Electronic Super Joy (Xbox One Review)
If Team Meat’s Super Meat Boy is the precision platformer equivalent to heavy metal and rock music, then Electronic Super Joy’s only comparison would be that of a late 90’s rave. With a plethora of techno music, living up to it’s previous working title of Techno Ninja, and some unbelievably colourful backgrounds Electronic Super Joy shows there is more than pain in death with it’s over the top sex noises and quirky approach to story telling.
Electronic Super Joy opens with a brief story about how you lost your legs, butt, and an eye before stating the following levels is how this all came about. It’s an eye catching opening for sure, just like the initial title screen’s warning of epileptic fits and excessive profanity with a touch of blasphemy, but I certainly winced at just how in your face and over the top it was – a signpost of things to come. It’s enough to catch your attention, but has little impact on the game as a whole. Although when was the last time you played a precision platforming game for the in-depth story?
The main stay for any avid precision platformer fan is the ramping difficulty and variety, which Electronic Super Joy has in spades.Now two levels really have a similar layout as they are designed with different approaches in hand. Some levels allow the use of a smashing attack to navigate and others focus on a double jump, both powers being added or removed at different intervals to allow different types of levels. Just as you would expect, Electronic Super Joy has sticky walls, indestructible obstacles, enemies, tracking missiles, and most importantly a pressured jump. Electronic Super Joy’s ability to blend all of these mechanics and loads more without ever growing dull is a testament to how well designed the game is. My only concerns are that Electronic Super Joy got a little too much for me, at times I would often feel dizzy without rotating levels and the need for repetition of these levels, largely due to my lack of skill in the genre and inability to focus for longer than 5 seconds, and a few panning issues with the camera in areas I seemed to hit boundaries and die. .
To accompany you on what may be an extremely long trip of a game that can be completed in less than an hour is a heart thumping and ear tingling dance soundtrack. The soundtrack fits well really well with the loud and colourful backgrounds while living up to the expectations of pace in Electronic Super Joy. In fact Electronic Super Joy has even added a wonderful clapping sound to the use of the stomping attack that effortlessly blends in with the background music. But, and this is a big but – almost as big as the butt the rambled on about in the beginning – each checkpoint has a horrifically over the top sex noise attached to it. And I mean horrifically over the top. In a game littered with deaths, my current count is in the region of 600-700, you will hear the bellowing “oh yeahs” and female groans more than a porn director does in his entire career. It is extremely off putting, although I do play it late at night just so the neighbours think I am getting some, so it does have some uses.
Although if you can tolerate the rather unsavoury audio accompaniments to Electronic Super Joy, or have a good playlist you can stick on over the top, there is a great deal of replay value to be found. There are just over 50 levels, each with their own unique take on the genre, to blast through. Some do require the collection of stars hidden in the campaign, stars in which I do not have enough skill or time to collect, that unlock a 4th chapter to the story. There are also golden times that you and your buddies can aim for, netting some achievements in the process. And finally you have the Endless Love mode, Electronic Super Joy’s answer to DMC’s Bloody Palace, a game mode in which you endlessly run through short and fast paced levels to reach a highscore represented by how many levels you cleared without dying.
Electronic Super Joy was a venture in to a genre that I have never really given any credence to beyond Super meat Boy, but as time went on I regularly found myself enjoying the experience and feeling a great deal of satisfaction when I pushed on through the more troubling areas of the game. Unfortunately as a new player I struggled to get by a certain part in the campaign and as the soundtrack started to grate a little more, my patience dwindled with every sound effect, resulting in a rather abrupt finish to my campaign before it cost me a remote. For precision platforming junkies Electronic Super Joy is their next fix, enough different from their last trip to keep them amused and welcoming enough to want to give it a try.