It’s a French comics come to life. Asterix and Obelix XXL 2 which will now be mentioned as Asterix XXL 2 for simplicity sake is from a series of French comics that first appeared in the Franco-Belgian magazine Pilote on October 29, 1959. It was written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. So while I can’t say I was old enough to read the comics nor have I heard of it until now, I would at least say it goes in line with the Neptunia games where nothing is really out of bounds and everything is A-Okay when it comes to its comedic bits and game references.
We have the Roman Super Mario equipped with his plumber suit and a tank filled with water and the fat male version of Lara Croft that is nowhere near as flexible or agile as the female tomb raider. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves but a Roman Sonic and what seems like Street Fighter’s Ryu doing hadukens all day is simply splendid. There’s tons of references to go around with as well as hidden Easter eggs to discover.
Asterix XXL 2 starts off their adventure when they learned that the village druid, Getafix has betrayed the Gauls. But our heroes still believes in him and wishes to uncover the truth. So along with the oddball equipped with night vision goggles and rappels from out of nowhere, Sam Shieffer, they head towards Rome in Caesar’s Las Vegum! The game plays similarly to any platformer as you visit the six areas while decimating hordes of Roman soldiers and solving puzzles. But what makes Asterix XXL 2 unique in a way is the character switching. This lets you play as either Asterix or Obelix and both plays differently with the big guy Obelix attacking much slower. Similarly enough, puzzle solving and platforming with the two characters also offer unique interactions. You can have Obelix jump into a hole while Asterix attacks it before Obelix can propel upwards to reach new heights. Meanwhile some areas would require Asterix to get on a platform while Obelix holds a rope to guide the platform to different parts of the map. It’s one of the good things that really makes platformers a fun treat to play in.
However while the puzzles and platforming is all fun and dandy, the skull-bashing, mob-throwing and fist-breaking can somewhat become tiresome when hundreds of Roman soldiers block your way. It becomes a chore at times which gets really challenging should you not have your priorities straight as enemies will be coming at you from every direction, from up-close and from far away. Although this becomes easier as you learn and unlock new combo moves and practice the ways of the Gaul while taking advantage of the bonuses that appear on your screen as well as magic potions and roast boar baskets for health. Survive the legion’s assault and you get tons of helmets that acts as the currency to buy new trinkets to bling out your collection. The figurines like a Sonic the Hedgehog is always a nice addition. But what really makes you put in the time sink into the grind is obtaining each one while also balancing it out for the more necessary things like upgrades. Challenges are there should you need to gather a feck load of them though!
The graphics goes a long way but not too much of a long way. The updated graphics are vibrant although not particularly striking when it comes to home consoles but cutscenes definitely lack the quality improvements I’d expect from a next-gen console. The graphics and environment itself feels more like game for an older gen console compared to remastered games like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro on the same system.
It’s an overall interesting experience considering it’s the first time I’ve heard of the game. And let’s consider the fact that I am from Asia and grew up to things like the 90’s cartoons as well as Marvel and DC shows on TV. The game catches your attention for its humor but at times break away the fun and focus on mindless button mashing when hundreds of mobs are required to be taken down. Even on the lowest difficulty setting I find myself drifting away in favor of other games as it becomes a painstakingly trigger happy button mashing game. It’s a game that feeds on nostalgia, comedic bits and platforming. If that’s what you’re into, then this game is for you. However the price tag doesn’t seem on par to what you’re getting. It’s a PS2 classic with a lot of effort poured into making the remaster however the asking price of $49.99 or £44.99 would only mean that only Las Vegum hustlers can take on the risk it brings.
Asterix and Obelix XXL 2 is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC