|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
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|Game Type:||Strategy||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||April 1999||Standard Joypad|
Setting the Scene
Featuring an original mix of action and strategy as the platform
addicts and the budding tacticians will have equal chances to win. Open
gameplay allows you total freedom to progress throughout the game and if
you do not finish a level, nothing prevents you from coming back to it
later! Intelligent Romans according to your behavior, thanks to an
original AI system. Finally the game atmosphere is totally in tune with
the cartoon - full of fun and Latin frolix Full 3D action!
Take a good swig of magic potion, prepare your strategy and embark on the action with Astérix and Obélix! Will the sky fall on your head? Let's get to it!
Sound & Vision
It would be fair to say that Asterix is two games in one, each with
it's own identity. First of all you get the boardgame... a flat 2D playing
surface which fizzes into life with each move made. A map of France is
divided up into small Gaulish towns and villages. Each of these
territories are inhabited by a Roman presence, illustrated on the map by
small blue and white striped tents. When an enemy territory is attacked a
small clan of cardboard cut-out troops march across the boarder waving
weapons in the air, whooping and wailing. A cloud of dust enshrines the
battle before the dead are finally tossed into the air and the statistics
are amended. As the Gallic army conquers a territory the Roman tents are
replaced by golden cooking pots bubbling over with magic potion.
The second part of the game is much more visually attractive. When certain villages are attacked the player is whisked off towards a more recognizable format. As a new screen loads... a new game arrives. Basically it's a 3D platform game in which the player controls one of the main characters, Asterix or Obelix. The animation is excellent. It looks and feels as if you are participating in an interactive Asterix cartoon. At first the characters seem a little sluggish to move around the set but holding down the run button speeds things up a little.
The sound effects are a collection of slapstick noises normally reserved for Roadrunner style cartoons... plenty of whizzes, bangs and crashes in there. The background music is a jolly pirate jig reminiscent of the Captain Pugwash score.
Asterix begins with a short animated intro explaining the story
behind the game. Getafix has run out of ingredients to make his magic
potion. The seven main ingredients are kept in secure locations. The
others are randomly scattered around Gaul. The player must collect all of
the ingredients and return with them to Getafix.
As previously explained Asterix is a combination of game styles. It is basically a 2D turn based boardgame (similar to Risk) intermingled with a selection of 3D sub-games.
A map of Gaul is divided into 82 territories, 81 of which are inhabited by a single Roman platoon. Instead of utilizing weapons of steel to fight the enemy forces the Galic troops use magic potion. The player begins with one single territory in which lies a force of 20 units.
Before each turn Getafix is supplies the Gallic troops with a further 10 units of magic potion, however these reinforcements may only be added to territories under Gallic control.
Next, decide on the number of units to be used in the battle and select which of the neighboring towns you wish to attack. Should ten Gallic units attack two Roman troops then the outcome will be a formality, however you may loose a couple of your units during the battle.
Once a move is complete the CPU is allowed the same deployments, attacks and redeployments to counter-attack your moves.
Should the player attack one of the 'special' random towns where the secret ingredients are hidden then the game switches to a platform style game where control is gained over one of the main characters. There are several different challenges in store. The Roman Fort is a platform game in which Asterix must collect as many gold coins as possible while fending off an attack from numerous Roman enemies. Other challenges include a session of barrel smashing against the clock and among others an amazing competition called 'Throw the Roman'. The style of this game will be familiar to those of you who have thrown the discus in the Olympic Games title. You have three attempts to throw a Roman a far as possible by swinging him around Onelix's head and them letting go at a crucial point.
After each sub-game play returns back to the board game which continues until one side eventually controls the entire playing area and is deemed to be the winner.
was a little unsure about the value of Asterix at first because I am a
firm believer that board games should remain firmly on the table.
Monopoly on PSX was a disaster. However the inclusion of the sub-games
in Asterix revealed a slight chink in my armor.
As far as the gameplay goes it all moves along at a reasonable pace which should hold the players interest for the duration. I would have much preferred to see a dice roll to decide on battle casualties (similar to the Risk boardgame) rather than leave decisions up to the CPU. Regardless the outcome seems fair most of the time.
Overall if you enjoyed the Risk boardgame then Asterix may be worth checking out.