TL: DR(eview) - Super Rude Bear Resurrection is a brutal fast-paced platformer. But where other games might lean into the “git gud” mentality of a difficult learning curve, SRBR respects that the genre might not be for everyone but still invites players in with the hook that your past deaths can make your path through the increasingly difficult levels easier to manage.
I barely played Super Meat Boy when it was offered as a PlayStation Plus game in October 2015. I hopped in, played through the first world, probably died a couple hundred times, and said, “not really the game for me.” So when I first tried Super Rude Bear Resurrection at PAX and got those Super Meat Boy vibes, I was initially wary. But Alex Rose had the foresight to understand the reservations of a gamer like myself.
When you die in Super Rude Bear Resurrection, your old body stays pretty much where you left it. So if you died because you landed on a set of spikes in the floor, you can now jump onto your poor corpse to safely pass by the deadly obstacle. Certain traps will even disappear completely if you die by one, opening up new potential routes. Rather than punish the player for not being good or making a mistake, the game rewards the player with a new potential path that’ll make it just a bit more manageable, and it’s probably the only thing that kept me going for a full playthrough.
Not too much of a story to get hung up on here. You play as Rude Bear and a short pre-start screen scene shows a fairy abducting you in order to defeat an evil Wizard. The fairy serves as a guide, constantly telling you what to do in ways both helpful and taunting. It also resurrects you every time you die, bringing you back to a checkpoint. You’ll traverse through a series of themed worlds. Each world is comprised of a few levels which will introduce new challenges specific to their environment before pitting you against an end boss. It addition to the fast-paced action, the game is filled with tongue-in-cheek references to video game history. For example, after the first boss, you’re told with a not-so-subtle wink that the wizard is in another tower.
The level design and platforming is the game’s bread and butter and it can indeed be painful in a good way. Often requiring incredibly precise movement, jumps, and wall jumps, Super Rude Bear Resurrection is definitely designed with speed runners and people looking for a no-death run kind of challenge. But as somebody who would never even dream of that, I was able to work my way through the game’s main campaign in an evening over about five hours and hundreds if not thousands of dead bears. That’s on the basic difficulty setting. Extra challenges can be put in place to up the challenge. You can turn off your leftover corpses, the traps that disappear when hit, and the checkpoints if your looking to really challenge yourself. Additionally, hidden hats off in hard to reach places will open up extra bonus levels throughout the game.
The game’s soundtrack - a constant, energetic electronic beat fits nicely among the various game worlds. It supports the feel of the game without ever feeling too repetitive or in your face. Really the only downside to the game for me was possibly playing it on too big a screen. On my living room 60” television, the amount of stuff going on occasionally overwhelmed me as I had to keep an eye on a much wider plane than if I’d been playing on a smaller monitor or handheld system. But even when things got difficult for these reasons, enough deaths managed to make the levels manageable.
Super Rude Bear Resurrection is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of 2D platformers. If you’re a fan of something like Super Meat Boy, this would certainly be up your alley but even if you’re not (like me), there’s a lot of fun to be had here and a definite sense of accomplishment from completing some of the later levels (even if it takes over twelve minutes and nearly 160 bears to do it).
Super Rude Bear Resurrection is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, May 5th on Steam.
A PlayStation 4 code was provided for review.