Every once in awhile, I come across a game that makes me think about deep, philosophical questions. Am I a good person? How can I make better choices? Do I really hate myself this much? The latter is a question I ask myself in tough-as-nails platformers, and Super Rude Bear Resurrection makes me ask myself that often; at least, until I build a bridge of corpses.
Super Rude Bear Resurrection, developed by Alex Rose, is a masocore platformer. That is, a platformer with difficulty as its focus. However, this rude bear comes with a twist: each time you die, your body stays and can cover up spikes, arrows, or a variety of other traps to help make the experience less frustrating the more you fail. Dying comes with a penalty, of course; your ranking will go down for the level if you die too many times.
This creates a different kind of challenge for you, the player. Instead of simply trying to beat the level, you can try to beat the level without dying. Even I don’t hate myself enough to attempt to do this on the late-game levels. And if the basic levels aren’t enough for you, there are plenty of secret levels to find as well. But enough of this talk of levels and lack-of-dying in them, how does the game hold up?
Unfortunately, Rude Bear is not as tight as he should be. In difficult platformers, having precise control of your character is one of the most important aspects. When I stop moving Rude Bear, there is a moment of hesitation as his momentum slows down. This usually isn’t a big deal, but in tight corridors filled with spikes, this slight-slippery spot often led me to taking a nice nap on comfortable bloody spikes.
This problem is even more noticeable on moving platforms. Jumping from one platform to the other becomes a balancing act as I try to both avoid hazards and stay on the platform I need to. It doesn’t help that some of the traps during these segments go through the platform and can kill you unsuspectingly. There was a level where, instead of dealing with these platforms, I built a Bloody Gate Bridge to make it to the next checkpoint. I didn’t get a good rank for the level, but I play by my own rules, game.
If your bridge of corpses isn’t up to snuff, you can clear the way using your companion. He can either destroy the corpse your mouse is pointed at or destroy all corpses in the surrounding area. This is problematic, however. If your corpse is in an inconvenient location, you will have to destroy it, but this can lead you to more deaths. While there is a way to clear all of the bears, you may not want them all gone in cases like a bear covering a missile launcher.
While the fairy that follows you can be useful for clearing away dead bears, he’s important for info-dumping plot as you continue and giving snarky comments when you die. However, I rarely enjoyed what he had to say. His mocking gestures when you died were repetitive and he made easy and predictable jabs at the player throughout the entire game. There were instances where he made me chuckle, but they were few and far between. There could have been more, but I was too focused on trying to survive during some of his monologues causing me to miss important dialogue. He’s more of a distraction than a feature.
There are instances in the game where you can be killed by a trap that you didn’t see coming. These aren’t very often, but you can avoid this by using your fairy friend to scout ahead. But, in a fast paced game where standing still could cause a trap to knock the stuffing out of you, why would you want to move a slow fairy other than view paths to find secret exits?
Super Rude Bear Resurrection offers a large electronic soundtrack throughout its levels. While there are plenty that will enjoy these beats, I wasn’t a fan of them. Some of the tracks seemed repetitive and almost too on-the-nose as far as what you’d expect from a difficult indie game. That being said, there is definitely effort put into the soundtrack and it can at times seem enjoyable.
In the end, Super Rude Bear Resurrection is a modest try at the masocore genre with a unique twist to help novice (or impatient) players reach the end of the game. The ability to use your dead bodies as platforms helps set it apart from other difficult platformers, but I still couldn’t help myself compare the rest of the game to Super Meat Boy, the pinnacle in the industry of tough-as-nails indie platformers. I wanted Super Rude Bear Resurrection to be successful in this regard, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.