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Supreme League Of Patriots Review – A Hero Unlike Others
Developer: No Bull Intentions
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Price: £10.99/$16.35 for the Season Pass (all 3 episodes)
Release Date: 29th January 2015
Sarcasm, satire and superheroes: Supreme League of Patriots combines 3 of my favorite S’s in a comical, although occasionally frustrating, point-and-click title. Imagine, if you will, our stereotypical hero: spandex-clad, physically fit and armed with both an impressive set of powers/gadgets and an army of snappy one-liners. Now throw that description straight out the window because, like our story, the Purple Patriot isn’t what you’ll be expecting.
The Story and Characters:
Allow me to introduce our dynamic duo: Kyle and Melvin. By day they work at the NYPD, Kyle as a Janitor and Melvin as an IT Specialist, and you wouldn’t really suspect them of being super -anything. Kyle is socially awkward, a little sexist and possibly homophobic, not to mention completely in love with one of his colleagues. Melvin, on the other hand, takes British sarcasm to a completely new level. He’s sarcastic, satirical and opinionated, assuming the role of Kyle’s best friend and occasional babysitter. He’s also probably one of the most entertaining parts of Supreme League of Heroes, with his dry British whit and sarcasm providing an endless amount of entertainment. Whether it’s mocking Sean Young or Metal Gear Solid, nothing seems to escape his criticism. Their witty back-and-forth banter will sometimes have you questioning whether that was actually funny or whether you’re a little bit of a horrid person (in the same way that Cards Against Humanity questions you). While it is entertaining, the comments and crude humor can become stale once you’ve heard them a few times, which is one of the downfalls with this particular title. Despite this Supreme League of Heroes features a diverse and unique cast of characters, including a flamboyant gay hero with a love for leather and chains and a super villain with an Arnold Schwarzenegger complex.
The story takes you through Kyle’s journey to stardom, beginning with his audition for a new reality TV show called “America’s Got Super Powers”. Over the 3 issues (A Patriot Is Born, Patriot Flames and Ice Cold in Ellis) Kyle Keever becomes the Purple Patriot after accidentally gaining super powers, and struggles setting himself up in the big city. Did you know superheroes need permits? And finding that perfect “bat cave” is a real pain. Honestly Supreme League of Patriots feels like a refreshing sort of superhero story; a new comical take on a widely daunting story archetype. However, on a more negative note, the story can be a little slow at times (particularly if you get stuck) and you don’t really see a villain until the final episode. It also feels like there could definitely have been more superpowers involved (I’m kind of a sucker for powers with heroes, so that’s a feature that really needs to pop for me).
The gameplay is relatively simple: as I already said, Supreme League of Patriots is a point and click title. The game runs through mini quests, and objectives are accessible through your Task List. Each quest is a sort of puzzle, and in true point-and-click fashion some are incredibly easy while some have you pulling out hair. Should you find yourself frustrated (as I sometimes did) Melvin proves just how useful a companion he is and provides thinly-veiled sarcastic hints and tips, which helps to keep the game moving along. The main issue I encountered though wasn’t really what I had to do, but rather how I had to do it. Let me explain: you have two inventory systems. The first is accessible by scrolling to the bottom of the screen and pops up as a Utility Belt. This allows you to use items directly on the world, such as handing something to someone. The second inventory system is accessible by going to the top of the screen, and this allows you to combine and view each item you’ve acquired along the way. The first time I ran into this problem was with a Spanish module you’re required to find to transcribe an interview at work. I won’t tell you where it is and spoil the hours of fun you’ll have trying to find it, but after talking to Melvin (and another friend who got stuck on the same part) it turned out I had picked it up straight away and needed to go through the second inventory to open it, and then use the first inventory to give it to my good pal. Confusing and frustrating. It isn’t the first time I’ve come across this problem either, and it does give the game its’ irritating moments. Other than that though, the gameplay itself is incredibly simple. You also travel to different areas as you progress, which can be monitored by your map (scroll to the top of the screen again).
Items you can interact with or use are highlighted in purple, and provide you with 3 options: TAKE, EXAMINE and USE. TAKE stores the item in your inventory for later use, while EXAMINE opens a dialogue about the particular item (there are some fascinating conversations about doors, for example). Finally USE, as the name suggests, lets you use an item on the world. Clicking on a person presents you with a large option of conversation choices, and give the world and the characters depth. Sometimes they even give you more helpful hints. How kind!
The Visuals and Audio:
Moving on from occasionally frustrating gameplay, Supreme League of Patriots is gorgeous to look at. The world is bright and ridiculously cheerful, and it’s designed in 3D so it gives you that full comical feel.The characters and world are animated as well, including the 3D character models while they are talking in 2D. Simply put: if 2D Kyle waves while talking to Melvin, his 3D model will also wave in the game. It’s a feature I quite like as it integrates the long conversations with the gameplay, instead of making it seem like a separate cut-scene. It also helps to make the occasionally long back-and-forth scripted conversation a little less dull.
The music and voice acting are pretty spot on. With everything being over-the-top so far, from the British sarcasm and Kyle’s patriotism to the normal life of our superhero, it only makes sense that the music is overly dramatic and ridiculously catchy. The style is a little reminiscent of old Sega games, only with a little less synth. Even the voice overs seem to fit: the Purple Patriot loudly announces everything in a stereotypical action-movie-hero voice while Melvin sounds like a fed-up British hipster. It’s pretty fantastic.
Supreme League of Patriots is a different and unusual take on the superhero story. The Purple Patriot isn’t born with powers and he doesn’t come from another planet. He’s socially-awkward, homophobic and even a little sexist. But he’s also a little lovable, unique and pretty stupid, which makes him an interesting character to play as. While he doesn’t really develop further than becoming the Purple Patriot, Kyle Keever does grow on you. Could it be his plodding walk? Or how he just wants to be famous? Who knows? I found the story mostly entertaining and enjoyable, apart from the few frustrating moments, but it definitely needed more superpowers. It could probably also use some epic villain battles, which would tie in nicely with my previous power comment, but maybe that’s all coming in the future?
If you’re a fan of superheroes, sarcasm, the British sense of humour or point-and-click titles in general then make sure to check out Supreme League of Patriots. While it may have some flaws, it’s still an entertaining game that will keep you busy and make you question your own sense of humor!