Another holiday season, another Asterix. It’s been two years since I reviewed Asterix & Obelix XXL 3: The Crystal Menhir. I promised myself that next time I would be less impetuous when it comes to productions made under license. Not that I was any kind of bias, it was just that that game bored me so much that I couldn’t afford to fall asleep again while playing. As you can see, my promises were worth nothing as I am reviewing Asterix again.
This time, however, it was supposed to be different. I kept telling myself so in my head, and the reason was simple. Sentiment. You must know that one of my first games was Asterix & Obelix from 1996 (this one). Delicious, but terribly difficult combination of a fighting game with a platformer. So when I saw the trailer for Slap them All! at gamescom, my eyes lit up and I thought: this is it! The spiritual heir to the game from many years ago.
And like a man knew, and yet he was deluded. Once again, I can sum up the game in this series this way. I slept while I was playing. After you’ve seen the first 10 minutes of Slap them All !, you’ve seen it all, and the game is about 6-7 hours long. So you understand that I was overwhelmed by waves of boredom. Exactly the same objection appeared in the review of The Crystal Menhir, which means that the creators of these titles do not draw any conclusions that they are less reproducible and dose the content.
Asterix & Obelix: Slap them All! is a simple walking brawl. If, like me, you expected platform elements straight from the 1996 title, then I must disappoint you. They are not here and the game boils down to defeating waves of enemies every few meters. This is not a complaint, because we have great beat ’em ups on the market, but every game in Asterix looks the same. The poor combo list does not help, which is useless anyway, because you can complete the whole game on one combination (2 times forward on the D-pad, X).
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Recycling levels also contributes to the horrible repeatability. I’ve been on Redbeard’s pirate ship ten times throughout the game, and each time it’s been the same. Complete 2-3 waves of enemies, defeat the boss. I know it’s a gag from this brand that the Gauls meet their pirate friends every now and then, but something that works in comics and movies doesn’t have to work in the game anymore when you have to repeat levels. This is not only a complaint against pirates, because other levels are reused as well.
It doesn’t make any progress in the game. And at the very beginning and at the very end, we beat the same boss in the same way. A popular trick in fighting games is to make the old bosses come back as normal opponents to let the player feel the attack power increase and the player’s skills develop. Here we will beat identical enemies on similar maps to boredom. Sometimes a short mini-game will be woven into it, but that’s not enough.Who came up with the idea that there should be no animated cutscenes in a production adapting comics and animated films? The story is presented here in the form of numb dialog boxes. They are not even dubbed, but you have to read them yourself! The only person with voices is the narrator!
The kids will have this form of narrative somewhere. And since this is a game mainly for them, it would be appropriate to pin them to the screen and reward them for passing the levels with cartoon inserts, so that they could feel like watching a fairy tale. If this is not the case, the only hope for any fun is cooperation, which is also neglected. When one character dies, the companion cannot resurrect them and it’s game over! While playing, we get a score that has no meaning. Why not introduce a mechanic that allows you to revive for a reward in points?
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The only outstanding thing that Asterix & Obelix does Slap them All! there is artwork. This is a beautiful game that looks like a cartoon set in motion. Comic-style backgrounds, dynamic character animations, and slashing effects… it all does the job. So it is a pity that the rest is not so good and you can get the impression that the whole pair went into the setting, and the rest was added quickly, initially thinking about the mobile market.
Slap them All! it’s a much better title than The Crystal Menhir, but it’s still not the product I would expect from this brand. At first glance, this is a nice game, but you have the impression that there is something missing. Boredom quickly creeps in and never goes away, because the gameplay does not change even the smallest, which, combined with a poor storyline, brings the player’s motivation to zero. Bash them All! the 2002 only GBA release had more verve, not to mention the 1996 game. However, hope remains, because since there has been progress here, maybe in two years we will meet at the next Asterix, this time for 8.5.
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