ReviewsReview: Super Onion Boy 2

Review: Super Onion Boy 2

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Can you remember a time when you’d be happy with a basic stage design and easy mechanics? Modern games push the envelope so much that it’s occasionally pleasant to return to a simpler way of gaming. Super Onion Boy 2 does just that with its throwaway story, straightforward ideas, and vivid worlds.

Developed by Powerslash Studios and published by Ratalaika Games, this is an adventure-platform title. Set in a whimsical and colourful land, this has retro vibes and moreish action. Its core concept will feel familiar to fans of Mario, yet it sadly lacks the finesse of its gargantuan rival.

Super Onion Boy 2 lacks originality. 

I’m all for developers being inspired by the world’s greatest titles. Heck, if I made a game, I’d sure as hell look at Mario as a great starting point. However, when you stick too closely to its tried and tested methods, you are likely to fall short. Sadly, Super Onion Boy 2 fails to evolve past its rudimentary principles. Therefore, you are left with a dated experience that offers nothing new.

The lack of fresh impetus isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I so wanted Powerslash Studios to try something new. Their rigid formula is sure to be a winner with indie loving fans. But, for a more modern audience, its lack of progress and its simplistic design will leave them wanting.

Gather the gold and move on.

An odd tale that we’ve experienced a million times.

You control a young hero who must rescue his friends from an evil boss. This abomination has psychic powers and a desire for mischief. You must traverse an array of stages while overcoming enemies and obstacles in your path. It has basic platforming elements and you must gather coins, power-ups, and extra lives. You’ll leap surfaces, dive down pipes, swim, and smash boxes in this classic 2D title.

The gameplay is heavily reliant on the use of special powers that have been borrowed from other titles. You become a ninja, an ice-wielding wizard, invincible, and you float in a bubble. Each ability allows you to defeat your foes with ease, or to traverse the level trouble-free. Furthermore, chests and collectables aid you on your journey. With limited health, your opponents are a pain in the arse. If you die, and you will, you’ll return to the nearest checkpoint. With flying monsters, creepy crawlies, and other beasts to contend with, you’ll need some luck and skill to defeat the latter stages. 

Life under the sea is wonderfully relaxing.

Super Onion Boy 2 is wonderfully old-school. 

If you love retro aesthetics, then you’ll adore Super Onion Boy 2. Its vivid and garish tones, pixel art, and dated level design will fill you with nostalgia. Furthermore, its blend of environments, hidden pathways, and varied sprites are all interesting to look at. Yes, it’s very familiar in style and approach to Mario, but that’s a good thing. I admired the developer’s enthusiasm towards classic franchises, and the game benefits because of it. 

This continues in the smooth action and interesting stage layout. The clever use of abilities expands each level and you are free to explore as you wish. Stars are hidden throughout each world and you must spring into the clouds or drop down pipes to discover each of them. This was the most interesting and challenging element of the gameplay, as no stone could be left unturned. 

The dated style continues with the chiptune audio and 8-Bit sounds. I simply loved the trip down memory lane, even if it was a tad shrill. The chirpy music is filled with fun and energy and matches the colourful imagery. Furthermore, the rudimentary sounds perfectly match each action. It won’t win any awards for its audio, however, it matches the dated style. Subsequently, retro fans will love what they see and hear. 

Probably best not to mess with this one.

Easy to play. 

Where Super Onion Boy 2 excels is its simple controls. Like its peers, it takes little effort to master the responsive setup. You’ll therefore be jumping, swimming, and fighting in no time at all. I loved how easy it was to leap into the action and this makes it a user-friendly experience.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for the replay value or longevity. Though you must find 5 stars per level, which adds some elements of difficulty, the rest of the action isn’t challenging. Disappointingly, the stages aren’t as big as they could be and this reduces the complexity of the end product. If the developers had made it tougher or added more collectables, you’d keep playing for hours. As it is, it’s a completionist’s dream thanks to the simple and quick achievement list.

Super Onion Boy 2 could have been great. 

As a retro-inspired title, Super Onion Boy 2 ticks all the boxes. It’s bright, fun, and has a loud soundtrack. Furthermore, it’s easy to pick up, has secret locations to find. Yet, it lacks originality and depth. I wish the developers had tried something unique, but this never happened. I enjoyed it, but it could have been so much more. Despite its shortcomings, I recommend you to buy it here! Can you beat each level and save your friends? Leap, fight and swim your way to victory. 

SUMMARY

Super Onion Boy 2 is a classic 2D adventure puzzle title that is heavily influenced by the Mario franchise. Sadly, its lack of new content and its heavy reliance on well-trodden mechanics makes it too easy. However, the overall experience is fun if you love retro games or any of the classic 2D adventure franchises.

+ Vivid colours and familiar use of pixel art.
+ Dated but fun chiptune music.
+ Easy controls.
+ Plenty of levels.
+ A completionist's dream.
- It lacks innovative ideas.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Super Onion Boy 2Super Onion Boy 2 is a classic 2D adventure puzzle title that is heavily influenced by the Mario franchise. Sadly, its lack of new content and its heavy reliance on well-trodden mechanics makes it too easy. However, the overall experience is fun if you love retro games or any of the classic 2D adventure franchises.<br/> <br/> + Vivid colours and familiar use of pixel art.<br/> + Dated but fun chiptune music.<br/> + Easy controls.<br/> + Plenty of levels.<br/> + A completionist's dream.<br/> - It lacks innovative ideas.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>