QCF: Super Time Force

dmit it, regardless of acknowledging the potential gravity of any of the possible penalties for trifling with such affairs, if you could affect the outcome of any event in existence by having control and mastery over time; you would totally rock the shit out of the space-time continuum. Despite all of the complex rubrics and conduct surrounding the details of time travel, the concept has never been too foreign or daunting for anybody to not fantasize about, and the fantasy of going back and doing things differently with pre-meditative insight on the past is too tempting to walk away from.

So now, imagine the opportunity of governing over it with force, Super Time Force; Capy’s insane gun-toting bullet buffet of an answer ironically modernizes old-school sensibilities with a time-travelin’ tribute that travels in time to bring us a game that…uses time trav…it would be best to stop before all of our heads start hurting.

Anyway, getting back on track, Super Time Force, is great; it’s rad even, and its arcade approach towards such a technical system of quantum engineering is a humble work of beauty and addicting the moment you sail past that title screen.

The mental enterprise in action focused side-scrolling shooters is as thin as they come, Megaman withstanding, the faculties in games closely modeled around the Contra foundation are primarily skill demanding twitch-ready jump ‘n shoot affairs; not a whole lot of thinking really. This is where Super Time Force is capitalizes at its best—it not only expects the most out of your feet and trigger finger, but how you delegate using the two by exercising the most effective strategy you can with your mind.

The genius that makes the strategy process of Super Time Force both cerebral and engaging with its heavy reliance on its biggest hook—frenetic time travel. Each stage starts off with players getting 30 rewinds that can manually triggered or activated when killed in action, and wherever you decide to stop the rewind, a ghost of the previous Time Force warrior will repeat its previous actions frame by frame, including any of the shots fired, and only sixty seconds to reach the end of the stage. So in other words; this means that you could launch an offensive that would humble a national army within seconds from all the potential of that combined firepower depending on how and who you use to record your outrageous assault.

The pudding is in the details, every cadet on the team specializes in a particular class of fire; Jean Rambois is a rapid-fire specialist who shoots bursts of spreadshots three ways, Aimy McKillan is a precise shooter with bullets that can ricochet against surfaces and charged shots that can travel through objects or architecture, and the list goes. Ergo, knowing whom to choose with the rewind in addition to choosing is the most effective tactic listed between the lines, and each stage progressively escalates the odds against your mettle in best applying said tactic. While each action should be made with the efficient calculations vested in mind, the chaos and frenzy mostly operates in disorder, and doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for interpretation to best respond with.

After the introductory round of levels, a familiar stage select screen will greet you, listing off a number of worlds with a gauntlet of stages, and unlockable members with their own skill set to add on to the team. Though a mostly indirect reverence to the Blue Bomber, certain stages and enemy weaknesses will compliment certain members of the force, and discovering what kind of order your time jumping comes only accentuates the under-lying theme of cognizant experimenting the moment a level begins. The subtle encouragement to chase Collectables, time-attacks, and completion caveats are also worth noting as ignoring them won’t gate content from players who simply want to play the game, but playing towards them carries the added benefit of practicing tactics and skills on top of earning top marks and scores towards completed percentage of the campaign.

Super Time Force is the first glance we’ve witnessed Capy’s sense of humor going the whole nine, and the takeaway is hilariously unadulterated in its comedy. Getting thrown into a game where you’re pursuing the recovery Atlantis, stopping the extinction of dinosaurs, and recruiting the magic of Merlin is bound to get silly, and the writing isn’t afraid to get silly with it. The overarching shades of Pendleton Ward and J. G. Quintel help influence a story of senseless violence and flagrant disregard that’s carried out with cartoon conduct laced in a reality that spawn real-life consequences from their actions, and the goofs are just unabashed as they are ironic when the dust settles.

Ultimately, what makes the learning curve behind STF's dynamic so good is that it eases itself in smoothly without much danger of crashing against your intellectual wall. The hectic nature of enemy fire and hazards will do more than just keep you on your toes, and therein lies the beauty of it—Super Time Force will constantly go against the grain of its own science by constantly challenging reactive play and coordination of your carnal instincts with its demanding difficulty and hazards.

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