Super Wiloo Demake (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 13.11.2019

Review for Super Wiloo Demake on PlayStation 4

The word 'demake' used to mean something (though barely). Some of the best games around would get the demake treatment thanks to solo developers with a love for the source material. Taking a game and, instead of improving the graphics, reverting them to an older style, people found interesting ways to reinvent classic titles. Sometimes they were even making new ones in the process, with titles like Lone Survivor starting out as a demake of Silent Hill 2. However, Ratalaika Games and lightUP seem to have found a new meaning for the term. Bad. Very, very bad.

Super Wiloo Demake is, if you couldn't tell, not a demake of anything. Well, at least not anything called Super Wiloo. Much like lightUP's other effort, Super Box Land Demake, the idea here is that it's an older looking game. Sadly, while that was a moderately passable puzzler , Super Wiloo Demake is anything but.

Clearly ripping off Super Mario Bros., Super Wiloo Demake tells the story of a space alien who comes to Earth and kidnaps Wiloo's dog. The plot's not really the point here, but even then, it's obnoxiously saccharine. It also feels pointless. There's a handful of "cut-scenes" that look more like PowerPoint slides scattered throughout that feature light exposition. The final one is especially bad, feeling extremely anti-climatic.

Speaking of Microsoft products, why does this look like it was made in MS Paint in under an hour? The worst is Wiloo himself, who looks hobbled together as quickly as possible. Whether he is smiling or... whatever his death animation is supposed to be, it all looks very amateurish. The only redeeming quality to the art is the backgrounds, which are serviceable for the most part, but this is hardly enough to justify the rest of the flaws. Environmental art is all the same, and even across five worlds, which actually manage to have a different theme each time, only the fourth world manages to feel truly unique. Which is weird when you consider World 3 is underwater, but whatever.

Screenshot for Super Wiloo Demake on PlayStation 4

The soundtrack is the best part of the game, and that's only because this has one. It's not very deep, but it's there. It's also kind of repetitive, but unlike Super Box Land Demake, it at least has a few different tracks to be found throughout. Sound effects are also largely uneventful, but hey at least that means they're not bad, right? Right?!

At this point in the tour, it's important to remember that a human being made this title. No one was there to see how much effort or time he/she/they put into it, so speculating that they didn't do enough or were lazy would be categorically misleading, and even worse, rude. Ok, now that that's out of the way... the gameplay here is awful.
Starting with the actual platforming, jumping is largely decent, but it's hindered heavily by the aforementioned artwork. There are times where platforms seem to be layered on top of one another, making a pathway look like it's just the top of an asset. This essentially turns a pathway into almost a hidden pathway, which is a weird artistic decision. What it actually looks like is as if the asset was just layered in poorly, further contributing to that "This is my first time, guys" look this whole thing has.

Screenshot for Super Wiloo Demake on PlayStation 4

Then there are the enemies. Not the bosses - they will have their own time to shine shortly. Enemies come in three basic formats. Red, yellow, purple. Red and yellow just kind of move back and forth, while purple acts like a homing missile that zeros in on the player. These are the only real enemies in all levels. Sure, World 3 has fish, but they are just underwater versions of the red and purple enemies from before. This lack of depth would be forgivable in any other circumstance, if only the enemies actually functioned correctly.


There were a number of times where enemies stacked heavily into a little pit, that they were barely moving. On one occasion, they weren't even in a pit. However, they were so heavily packed into a cliff side, with so many opposing programmed paths, and just jittered and never moved towards Wiloo. Lucky little scamp, he would have been crushed for sure!

Returning to an earlier point, the boss fights here are mostly competently made, though they present almost no challenge whatsoever. A special shout out to the final boss though, who introduces random pattern recognition for no reason, and a collision box that feels about as fair as having to paint an entire fence with a single beard hair. Thanks to the size of his arena and the bad collision detection, expect this to be the only boss fight that kills you, over...and over...and over again.

There are world themes here, and again, they miss the mark. The ice world results in everything, even things that have no ice on them, being incredibly slippery. This might be ok, if the slipping weren't set to max. This world is followed up by a personal winner for worst water world this generation. Then there's a...pink world? That one's not super obvious, though from a level design and art standpoint, it's probably the best of the five.

Screenshot for Super Wiloo Demake on PlayStation 4

Hey, what's a Super Mario Bros clone without power ups? This features a couple, and only two of them seem to have any actual purpose. Now, in fairness, the unicorn and racoon weren't really the most sought after power ups, so maybe they do something really neat. But across this reviewers play-through, they didn't really seem to. The bee and the turtle however, definitely did. The bee, on Easy at least, allows you to basically P-Wing your way through most levels, avoiding hazards the whole way. The game even gifts you a free one if you die five times in a level, so that's nice.

The turtle allows you to swim through water more fluidly, and it's kind of funny to watch. Wiloo gets super stiff, and then just drifts through the water, like a mouse cursor across a computer screen, but slower. It doesn't even look natural within the context. There are a lot of little weird things like that that don't feel natural, and that's where the performance issues come in.

Super Wiloo Demake isn't loaded with bugs, but it has some noticeable issues. The most prevalent is a stutter that seems to happen when jumping on enemies. It happens a lot, and seems to be the result of the death animations loading. There's also the aforementioned enemy overload, causing foes not to move properly at all. The most jarring, though it only happened once, was when landing on a platform, Wiloo shot to the middle of the level, and because there was nothing under him, fell to his death. Again, this only happened once, so it may be nothing, but it's still worth watching out for.

Screenshot for Super Wiloo Demake on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Super Wiloo Demake is a game that begs the question: "who is this for? Children should avoid it, lest they be turned off to platformers forever. Platform enthusiasts should turn away for the same reason. So who does that leave, trophy hunters? Might want to pick up My Name is Mayo instead - at least it has some humour. This is some of the worst Ratalaika has put out there, and that's saying something.

Developer

lightUp

Publisher

Ratalaika Games

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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