PS2 REVIEW: ASTERIX & OBELIX: KICK BUTTIX

Using obscure characters in a dated platformer, some financial genius has probably discovered that his company is in need of a tax write-off. Asterix and Obelix may be popular in Europe, but they won't be selling many games in North America.

If the gameplay of Asterix & Obelix: Kick Buttix, was of some quality, this game might catch on by word of mouth. It's certain that the box won't attract a lot of players since most youngsters aren't familiar with these characters. As an old-school platform game this is clearly aimed at a younger demographic although it may be a trip down memory lane for some older immigrant gamers. Hey, don't start emailing and complaining about calling you an immigrant. We have a free country on this side of the ocean. If you don't like it go back to that place that I can't spell….

If you're a European and you're reading this in your homeland, there is no need to take offense since you're not considered an immigrant until you come over here to live. We love to meet people from all over the world and you're more than welcome in our country. Just remember that we have a few customs that you might not be aware of such as taking a shower at least every other day. Keep that in mind and don't forget to tell the gals to shave the hair off their faces and you'll have a great time over here.

In this game you can play as both Asterix and Obelex. One is small and fast while the other is strong and fat. Asterix can get through openings and spaces that Obelex can't. Conversely, big ol' Obelex can plow through legions of enemies and obstacles. Together they can solve puzzles to grant access to the other character so they can move on to the next level.

The saga of Asterix & Obelex takes place in the days of ancient Rome. The two main characters are Gauls and their mortal enemies are the Romans. When they aren't trying platforming or puzzle solving, they'll be fighting the Romans. Although there are a few combos that can be used the combat system, like the rest of the gameplay, is rather shallow and repetitive.

Punching Romans is great fun as they fly off the screen in exaggerated cartoon style but the novelty does wear off. You can purchase different combos but they are more for show than anything else since you can just usually push and punch your way through the masses.

Helmet collecting requires you to fight Romans, open crates and explore all the areas in the environments. There are some 40 levels which makes the game surprisingly large. It's too bad the gameplay couldn't have been varied enough to accommodate the duration of the game.

This game would have benefited from better graphics, a more involved story and better voiceovers. Just about everything about this game is below par. The script is lame and does little to highlight the characters' personalities or the almost adult-oriented context of the comic book theme. Asterix & Obelix come off looking like a cheap imitation of Hagar the Horrible when in reality they are miles that hackneyed comic-strip formula.

By all appearances Kick Buttix looks like it could have been the lost PSX game. Maybe the developer responsible for it hid it behind a wall in the studio sometime during the last millenium. I'm not so sure that is still doesn't belong there.

System: PS2
Dev: Etranges Libellules
Pub: Atari
Released: Sept 2004
Players: 1
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2
GRAPHICS
3
CONTROL
2.5
MUSIC/FX
2
VALUE
1.5