If you’re tired of the same old gray and bloody action RPG, developer Studio Evil has just the game for you. Super Cane Magic ZERO is a not-so-serious take on the genre, as if the title didn’t make that obvious enough already. But looks can be deceiving, and this is one RPG that might deserve a longer look for those who so easily judge a book by its cover. Read our Super Cane Magic ZERO PS4 review to see if this co-op adventure is worth your time and moolah.
Super Cane Magic ZERO Review – Diablo, but Funny
Super Cane Magic ZERO is a twin-stick, hack-n-slash, action RPG with some roguelike elements thrown in for good measure. Studio Evil has teamed up with Italian comic artist Sio, who has come up with a story and art style all of his own design. There are not many games with such an art style, and one look at the title screen tells you what to expect: bright pastels, cheery chiptune music, and lighthearted antics all add up to a charming aesthetic that many will enjoy playing through. There’s even an in-game museum to revisit some of the stranger items found throughout the adventure.
The Unity game engine runs under the hood for Super Cane Magic ZERO, and the result is very smooth. Some occasional slowdown does rear its ugly head if there are too many effects on the screen at once, but the slowdown is usually over in a matter of seconds. The hand-drawn art style scales well to 4K on a PlayStation 4 Pro, though there are no apparent upgrades when played on such a setup. Perhaps the boost mode is in effect, but even if it isn’t the game still runs quite well, even as more players join in.
Super Cane Magic ZERO Review – Save Puppies Together!
Super Cane Magic ZERO supports up to four players in co-op and competitive modes. The entire campaign was built with co-op in mind, with enemies and loot scaling to match the number of players. Rewards are doled out about evenly, to ensure friends stay friendly. There are also multiplayer arenas to do battle in, with any characters unlocked from the main campaign. It’s a nice distraction, but when a full campaign beckons, the competitive mode feels like icing on the magical talking strawberry cake.
If quirkiness is your cup of honey, then Super Cane Magic ZERO will be right up your alley. The story involves the death of a wizard, whose dog turns magical as a result. Now this dog threatens the very existence of those on WOTF, a planetoid full of all sorts of interesting beings. Dogs are also called canes, sometimes. A lot of it doesn’t make perfect sense, but then that’s what Studio Evil seems to want to go with for this game. While many may find this art style and story endearing, others may not be able to put up with the zaniness for the entire length of the adventure.
Speaking of length, the story mode of Super Cane Magic ZERO is easily at least 20 hours long. On the harder difficulty levels, total campaign length will be padded somewhat as a bit of grinding may be necessary for some players, depending on skill level. There is a surprising amount of variety in the loot to be found, as well. Short-range options include sticks, swords (including some made of exotic materials, such as cartoon hearts), and even pirate hook hands. Longer-range options include crazy-looking ray guns, literal pea shooters, more traditional guns, and others. Armor, rings, and other accessories can also be found as they drop from defeated enemies or are found in chests, and each have various boons and other effects to help players along. Think Diablo, and you’ll understand.
Super Cane Magic ZERO Review – Eat It All
One thing most RPGs don’t feature is an emphasis on eating things. Generally speaking, most games in this genre have players using potions, eating specific items, or sleeping to regain health. Super Cane Magic ZERO, on the other hand, is all about consumption. Anything that can be picked up can be eaten. Since this includes just about anything that isn’t nailed down (other than NPCs), some interesting options are available. What’s more, the attributes of what is eaten are taken into account, and effects can be stacked. Obviously, eating something like a rock (there are at least four kinds!) won’t usually do you much good. But consuming a chunk of meat will increase your maximum health the first time you eat any sort of meat. Following this up with eating a carrot will usually result in extra effects being stacked, such as stronger attacks or a better chance at dodging. Eating too many categories of food will cancel out all effects, though, as the character burps and everything resets to base-level stats. There is some experimenting that needs to be done in order to figure it all out, but it’s a fun aspect of the game that few others have considered.
The RPG elements are evident in not only the attributes that food has, but in the skills tree. As bosses are defeated, new “beliefs” are unlocked, which each represent skills that can be unlocked by spending points every time a character levels up. Some of the more useful skills include being able to walk on water for up to ten seconds, being able to walk on lava for a while, and throwing objects further. There are several of these skill trees to unlock, and respec is an option thanks to some NPCs. These skill trees greatly deepen strategy options available to players.
Super Cane Magic ZERO Review - Saving Magic Pups (PS4) | PSLS
Super Cane Magic ZERO Review – Aiming Pains
If there’s one area that could have used some touchup, it’s Super Cane Magic ZERO’s aiming system. The right stick is used to aim, both for items that have been picked up as well as weapons currently equipped. The thing is, the aiming interface is better equipped for throwing items than aiming weapons. A reticle shows up where any item will be thrown, while aiming a weapon merely shows a reticle under the player character, with a notch indicating general direction of attack. This can make longer shots hard to pinpoint, other than by simply shooting and tweaking shots after the fact. The dual-stick nature and pace of firing does lend itself well to mostly spray-and-praying offense, but some of the slower weapons make this experience slightly unpleasant.
Super Cane Magic ZERO is one RPG some gamers will be quick to dismiss, but that will be a mistake. Appearances can be deceiving, and the fugly exterior belies a deep experience, one that can even be rewarding and challenging. The inclusion of same-screen co-op and other multiplayer options ensure friends, foes, and frenemies can join in on the fun whenever they want. Aiming may be a bit awkward, and occasional slowdown can occur, but these are small issues in an action RPG that has a charming, Sio-inspired aesthetic, nice campaign length, and good looting options. This all adds up to a complete package in bright, dog-obsessed gift wrapping that fans of the genre should check out.
Super Cane Magic ZERO review code provided by publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.