Super Knockoff! VS is a multiplayer action-fighting game developed by Action Panel and published T.F.S. Entertainment. The main gimmick of the game is that each of the characters you play as is a parody of famous manga and anime characters from different eras of the medium. The core idea and gameplay of Super Knockoff! Vs is good, but it is marred by a few very significant issues.
Super Knockoff! VS is available on Steam for $11.99
There is no real overarching story behind Super Knockoff! VS. You’re not really given any reason why the characters are fighting, or how they ended up in the same place. It’s not a huge issue, but it would have been nice for there to be some quick explanation.
The characters are meant to be parodies of famous manga and anime characters throughout the years, with each one covering a different genre of anime. Characters like Cosmo and Ace are clear analogous to Astro Boy and Yugi Moto, while others like Jira and Judai are more like amalgamations of characters from the giant robot and sports genres, respectively.
Each character also has a quick bio, giving a brief summary of the plots of their respective manga. For characters or genres that you’re familiar with, they’re a fairly nice and quick read, though if it’s a genre you’re not familiar with can be a bit odd to say the least.
The game focuses around 2-4 players attempting to knock each other off the stage. Each of the eight characters has a projectile attack, a maneuvering ability, and an ultimate. What really separates them is how their abilities work. Some characters will have powerful but slow projectiles, while others are able to hover around the stage for a short period of time. Some of the characters ultimates are a huge attack, while others gain some form of buff.
There are eight different stages to choose from, each one modeled after the setting of one of the characters world. The stages are, for the most part, destructible, making the game more dangerous as it keeps going. Stages will also contain special gems that the player collects in order to use their ultimate, as well as bombs that act as stage hazards. If the game goes on too long, the game will start turning any blocks left in the stage into bombs.
Another part of the gameplay is the use of weapons. Players are able to pick up and use these weapons to gain an advantage during the fight. Each weapon has a different form of firing, as well as a set amount of ammunition. For example, the force gun has a short range, but it can be charged and launches away enemies. After the weapon runs out of ammo, it disappears and a new one will eventually respawn.
The gameplay is solid, but there are two main issues with the game. The first, and most major of the two, is that the game only allows local co-op. This means that, unless you have friends over. There is no way for you to actually play the game. There is no online functionality at all, and in addition there is no way to fight against computer components. For a game release in 2018, this seems to be a very major oversight
Another minor problem is the lack of mouse and keyboard support. While I can more than understand people preferring the use of a controller, the fact that there is no way to play with mouse and keyboard is very disappointing. It’s also a bit confusing when you realize that the game itself is currently exclusive to PC.
Graphics and Sound
Art wise the game has a very simple ascetic, with the in game models being little pixel people, very similar in manner to that of Duck Game. The character art on the select screen is ok, but nothing to really write home about. They are all fairly recognizable as well, which is good considering their meant to be parodies of popular characters.
Each character is fully voiced, having different lines when they are selected, defeated, etc. The voices are well done, and as with the characters bios, they will give you a good laugh if you’re familiar with the character or genre they are parodying. Nothing is super spectacular, but far from being bad.
Probably one of the strongest points of the game comes in the form of its music. There is a different theme for each stage, and they tend to vary quite a bit. On one stage your listening to pulsating techno, and then be grooving out to some nice jazz. Again, these match the genres of manga their parodying, which in addition to sounding great is a nice bonus.
While Super Knockoff! VS has a good concept, fairly solid if not simple gameplay, and a good soundtrack, it ultimately falls a bit flat when compared to others. Outside of the music the presentation is a bit lacking, and while its far from boring, the gameplay isn’t really deep enough to hook anyone. The fact that there is no online support or even some form of single player is also a huge issue, as it essentially means you can’t enjoy the game unless you can get friends over to play. Ultimately not a bad effort, but its hard for me to recommend Super Knockoff! VS in its current state.
|+ Great Music||– No online options|
|+ Fun Gameplay||– No single player options|
|+Good concept||– No mouse and keyboard support|
|– Lackluster overall presentation|