Super Rude Bear Resurrection Review
I would die for you!
Dying can be really annoying in games. Often times you’ll have to trudge through the same boring obstacles to reach the one actually difficult part, only to get eviscerated and restart the ordeal. It makes for a gameplay loop that typically not satisfying.
Games like Super Meat Boy reveled in that style, but tuned the length of levels into 30 second long chunks that barely required backtracking. Super Rude Bear Resurrection is very reminiscent of Meat Boy, just without much of the charm or style.
Starting off in Super Rude Bear is really as easy as booting up the game, clicking start and then going. If you’re looking for some kind of plotline to grasp on to, then you’re going to be disappointed. Even the tutorial hints at as much; you’re playing as a perpetually angry bear that has a resurrection power that allows him to die an infinite amount of times.
So far, that explains how you can constantly retry stages. What you soon learn, though, is this endless dying is actually an ability of Rude Bear’s. After every death on any stage, your corpse will remain where you perished. As such, if you throw enough bodies at a problem, it tends to go away.
Copying the rule book of basically every indie platformer from the last decade, Rude Bear is comprised of saw blades, spike bits, laser beams, rockets and other sharp objects that seemingly want the protagonist dead. Being a platformer, you just have to dodge these obstacles and make it to an exit, even if it takes you 100 deaths.
Thankfully, it’s not as simple as what I just wrote. Each level features some gimmick that mixes up the basic platforming action. You’ll encounter disappearing blocks, gravity modifiers and some windmill style platforms that require you to dodge obstacles while constantly moving forward. It feels similar to what Nintendo does with Mario games, just with more gore.
What doesn’t feel the same is how Rude Bear controls. While you have a great deal of air control when making jumps, Rude Bear literally flies through these levels. His speed is turned up to 1000, it seems, as a slight tap of the d-pad will send him careening through the level. You can hold a shoulder button to slow him down, but that doesn’t really amount to much.
Rude Bear can also cling to walls and will slowly slide down them, a la Super Meat Boy. This is used for wall jumping, though most of the puzzles focus on having you narrowly avoid spike traps by switching sides. You also have an ability to remove your corpses from levels, should the monument to your ineptitude start to block your path.
While I would hesitate to say the controls are loose, they definitely don’t feel responsive enough for a game that focuses on instant death pits. I suppose the whole gimmick with your corpses being persistent was due to how jittery Rude Bear can be, but trying to finish any level without dying is an exercise in frustration. For the true masochists, the game actually offers that as an option, but I could only do a handful of levels without dying.
The game is divided up into seven worlds that each feature five main levels and four hidden ones. The hidden levels bring out the best aspect of Rude Bear’s design; non-linear level progression. While there is a clear path you can take to finish each level, the game never forces you into taking one option. If you can make a jump over a seemingly ridiculous obstacle, then you’re usually rewarded with a collectible and hidden stage. These hidden stages tend to be even more devious than the main ones, but those, too, have some hidden objects for you to find.
What those amount to, I’m not sure, but it’s nice that different options exist in every level. It feels a lot more organic than making sadistic death traps and requiring players throw themselves at a brick wall for hours on end. In a few instances, I became a bit frustrated with continuously dying, so I sought out another path and pressed on.
That being said, by default, Super Rude Bear Resurrection is pretty easy. It may not come off like that, but since you don’t receive any real penalty for using hundreds of lives on a single stage, any challenge can be negated through sheer perseverance. It works similar to a sliding scale, but it can make even the most intimidating of setups feel paltry.
For most of the boss fights, this indefinite respawning is actually factored into beating them. One guy shoots a plethora of missiles at you before proceeding to shoot out a claw that will snatch you. You have to dodge his attacks and then get him to grab your corpse, which is neat.
The final boss does away with respawning for his encounter, though, so I guess you can’t actually finish the game if you truly suck at it. The final fast paced gauntlet isn’t that insane, but it might make a few people rip their hair out. I’m used to such challenges from playing these types of games for so long, but I could definitely understand why people would give up at the very end.
Once you complete the game, you get a few different options for speed running or marathoning the boss fights. You also have the ability to turn the difficulty up so that your corpses won’t liter the levels or that any traps you trigger will reset upon death. You can make the game as hard as you want, though doing so doesn’t ultimately change how the game feels.
As for the presentation, I’m a little torn. The graphics are definitely colorful and the animations are pretty smooth, but I don’t know that I care for the design of each level. The game slowly progresses into a darker tone as you near the end and levels start feeling bland and samey. Just looking at the last world depresses me, since a few of the earlier ones at least had specific theming.
The soundtrack makes up for it, though. I’m not a big fan of dubstep or hip hop, but this soundtrack definitely thumps along well to the action. It sounds like a scratch DJ going wild, at times, but it always feels appropriate to the main character’s anger.
At the end of the day, Super Rude Bear Resurrection doesn’t rewrite the handbook on how to make a masochistic platformer, but it makes the genre more approachable for newcomers. If you’ve ever fancied playing Super Meat Boy, but were put off by the stark difficulty, then Super Rude Bear Resurrection has you covered.