Review by Sane Jake
"Odd but playable beat'em up."
In my opinion, Konami usually excels at using a liscence -- just take TMNT as a prime example. They often perfectly capture the essence of the original... even if the gameplay isn't exactly accurate.
Asterix is another example. From the animation and characters to the comic-book pannels and power-ups, everything reflects the atmosphere and style of the French comic book. They were available in English in my public school, and why I was never really a fan of them I did read a few.
Naturally, you'd be hard pressed to find this game in most of North America. Unless you're willing to get maimed (Hint, hint), you'll probably never get a chance to see it. Good thing the game carries subtitles in both English and French, so you'll always be able to get an idea of what's going on.
The gameplay is fairly simple: you have two buttons -- attack, and jump... fairly standard Konami liscened game. After choosing between the two well-drawn main characters, Asterix and Obelix (my appologies for a misspelling) your game begins. Now, one nice touch is that the two characters are VERY different: Asterix is smaller, has less range, but makes up for it with speed and the ability to perform a sliding attack which knocks enemies down. Obelix has greater range and starts out carrying that massive stone... thing that he usually carries. This is a handy weapon until you get hit (at which point it's ruined). Additionally, Obelix's jumping attack is an earth-shaking butt-stomp which temporarily squashes enemies in a good radius, dealing out significant damage and stunning them for awhile. Even the power-ups are different -- Asterix gets the magic elixer, whereas Obleix gets a roast boar (his favourite food -- they never allowed Obleix to have the elixer since he was dropped in it as a kid and were afraid of what effect it might have on him now)
Then you start off on various adventures, pounding everyone in your path. The basic premise is knock your opponent down, and then while he's down you pick him up and toss him in a demeaning fasion... either effortlessly slamming him back and forth, or slapping him around before tossing him over your shoulder, to just punting him away. Pretty similar to the comic book.
Game play is varried by bonus stages including chariot racing and item grabbing. Additionally the levels often have varried terrain to make things more interesting. The biggest flaw is the fact that you seem to have no control over the grab-move you perform -- and the slapping one may be funny, but it leaves you vulnerable.
Game Play: 6
You have a standard attack round, augmented by a unique trait or two and some amusing throws. The problem is that there's very little technique involved other than the usual beat'em up standbys of shifting your alignment.
Up to Konami's usual par, and will surely please fans of the series.
Up to Konami's par, the graphics are attractive and although the animation is a might choppy at parts it's passable.
There are a few quotable lines, but for the most part it's restricted to forgetable music and the groans of your adversaries. Rescuing the maiden gets a might annoying as she constantly cries for help.
Go through it once and forget about it. The ending is appropriate but nothing spectacular.
If you're a fan of the series then this game will probably make you pretty happy. For everyone else, it's still a fun one-shot.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/28/01, Updated 09/28/01
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