The website Newgrounds has been the most relevant fertile soil of game development, from which talent can sprout and ludicrously thrive, ever since Alien Hominid was turned into a full game for consoles back in the era of the Xbox, GameCube, and PS2. This time, another impressive entry comes forth in the form of the action-adventure RPG title Super Chibi Knight. Created by Newgrounds user BoMToons as a sequel to his previous title Chibi Knight, alongside the dad and daughter team that is PestoForce, this game thrives on providing a whimsical atmosphere disguising plenty of potential challenge underneath.
You play as a young child to be known as the Chibi Knight, who wakes up one day from prophetic dreams of battle against a dark and powerful being. Sure enough, this being named General Tso is on the cusp of returning from his defeat at the hands of the Beastmasters and Sorcerors in the time between the first game and now. Looking to resurrect the first game’s final boss Monocchio, he has unleashed monsters upon the world, and it’s up to you to restore order. To accomplish this mighty task, you will need to choose a destiny: will you fight beasts with beasts, or harness the mystical energies of the world?
Gameplay is quite simple in fare, and versatile enough to work on either keyboard or controller. You use the directional buttons or stick to move and look around, a button to attack, a button to jump, and a button for special abilities. You can even dash, either by double-tapping left/right or pressing the shoulder buttons on your controller (a very nice foresight on the developers’ part). Gameplay is much in the style of Zelda 2 as an homage, like the previous entry – overhead view of the overworld, side-scrolling view of the buildings and adventure segments. Both styles are done in an extremely cutesy and colorful art style as was done with the previous title, so there isn’t any concern over getting bored by the visuals. Additionally, the music is quite fitting no matter what section you find yourself in.
Exploration is a major component of the game, with tons of secrets and sidequests to discover as you play through each chapter of the story. Hidden sections on the map, plenty of achievement-hunting opportunities, hidden rewards for exclusive Steam content, and even a very appreciated bonus in the final level for each sidequest you manage to complete all await you. The game even offers replayability in the form of the choice at the end of the first chapter – either journeying to the mountains to become a Beastmaster, or sailing to the island of Mahou to become a Sorceror. Each path has its own adventure sections and sidequests to accomplish, and each also provides you with a unique special ability set guaranteeing that you handle what comes your way in the final chapter differently depending on your choice.
There are only a couple noticeable downsides to Super Chibi Knight. First and foremost is the inability to start a file over in the vein of new game plus or something similar. Once you beat the final boss, your file is forever stuck with loading up the ending cutscene every time you open it, meaning you can’t even put the time in to hunt down achievements you may have missed. On that note, the second downside is that the ending cutscene is entirely unskippable. Granted, if you’re willing to wait a few minutes, it isn’t so bad as it even gives a possible sequel hint. The slight grinding nature of the game (carried over from its predecessor) might be a nitpick, but honestly you end up investing so much time into playing that you’ll likely not even mind it at all.
All in all, Super Chibi Knight is a very high-quality title and a worthy successor to Chibi Knight in every sense. You can play the free version on Newgrounds if you like, but you do miss out on roughly 4 hours’ worth of extra content and an increased level cap. The price for the game is definitely worth giving it a shot, and it’s something you very likely won’t regret buying from Steam.
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