PAX 2013: Super Time Force preview

STF_dinoSuper Time Force borrows the only element that I ever enjoyed about Mega Man, and adds its own original concept to make a game that’s going to be a blast to play when it releases on XBLA this year.

In Capybara Games’ new title, you play as a menagerie of time traveling combatants who leap through different worlds and time periods as they try to vanquish an enemy of the entire universe, Chrono Trigger style.

Every playable character has a different kind of projectile attack and a charged super-attack, and each one is best suited for the different situations that you’ll encounter in a level. From what I played, you will be switching between them a lot. It’s actually advisable if you want to become more powerful and complete a level faster.

This isn’t a simple time-trial action-platformer – the real second-saving occurs when you strategically kill yourself

The demo I played had a 60-second timer that counted down when I started, however there were collectables scattered through out the environment that added time to the total. Collecting these time-chips was pretty important for me when I saw the timer getting to close to zero, but Super Time Force isn’t a simple time-trial action-platformer – the real second-saving occurs when you strategically kill yourself.

The game features one-hit deaths for all the characters I played, but when you die,  you have the option to rewind time to a safe point a few seconds earlier and then respawn as a new time-traveller. When you respawn, you play along side the ghost of those who you’ve previously let die, and a timer above their head counts down to the moment of their death.

If you can save their lives by either blocking the killing-blow or taking out their assailant, their silhouette becomes another collectible which offers you an additional life and additional offensive capability. Running around with four lives stacked together into one traveller and firing all their guns at once was an enjoyable experience, and a rewarding trade off for death.

You can unlock the characters from each time-period in what ever order that you choose, which is great for replayability

The thing that has me really excited about Super Time Force however, is the prospect of going through different eras in time, in any order I want. One of the Capy developers told me that you could unlock the characters from each time-period in what ever order you choose by either completing worlds, or by getting a perfect score on certain levels.

This opens up all kinds of opportunities for replayability. I picture playing the game several times over to see which characters perform best against certain bosses in different levels. It’s a Mega Man-esque feature that I’ve often wished showed up in other adventure games.

Capybara games has shown in the past that they know how to make an engaging game that looks great as well. Super Time Force has the same pixel art that I’ve come to love from them, and it looks like the game is going to be pure fun as well.

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