Ascending tricky levels has been a fun time ever since Nintendo's Ice Climber debuted and Super Hiking League DX is here to fill its boots.
Super Hiking League DX is a simple yet exciting little old-school game that has you run and jump up 2D levels as fast as you can. In addition to the basics, you can also attack with a sword and extend an elastic rope which will attach to flower nodes. These extra abilities are handy for attacking enemies that stand in your way as well as your opponent and getting a boost because often, you can merely run and jump your way to the goal diamond but flinging yourself up can make things faster. Of course, doing so is usually a risk because it's tricky to latch onto a node but if you're confident that you'll execute it perfectly, it's a great way to get a leg-up.
To go along with the tight and intuitive gameplay, Super Hiking League DX features cute graphics complete with delightful sprites and distinct environments that range from warm beaches to icy mountainsides. The little ditties that play throughout are a treat, too, and really brought me back to mid '80s arcade vibes. It goes without saying but it's one superbly-presented package.
Super Hiking League DX can be played either solo or against a friend within a variety of rather similar modes. If you go it alone, there's an arcade mode where you master 27 stages that will then unlock in the other modes. Oh, and you can try to get the fastest time possible on each of those levels in Time Attack mode, too. I enjoyed this setup a lot and you'll also unlock 8 characters along the way. That being said, I wish that they had unique abilities like a special move to add some variety and personality to the gameplay.
While playing against a friend, you can either challenge them in Versus or Race mode with the only substantial difference being that the latter doesn't allow you to attack your opponent. I found the core gameplay to become impressively competitive and tense which is the sign of an excellent multiplayer game. The constant tug-of-war in the particularly tricky stages will keep you on the edge of your seat and once you eventually claim victory, it feels awesome! That is; if your chum doesn't snag the diamond before you do.
Although I had a wonderful time with Super Hiking League DX, there are some drawbacks. First, matches always consist of rounds set in the same stage and it kind of feels tedious to play through it at least twice in a row. Instead, I wish you played through a random assortment of levels in each match. Finally, some of the stages are extremely tricky to complete such as ones with thin ice platforms and ones that make you fling yourself between a series of nodes. Matches on these levels can take forever which can be frustrating.
If you're looking for yet another game to add to your multiplayer playlist then Super Hiking League DX is definitely one to get. With its cute retro aesthetic, tight gameplay, and surprisingly tense matches, you and a chum will have a lovely time ascending to victory.
- + Tight 2D platforming gameplay with races that become impressively intense
- + Super-cute sprites and great retro tunes
- + Multiplayer is a ton of fun
- - Matches consist of rounds that take place in the exact same course
- - Some stages are exceptionally frustrating
- - Could use special moves and such