Super Crush KO hands-on preview: Frantic, brawling fun

Super Crush KO is a quick, combat-heavy platforming fighter from the makers of Graceful Explosion Machine. On its surface level, it’s a run-of-the-mill colorful 2D platforming brawler. But the game’s precise controls and variety of moves create a patterned design that genuinely encourages deeper exploration within the combat itself.

Seamlessly blending combat and platforming

My 15-minute demo introduced a plethora of moves including dodges, punches, double jumps, targeted air attacks, and even the utilization of a blaster. Each individually has its own purpose, just as in any other game. But when the moves are combined, the platforming hits a level of seamless flow on par with the best other titles in the genre. In terms of fluidity, the best comparison I can make is Super Meat Boy; it’s incredibly fast but maintains its precision.

Blending attacks is a simple action to learn, but an obviously lengthy one to master. Jumping and taking out enemies via the blaster, then utilizing the three-hit air attack, is an incredibly unique combo I was able to perform in under a minute within the game. And according to developer Vertex Pop, that’s precisely the impression Super Crush KO is supposed to give off.

Stale visuals

In regards to its art style, the game is hit and miss. I dig the lighter, pastel look, but there seemed to be a lack of variety in the color palette. Perhaps it’s just the single stage I was exposed to, but the colors seemed to all consist of blends of red, purple, blue, and yellow. For a game banking on its controls and quick-paced structure, I craved more to look at. Super Crush KO should have bright, vibrant backgrounds and a unique color palette. Instead, it suffers from a muddled, flavorless look. It’s got its own style and I’m not saying that style is bad. It just happens to feel like a ton of other 2D platformers on the market today.


The mini-boss fight at the end of the demo presented a substantial challenge and had me on my last life. The boss itself wasn’t impossibly tough, but rather, the mixture of enemies presented and the boss had me scrambling around the map. It took a mixture of long-range combat, short-range attacking, and special, powered-up moves to finally take out the boss. It’s frantic, but not too frantic. This superb difficulty balance appears ripe for players with some experience playing platformers and brawlers alike.

Truly, I had a great time with the Super Crush KO demo. Pairing tight controls with high-speed platforming combat, the title really only suffers from a cliche aesthetic that doesn’t make or break the experience as a whole. If you’re looking for something to fill that platforming, brawling itch, stay tuned for Super Crush KO. The game will launch on Nintendo Switch and PC in early 2020.

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Aric Sweeny
Former Editor-in-Chief, now staff writer here at NE. I'm an English student in California. Let's talk Pokémon.