The year is 50 BC, and a small Gaulish village in the west
of France is still holding out against the Roman conqueror.
Thanks to the druid's magic potion, the little group of dauntless
Gauls succeeds - among other things - in irritating Caesar
and his proud legions to the utmost degree! Their only fear
is that the sky may fall on their heads...
& Obelix: XXL is
a pretty impressive looking game. Anyone familiar with the
cartoon strip, written by Goscinny and drawn by Uderzo, will
instantly warm to this. The developers have crammed in lots
of nice little touches from the graphic novels. There was
one great throw away line which made me laugh out loud early
On explaining how Asterix can use the magic potion, in order
to become super strong, we are told that Obelix doesn't need
to take any... "but then you already know that."
This is a reference to the fact that Obelix is always been
told that he can't have any magic potion, because he fell
into a vat of it when he was a baby. A long running joke in
the graphic novels, this throw away line works really well.
gameplay also stays true to the source material. You can whack
Roman soldiers into the middle of next week, or pick them
up and spin them around - which also helps to daze other soldiers
in the vicinity. And I loved the defensive stance the soldiers
can take (when a group of them get together and form an almost
impenetrable formation of shields). Obelix's tiny dog (Dogmatix)
is also along for the ride, and can be used to bite Roman
soldiers. And, just like in the graphic novel, you must collect
the soldier's helmets as you go.
fact that you can control Asterix or Obelix (and to a much
lesser extent Dogmatix) at different parts of the game also
helps to keep the gameplay feeling fresh. And there are other
little touches that help to keep your mind focussed. There
are giant catapults that send you long distances, olde worlde
cannons and, best of all, the downhill toboggan rides where
Asterix and Dogmatix use Obelix as a sledge on a wild roller
just when the first signs of repetition are starting to creep
into the game, the developers introduce something new. You
leave your familiar surroundings and travel to another part
of the world.
there are problems with the game. The voice soundtrack is
pretty poor. The acting is a little on the ropey side, and
Asterix has become Welsh for goodness sake. Also, when you
loose all your lives you don't always start just outside the
area that you died, and sometimes have to fight your way through
soldiers once again (although you can just run past them).
the other familiar characters from the graphic novels are
not used as well as they might be. It was a shame that the
developers didn't use Fulliautomatix
(the Gaulish blacksmith) for the owner of the supplies store
that pops up from time to time.
these moans are only slight nit-picks. This game is a scream.
It's also about as close as you're going to get to playing
in your own Asterix animated cartoon. You see, not
everything about the French is bad.
is a game that will keep you riveted to the spot for quite
some time. In a market riddled with platform games, it's great
to see that there are still new and interesting angles that
can be employed.
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