99 Vidas Review

99 Vidas

 Brazilian studio QUByte Interactive brings 99 Vidas for Xbox one, a retro beat’em up inspired from classics in the 16-bit era. In the game you play as the guys from 99 Vidas, the greatest gaming podcast in Brasil, airing since 2010. Choose your favorite character and join us in the review of this adventure!

THE GOOD

  • 99 Vidas is a love-letter to the 16-bit era! You have colorful and very well detailed levels, characters with fluid animation and an awesome soundtrack and sound effects! Gameplay is clearly inspired from classics like Rare’s Battletoads, Capcom’s Final Fight and Sega’s Streets of Rage (my favorite game from Genesis/Mega Drive), with loot crates that drops food to recover your life, canes, knives and baseball bats used as weapons and loads of punches and kicks to dispatch your foes.
  • It’s delightful to see how much attention has been put in the background for most of the stages: there is always something interesting going on (like a suspicious guy exiting a sex shop or merchants on the street promoting Black Friday). Some even change the graphic style of the game (no spoilers here) in a very original way. People from QUByte did a terrific job in this aspect.
  • For a game of this genre, you have at your disposal a nice amount of characters to choose from (a quick note here: as the developer opted for changing the characters names for the international version of the game, I’ll use ‘international name / original name’ to help), each one with an elemental alignment. King/Juras (water), Izzy (lighting), Fries/Evans (earth) and Oak!/Bruno (fire), the anchors of the show, alongside with Hanna and Pati make up your initial roster, with five more characters to be unlocked during gameplay. All characters have a different combination between speed and strength stats, giving them some more identity during gameplay. They also have two levels of a special elemental attack that pauses the game for a cool animation that covers all the screen when used. A resource that can literally save you during the game.
  • The game has 6 regular levels plus 2 bonus stages. Each level is full of enemies willing to pummel you with all they got, be it knives, flying kicks, soccer slides, frying pans or belly attacks. They try different approaches, avoiding or blocking your attacks putting some nice challenge in each fight. All level end in a challenging boss battle that’ll demand some time to learn the enemy strategy before you’re able to beat him for good. It’s worth mentioning that the possibility to unlock more characters and to upgrade each of them gives the game a much welcome replay value
  • Between stages, you can visit the store to buy upgrades for your character, gaining access to more combos and elemental attacks that increase your arsenal (and are much needed in later levels… trust me).
  • For everyone’s joy, 99 Vidas can be played in up to four players, be it local or online in each one of its game modes (Campaign, Versus and Survival). Call your friends to enjoy this great game with you!
  • With lots of good punchlines, the game has a simple but nice story that everyone can appreciate. Even though you’ll end up forgetting about it during the battles, it’s something that you may enjoy.

MIXED FEELINGS

  • Although I totally understand the option of having a limited number of enemies with different colors and names, like in the classics, some more enemy variation would be very welcome to the game. Especially when, excluding the amount of health they possess, enemies are the same and behave the exactly same way, stage after stage.
  • Even though the special elemental attacks are very cool, two characters with the same elemental alignment have attacks that are equal. Different animations would add much to the game.
  • After some time, you start to use the same attack to thrash your enemies over and over again. I believe demanding different strategies to beat each enemy would add an interesting layer to the combat.

THE BAD

  • My only complain about the game is the bad voices from characters. It looks like it was a developer option to simulate the sound of old games. But they sound really bad.

99 Vidas made me feel like I’m back to the nineties, a time when I used to rent a different beat’em up every weekend to play for hours and hours with my friends. It delivers a nostalgic feeling every player around the 30+yo will love, but at the same time a fresh and up to date experience that can be appreciated by every gamer. Be it playing online or in coach coop, you’ve got a pretty solid and challenging game with a good replay value that will keep you entertained for hours.

Dev: QUByte Publisher: QUByte Played on: Xbox One
LifeisXbox received a digital review code, provided by QUByte.

99 Vidas

99 Vidas
85

Overall

9/10

    Pros

    • Really fun gameplay with replay value
    • Local and online co-op!
    • Artwork is beautiful

    Cons

    • Lack of enemy-types
    • Voice work