In the distant past, present, and future simultaneously, an elite task force named the Super TIME Force is called upon to make the world awesome. This completely outrageous concept makes for a completely radtastic Xbox One title.
Super TIME Force is the video game equivalent of cocaine. Everything you do in this blastformer (platfomer/shoot ’em up) makes you feel invincible. You can’t die. Well, ok. You totally can die, but it’s no big deal because you control the very fabric of time. You can go back and save yourself from dying and then absorb your vital life energy to make yourself even stronger. A wave of glory washes over your enemies and crushes all who stand in your way. NOTHING CAN STOP YOU!
The most unique aspect of Super TIME Force comes in the form of a time rewind mechanic, which serves as the core element of gameplay. This exciting mechanic takes the hilarious replay system from Super Meat Boy and molds it into a well-crafted way to completely annihilate everything in your path. When a character dies, you may rewind to any point in the level and spawn a new character, who will then have the opportunity to save this poor fool’s life.
Having the ability to stack up to 30 characters simultaneously makes for some rather outrageous moments. Many stages and boss battles, especially require the the assistance from at least a few time buddies. If I found myself with a surplus of rewinds at the end of stage, I would rewind and add as many characters as I possibly could to see just how quickly I could destroy a boss. In most cases, it can be down pretty damn quickly.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, rewinding can get a bit messy. I found myself repeatedly jumping into enemy projectiles or spawning into stage hazards. Many times it was simply user error, but when things were chaotic it became increasingly difficult to see exactly where my characters were spawning. Sometimes rewinding to a point before the action is the best option.
It’s not all about time manipulation, however. Super TIME Force delivers rock solid run ‘n’ gun action with tight controls and great weapons. Each character is equipped with a unique primary weapon and charged shot. Knowing when to use the right character can save you a great deal of time and rewinds.
The characters themselves are incredibly diverse and more importantly, hilarious. Many of them are parodies or references to classic 80’s films and others are just offbeat originals. Some of my personal favorites are Dolphin Lungren; a dolphin with a fully-automatic assault rifle, and Zackasaurus Rex; a radical T-Rex who rides a skateboard and wears Hawaiian shirts. Others include Jeff Leppard, Jean Rambois, Melanie Gibson, and Squirty Harry; a turd welding a magnum.
Core characters like Jean Rambois become essential tools in completing most stages, but other, more gimmicky, characters like Squirty Harry are there just for “shits” and giggles. Mastering every character’s abilities is a challenge within itself and managing the large roster of characters mid-combat takes some serious concentration. Or you can select anyone with a shotgun and power your way through the game like a manly man.
While playing Super TIME Force you’ll take your absurd cast of characters through a wide variety of stages from different points in time with hopes of changing history for the better. You’ll travel back to the prehistoric era to save dinosaurs from extinction, visit the mighty God, Jeff and feed him a hoagie so the city of Atlantis doesn’t sink, and even travel back to the mid-90’s and revisit the horrors of early internet so you can download all the updates ever to watch lolcatz.
The beautiful sprite work and captivating music is just icing on this delicious cake. I often found myself blown away by the attention to detail in stage design. Even with its retro aesthetics, I found myself immersed in these wild stages. I was Dolphin Lungren, destroyer of time and space!
Completing the game’s 4-5 hour campaign unlocks the intimidating “hardcore mode.” This isn’t for the feint of heart. In hardcore, if a character dies, he/she/it is locked out of use unless you can prevent their death. This adds a completely new challenge to your adventures in Super TIME Force and will most certainly give you a case of the “rage sweats.”
Even if you don’t decide to torture yourself with hardcore mode, the versatility in the game’s core mechanics offer a huge amount of replayability. There are so many ways to play and so many character combinations to experiment with. Rewinding and unleashing a time army upon your enemies never gets old. Seeing 15 dolphins take down Mecha T-Rex was one of the most satisfying experiences in my gaming career.
Capybara Games latest entry pays tribute to one of the most iconic genres in gaming, while delivering an experience not quite like anything we’ve seen before. Its great sense of humor and outlandish characters will literally have you laughing out loud, even when playing by yourself. The Xbox One was in desperate need of a title like Super TIME Force and it should definitely be on your “must-have” list.
Recommended for fans of: Contra, Side-Scrolling Shooters, and Super Meat Boy
Miles Dompier is the chief editor and founder of What’s Your Tag?. He is a Seattle native who recently moved to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a composer/voice actor. When he’s not up writing until his eyes bleed, he likes to play a Prince level of instruments and listen to terrible death metal. Follow his shenanigans on Twitter and be sure to join our gaming community; TEAM XBRO.