Gaming used to be a simple affair. However, these days, you can lose yourself in vast, beautiful worlds while completing an array of challenging missions. So, when a game takes a step back and offers a more basic approach, my ears prick up. Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! Recaptures the beauty of side-scrolling beat-em-ups while maintaining a humorous and stylised approach.
Developed by Mr. Nuts Studio and published by Microids, this is a stunning beat-em-up title. Utilising the wonderful imagery and one-liners from the cartoon, you’ll quickly fall for its charms. It’s fair to say that this doesn’t break the mould, and there are better beat-em-ups on the market. Yet, this one is a stunning example of the genre, that it is worthy of your time because of its artistry.
Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! relies on its name.
If any other title offers as little as Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! does, I would be scathing in my review. However, I fell for its wonderful story, fun action, and excellent levels. The developers failed to explore any new mechanics, instead; they relied heavily on the duo’s much-loved status. You may worry that this may make for a tedious experience, yet its short levels offer enough to keep you interested throughout.
This solo or couch co-op game asks you to explore 6 acts each comprising a number of chapters. You’ll explore England, take on the Normans, head to Spain, Corsica, and so on. The array of locations sounds fantastic, but in reality, they all play similarly, just with a different look. To mix things up, the developers have created mini-games that ask you to grab food for a celebratory feast. This was a welcome distraction from the button bashing, but it doesn’t add any further challenge to the gameplay.
Hordes of enemies.
If you tackle this solo, you can select between either character in an instant. Asterix loves nothing more than to grab his opponents and spin them at great speed. Obelix, on the other hand, uses his vast weight to steamroller his enemies. Each has a unique set of skills and both can easily batter the unrelenting hordes of Romans. Sadly, no matter the difficulty level you select, the game never really challenges you. This will frustrate hardcore players who want to get stuck in. Yet, if you like a more casual experience, you’ll love what’s on offer.
The action takes place across two modes; adventure and Freeplay. Both utilise the same maps and missions, yet the aim of the latter option is to get the highest score. This never appealed to me, as topping the leaderboard was a pointless endeavour. You were never rewarded for your hard work, and no new levels or cosmetics were unlocked. Subsequently, it reeks of padding out an already low content title.
So, Freeplay was out of the question, but the adventure mode was great if you loved the cartoon. Much of the action is taken from existing chapters of the franchise, though there is an exclusive act designed for this game. This was a great choice from the developers and something that will incentivise fans to keep playing.
Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! looks amazing.
I’ve already stated that it’s not the best beat-em-up ever released, but it looks incredible. Its hand-drawn imagery, smooth action, and nod to the original cartoon are great to observe. I drooled over the vivid imagery and the wonderful comic book clichés. It was fantastic to see Paf!, Tchac!, and more appearing in every brawl. If you love cartoons, or you are a bit of a geek, you will adore every fight that unfolds. Furthermore, it has been polished within an inch of its life! With so many characters on screen and such vivid imagery, I expected it to be flawed and problematic. However, I was wrong, as I experienced no frame rate issues or bugs.
The charm offensive wasn’t limited to the graphics. No, the audio got in on the action as well. The excellent music complements each location while adding energy to each chapter. Yet, its brilliance is sadly tainted by the repetitive and slightly annoying sound effects and one-liners. Each action has an associated sound clip that quickly becomes tiresome, especially if you rely on one method of attack. I soon became disinterested, and this was a shame as the cinematic and music were delivered to a high standard.
Button-bashing at its best.
Beat em-up titles rely on quick reactions and a combination of mashed buttons. Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! demands you button-bash your way through every chapter. Each character has its own set of attacks, but the approach and delivery are exactly the same. You will smash your way through each stage utilising special commands that are earned through an array of combos. Subsequently, you must avoid being hit while bashing your foes to power up the strongest attacks. Luckily, the hectic action never overwhelms you thanks to the responsive and well-thought-out controller layout. Furthermore, the fundamentals are easy to understand and every approach can be mastered with ease.
If you aspire to top every leaderboard and never tire of repetitive action, you’ll experience a small amount of replay value. However, if neither of these things appeals to you, then one playthrough will be enough. Luckily, though, there are a lot of levels to tackle, an array of mini-games to overcome, as well as some fantastic cinematic to observe, so it does have some longevity. Moreover, a large and challenging achievement list will add hours to the base game.
Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! does just enough.
Asterix and Obelix: Slap them all! could have been so much more. Unfortunately, the developers played it safe while relying solely on its good name and die-hard fans. Consequently, it didn’t reach its potential, and this was frustrating. With phenomenal imagery, excellent music, and flawless gameplay, it could have been brilliant. Sadly, though, there are better examples in the genre and they overshadow and outperform this on many levels. I enjoyed it, but I accepted its shortcomings. Therefore, I do recommend it, and it can be purchased here! Can you stop the Romans from invading the world? Team up or play solo as you battle your way across the globe!