Super Sami Roll
It’s time for another quality platformer courtesy of Limited Run Games. This one’s sort of a cross between Monkey Ball and Yoshi. You’re rolling around and trying to balance but unlike the classic Monkey you can use your tongue to maneuver around the levels. Effectively this gives you a whole lot more movement options compared to what you would have otherwise had. It makes for a fun gameplay style that is easy to pick up but hard to master. You are absolutely going to need some really quick reaction times if you are planning to survive this one.
The game starts with
The NFT King Albert VII kidnapping Vera so now her friend Sami has to try and stop him. Sami didn’t ask for this fight but he’s not about to walk away from it either. He is absolutely ready to claim victory here and nobody is going to get in his way. To defeat Albert he will need to destroy all of his mecha as he travel across the various lands in search of Vera. If he can manage to truly stop Albert then the war will be over but it won’t be easy. At least he has his owl friend to back him up when the going gets tough.
There isn’t much of a story overall but in line with the retro style it’s going for we do get an opening and an ending here. The quick cutscenes we get are really solid looking illustrations and I’ll always take some kind of cutscenes over nothing. At the end of the day you are absolutely playing this for the gameplay though and fortunately the game delivers throughout. The gameplay is pretty tight and at most you might miss a jump once or twice where you could have sworn that you did actually press in time. Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t…it’s going to be hard to say but otherwise the momentum and jump settings are all on point so you have a lot of control.
You have to balance going carefully with going quickly. If you go too slowly through the levels then the timer will run out and you will lose but if you go too fast then you will end up falling to your doom a lot. With the checkpoints in the middle of the level that does help you not have to worry about this quite as much but you still want to keep it in mind. I will say that the checkpoints were a very good idea because without them I dare say that things would have been very concerning here.
In terms of gameplay tips I would say to use your tongue flip as often as possible. Keep in mind that this ability is borderline overpowered at times. It will help you win a whole lot of levels because the enemies don’t have a counter for it. For example during the final castle level I just could not figure out how to get past all of the obstacles in time. So what did I do? I just broke the level by climbing using a lot of quick tongue flips and I made it to the end. I can guarantee you that this was not how you’re supposed to beat the level as I managed to skip every obstacle and stage element in the game but it worked and that’s what counts. Always master the gameplay mechanics as much as you can and in the end you are sure to surprise even the devs with just how much you can accomplish.
The ost is also really solid here. I was surprised at just how many quality tunes were in the game but they just kept popping up. Particularly the fire world at the end where all of the levels had really fun, fast paced tunes. They just kept hitting you with great tune after great tune. The other worlds had good tracks as well but that was the best one and it is a large variety here. You won’t hear too many repeats as you go through the game and so that keeps everything very well balanced. The graphics are also pretty good here. Everything is always clear and the worlds all have distinct designs. You won’t really be seeing any worlds twice since they all have an element although not every level within a world will necessarily follow that element. For example there are 2 levels following the world 1 theme in the final world which was definitely a twist. Not sure if they were extra levels that the devs just wanted to include or it was a callback.
The game’s length is fairly reasonable. There are 4 worlds here and each one has around 15 levels to complete. The levels can range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes but you also have to factor in that you will probably die a whole lot during the game. So unless you end up being a true prodigy at the title I imagine it will take you around 6 hours or so to complete it. I might be overestimating it a tad but that’s around how long it took me to beat the game. I know it was 3 batches and I think on average I played it for about 2 hours a pop. Maybe lower that to 4 hours total if you’re rounding but 4-6 at least and add or subtract time based on how quickly you go through the levels.
World 1 was certainly really easy but then after that there is a really drastic increase in difficulty which just doesn’t relent. So how long it takes you to get past World 2 will be a good indicator. For me World 3 was easily the most difficult because it’s just really hard to get past ice. The slippery surfaces make things tricky after all. If you don’t master your balance then you are definitely going to be in a really sticky situation. Note that there is also quite a lot of replay value in here as some levels have secret exits which unlock bonus levels. There is also a shop where you can buy color swaps and items but I never ended up using it during my campaign.
Overall, Super Sami Roll is a pretty good platformer. It may not have a deep story or anything like that but it gives you quite a lot of levels to go through. There aren’t many games in the Monkey Ball niche so if you’re a fan of those then you will definitely want to go and play this one as well. That series seems to have slowed down quite a lot after all so maybe we can get more Super Sami Roll games at some point. That would definitely be really nice. There is also a bonus mode you unlock by beating the game where you can play as the main heroine and fly through the levels. I’m guessing they will probably redesign the levels or make them all new because otherwise I can see the player breaking a ton of the stages. Although maybe that will be part of the fun since this is a reward for beating the game after all.