The Romans are coming! Outside of Tin Tin, Asterix and Obelix are probably two of the best known French comic characters around. The duo are featured in numerous books, several films and quite a few video games going back as far as the Atari and early home computers. They’ve retained that popularity over the years, stretching into later game console generations almost seamlessly.
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 is a remake of an older Windows/PS2 title from the 2000s. The premise is simple—the villagers of Gaul must protect themselves from an encroaching army of Roman soldiers led by Caesar himself. The main characters are the village druid Getafix (who seems to turn rogue at the beginning, setting the story into motion), village king Vitalstatistix (who sends Asterix and Obelix on quest), a Roman defector resembling a spy character and of course, Asterix and Obelix themselves. The Gauls use a special potion brewed by the village druid to give them the necessary strength to fight back invading armies.
Asterix is the fit, fast member of the team, while Obelix is large and powerful. Our heroes are accompanied by their feisty little dog on the adventure. This unlikely duo goes to Las Vegum to not only rescue/confront their druid friend, but to also pummel the Roman army.
One of the coolest features is the inclusion of enemies who resemble other video game characters. For instance, there’s one recurring enemy with a thick mustache and an ancient Roman version of the water-spitting device F.L.U.D.D. (from Super Mario Sunshine) as well as a Ryu clone, among others. It’s a wonderful tongue-in-cheek, humorous design choice that only adds to the game’s charm.
The graphics are good and animations are extremely smooth. The characters all have sharp, crisp animation cycles. In between levels, the cut scenes do a great job of telling the game’s story with beautiful, almost movie-quality animation. The areas are vividly rendered with superb lighting and ambiance. The studio responsible for the remaster, Microids, did a phenomenal job updating the visual aspects of the original and smoothing out the overall gameplay, which itself is straightforward and intuitive.
Battles are won through a variety of brawl and combo moves. In between battles are fun puzzles that require using both Asterix and Obelix in tandem with one another to progress in the game. There are plenty of collectibles and side quests to keep players engaged and coming back for more. The game also isn’t terribly difficult and offers an extensive array of power-ups and multiple difficulty modes.
The music is fun, but tends to become repetitive after a short while playing. Repetition—in enemy selection mostly and music—is really the only shortcoming this game has. Unfortunately, it’s a big one. I found myself growing bored as I slogged through battle after similar battle, the fun and novelty wearing off quickly. Despite the repetition, it can still be fun to brawl and think your way through the hilarious oddball analog of Las Vegas in this delightful game. Perhaps a 2-player co-op mode would have spiced things up a little bit more.
The real cause for pause is the game’s price. The publisher is asking $49.99 for this one, which is a big ask in a landscape where many critically acclaimed games regularly launch in the $15 to $25 range. It’s a hard price to swallow when games like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are only $10 more, and have been on sale for less money than this one. While there’s some fun to be had here, we believe the price point is a real sticking point and the value proposition just isn’t achieved.
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 Review
Final Thoughts: MEDIOCRE
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 fits the bill if you’re looking for a casual beat-em-up with some light puzzle solving elements. Unfortunately the repetitive combat and high price make it hard to stand out from other great Switch titles.
Based in Colorado, David Buck is an author, musician, and media specialist. In his spare time, he composes music, writes science fiction, and builds scale models, mostly starships and movie cars.