Pixelated beat down.
I love a good old fashioned side-scrolling beat ‘em up. Ever since I got my copy of Final Fight with my Super Nintendo as a kid, I have loved the genre. With the rise of the indie game we are seeing more and more of them crop up. The problem is with changing tastes and mechanics it is hard to make one that really sticks out. 99Vidas feels like a game made by someone who grew up enjoying these titles. It doesn’t do anything outside the box, but it manages to be fun for the short time it lasts.
While it may sound arbitrary, one of the biggest things most developers get wrong is movement. These kinds of games live and die based on the speed and fluidity of the characters. I am happy to say that 99Vidas does get this aspect right. Moving left and right and around the levels feels good. The speed is just right, and the hit detection is spot on. There are some annoying animation loops enemies can get players in, which is still annoying.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, Vita, PS3, PC
Price I’d Pay: $7.99
The combat is standard punch, kick, jump. There are special moves and throwing enemies aplenty. After each level I was able to use points to upgrade my character or buy new lives. The game still works on the lives system, and after they are exhausted, it is game over. Players can save in between levels for another go at it, but I will still never understand developers hanging onto the archaic lives mechanic.
Local co-op is available for up to four players. There are also a ton of characters to choose from out of the gate with a bunch more to unlock. There are six main levels with an unlockable bonus level. The game never felt overly difficult, but the levels do go on for far too long. I think it should have been broken down into 12 levels, thus halving the current level play times.
I do enjoy the game’s art style. Characters are big onscreen and the pixels really pop. The special moves are a treat to watch. The levels also have nice themes to them, especially the bonus level.
There just isn’t much else to say about 99Vidas. It is a solid, if not uninspired beat ‘em up that delivers exactly what it promises. I would have loved to see online co-op and better paced levels. As it sits though this is a solid purchase for anyone who grew up with games like Streets of Rage or Final Fight.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.