in STFU – the full roster is now boosted to 19. Capy did a fantastic job making each squad member likeable and unique; each has his/her own unique abilities, which consist of a standard attack and a special charged move. New characters are unlocked by rescuing from hilarious predicaments during missions, collecting collectibles, or beating challenge stages.

One of my favorite things about the game is the stage selection – You’ll appreciate this if you’re a fan of Mega Man! After the intro stage, you can choose to tackle whichever stage you want, right off the bat – Mega Man style! Stages are imaginative and diverse. In one stage you’ll find yourself fighting dinosaurs in prehistoric times; in another you’ll be traveling through Atlantis. I absolutely adore the design and liveliness of each level!

Much like the stages, every enemy is themed appropriately to the stage/scenario they are on. Some fly and act as stage hazards, while others fire projectiles or try to get up close and melee you. The bosses are especially well crafted, each having amusing quirks in their design. The boss fights themselves are massive in scale, but in the end, it all comes down to how many squad members you can get on screen to defeat the boss as quickly as possible before time runs out.

Aesthetics and Sound

I’m just going to say it, I’m a sucker for pixel art. Everything I mentioned previously from characters, stages, and bosses are all wonderfully crafted. Even if it’s just sprites, I can tell Capy put a great deal of love and care into creating their assets.

The outstanding soundtrack undoubtedly does the game justice. Starting the game, you are immediately welcomed by a fantastic chiptune track composed by the talented Jason DeGroo. He did a spectacular job and I would recommend checking out the 53-track album if you have the time. Also, the sound FX is spot on and fits the action on screen beautifully.

Super Time Force Ultra

The Charming Story

If you’re looking for a serious story, you’re in the wrong place. STFU’s story is erratic and makes no sense. Why did we go back to prehistoric times? Well, to save the dinosaurs so they can live alongside us. Why did we go back to medieval times to find the Holy Grail? Well, to save a chain of medieval themed restaurants, of course. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is filled with paradoxes, but I guess that’s what makes STFU so charming and why I absolutely adore it.

Worth the Price?

One playthrough (not counting any of the challenge stages) can take roughly 3-5 hours. That said, it has high replayability – there are secret unlockable, achievements and new modes to play with. $15 is the asking price and I’d say it’s worth it for a good time.

Just think of it this way. A movie ticket for the cinema cost about $10-15 (for me at least.) Said movie is usually around 2 hours long. Some of you might not go to the cinema, but for me I’d be getting more hours of enjoyment from STFU for just $15.

Honestly, I can’t praise this game enough. Capybara Games did a stellar job bringing this to PC and giving us Steam users some extra love. There are humorous and memorable moments to be had and I guarantee STFU will put a smile on your face.

Highly recommend, ESPECIALLY if you’re an old school gamer looking for a fresh concept.

Buy Super Time Force Ultra Steam CD Key on Kinguin


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