E3 2019: ‘Super Crush KO’ is a Beat ‘Em Up Delight with a Killer Jacket

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Super Crush KO

It’s the year of Keanu and the cultural impact of John Wick is far and wide. Probably because the most relatable aspect is the willingness to do anything for the animals we love. In the Super Crush KO this manifests in the form of a stolen kitty and traipsing through a near-future city and defeating swarms of robots to get to it – oh, and maybe save humanity from an AI apocalypse too.

Super Crush K.O. is a side-scrolling beat-em-up/run ’n gun hybrid from Vertex Pop. The game stars Karen, the instantly cosplayable protagonist set against vibrant cityscapes and catchy music and  will be coming to Steam and Switch in early 2020.

Vertex Pop markets itself as creating “Feel-good action games by Mobeen Fikree + friends.” The minute you pick up and start playing Super Crush K.O. this meaning becomes clear. There’s something warm and inviting about the combination of graphics, music, and easy game play that draws you right in and makes you want to keep playing. I’m a sucker for pretty graphics but side-scrollers, both puzzle and action oriented, generally don’t manage to hold my interest for long.

Because of this, I’ve had to actively stop myself from buying some just because they’re aesthetically pleasing. There’s only so many you can have sitting with 10 minutes played and never touched again. That makes deciding to play a demo of Super Crush K.O. at E3 a bit odd, but that artwork completely pulled me in. Honestly, I’m glad it did! Super Crush K.O. manages to break through the repetitive side-scrolling barrier and as soon as the demo was over I was itching to keep going.

The mechanics are pretty simple, joy stick to move the character, trigger to shoot, A to punch, B to jump. As you progress through the game you acquire combos from food, because this game is endlessly relatable. A pretzel gives you a twister punch, a pizza gives you an upper “slice.” – the boxer in me cringes even as the idea delights. Areas lock and enemies come in waves, stopping you from progressing until they’re all defeated. The fights are thrilling and fast, the combos intuitive and the game keeps you moving.

I have a theory as to why Super Crush K.O. hits when so many other side-scrollers don’t interest me. That jacket, those kicks, the pastels, the cat, and hot alien nemesis? Bi babes know each other and Karen pings the radar hard. Regardless of why, Super Crush KO is a delight.

Inspired by fighting games and magical girls Vertex Pop has come up with a winning combination to draw in a wide variety of gamers. Casual gamers who like cute graphics will find themselves able to pick up the game easily and more experienced gamers will find a lot of what they like from other fighting games in this refreshing atmosphere.

The expected play-time is 4-5 hours and hopefully at the end Karen is reunited with her kitty Chubbz but with online leader boards similar to what they have with Graceful Explosion Machine and other goals the replay value should be high.

No price point has been announced yet, hopefully that will come with the firm date. The current release window has the game’s release for early 2020. I’m hoping when they say that, they mean January since I want Super Crush K.O. now!