New Game Review

Review – Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 (Switch)

For He's a Jolly Gaul Fellow.

I know this might be a really odd character for those living in the U.S., but Asterix is one of the most successful comic book franchises of all time. An icon as French as the Eiffel Tower, baguettes, and Pepé Le Pew singing “Alouette” while sipping some champagne. I did have access to a good chunk of the character’s comics and toys as a kid due to the fact my parents came from Europe and grew up being a fan so this was a great reminder.

When I found out Microids was planning not only to release a brand new Asterix game in 2019, but also remastering an older cult hit released only in Europe during the PS2 era, I was stoked. I had no idea if the game was going to be good, but =finally playing an Asterix game was something I was really looking forward to. Thankfully, Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 turned out to be entertaining as heck.

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They didn’t even try to be subtle.

Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 is your typical 3D platformer for the sixth generation of gaming consoles. Your main objective here is to venture through a brand new Vegas-like planned city of sorts and rescue a bunch of druids, as well as figuring out what the heck is going on inside the druid Getafix’s head. This is not a collectathon. While there is a hub world and optional collectibles, the core design of the game focuses on travelling one end of the level to the other. While I do prefer open world levels and a focus on exploration, I was okay with XXL 2‘s simple and straight forward design.

Controlling both Asterix and Obelix is an easy task. Even though you can perform some really entertaining tag-team combos against the Romans, controls aren’t complex. Some might look at the game’s combat system and think that this is a repetitive brawler. You literally fight hundreds of Romans at a time before being able to proceed to the next area, with not a single centurion being an actual threat to the Gauls. While I agree that the combat is basic and can be a bit repetitive, the game’s cartoonish visuals and exaggerated reactions make it fun every time a Roman gets punched or is literally used as a whip in order to hit more enemies. This is cartoonish mischief at its finest.

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When a Roman comes along, you must whip him!

While the overall controls are decent, I do have a major gripe with the way Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 handles its camera. You can’t adjust the camera to look up or down. Instead moving the right analog stick up and down zooms in and out instead of tilting the camera. As a result, getting stuck behind walls is fairly common.

Visually speaking, you have to give credit to the fact that a game released in 2006 for the Playstation 2 still manages to hold up to a certain degree, and that’s mostly due to its cartoonish visuals. Asterix, Obelix, Getafix and Caesar all look like how they should. The framerate is a completely different story. While docked, it was a crisp 60 fps for the most part, with the addition of some improved textures and lighting effects. It was pretty good. While on portable mode, the framerate took a nosedive. It wasn’t unplayable but it just felt like I was playing a PS2 version of the game.

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That’s actually a lot easier than it looks.

The FMV sequences, ironically enough, worked the other way around. When playing the game on portable mode, those hilarious cutscenes looked stretched, but still managed to retain a decent visual quality. When on docked mode, the cutscenes got relegated to a fraction of the screen, and looked horrendous as a result. Thankfully enough, the cutscenes themselves turned out to be excellent, partially due to the game’s excellent voice acting, and partially due to the overall nature of the story.

The Asterix franchise is known for being extremely satirical, and Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 is no different. This game makes fun of pretty much every single gaming franchise you can imagine (that was big in 2006 or prior, may I add). There are nods to franchises like Mario, Sonic, Mortal Kombat, Rayman, Space Invaders, Tetris, Splinter Cell, Bomberman, Street Fighter and many, many more. Every single reference got a nice Roman coat of paint to look the part in this world, and it turned out great. Fighting a centurion dressed as Mario holding Fludd will never get old, as well as a big dude called Larry Croft dressed as… well, you get the point.

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A French icon paying tribute to another French icon.

Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 suffers from some technical hiccups and issues caused by its old age, but it doesn’t detract from the fact this is a fantastic 3D platformer with a simple but enjoyable gameplay. The metric ton of references and satirical nods to other gaming franchises doesn’t hurt either. Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 is a charming game that will most certainly please fans of the comic series, and a neat little appetizer for the upcoming sequel slated for a 2019 release.

 

Graphics: 6.5

The cartoonish visuals have, for the most part, managed to stand the test of time, but the game suffers from way more framerate issues than it should.

Gameplay: 7.5

Standard 3D platformer controls. The combat is basic as it can be but the cartoonish mischief onscreen makes it a lot more fun than it should. The camera controls are a bit faulty, as most games from a decade ago.

Sound: 7.5

The voice acting is superb and the soundtrack is good for the most part, but the latter occasionally disappears during gameplay for no good reason.

Fun Factor: 9.0

The game reminded me of the simpler days when 3D platformers ruled the world with its simple but enjoyable gameplay. Being a hilarious title full of references and parodies makes it even better.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 is available on PS2 (original version), PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch (remasters) .

A copy of Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 was provided by the publisher.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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