99Vidas – Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch
I’ve always been a big fan of arcade style beat ‘em up titles and the Nintendo Switch has been a perfect platform to showcase this genre. When I heard developer QUByte Interactive was releasing 99Vidas as a Definitive Edition on the Switch, I was hoping it would fill that Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World void that had been missing from selling my PS3. The art style and chock-full of references to 80’s and 90’s pop culture certainly hit the mark, but did the gameplay and presentation hit those same high marks?
99Vidas – Definitive Edition is a four-player brawler style game that will remind you instantly of the Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World title with its art style and aesthetic. 99Vidas features up to four-player local and online multiplayer. There’s six worlds and two bonus levels included, with 11 playable characters as you brawl your way through each of the levels.
The story is based on an actual Brazilian podcast about video games and nostalgia and 99Vidas features many references and the main characters are members of the podcast. Even without knowing of this podcast, you’ll have no problem getting into the combat and enjoying what little narrative beats are present. There is nothing memorable about the story and is just used to get you from point A to point B.
There are 11 playable characters, some of which are locked, and there are a few characters that are very similar in fighting styles. Each one has their own stats and particular moves, as well as an element they’re based around, such as water or fire. Because of this you’ll be able to pull off special moves based around each element with slight differences in how they are performed.
The controls are simple to learn with a weak and strong attack, jumping, special moves, and techniques you’ll be able to pull off by either pressing the right bumper or hitting both attack buttons together. This special move is like one of the techniques in many similar beat ‘em ups where your character will lose a sliver of health each time its performed. My only issue with these is that sometimes you’ll accidentally perform the special move when just trying to get off the ground. The special moves are exceptionally animated though, and are very devastating to most enemies.
99Vidas features a point and money system that you’ll be able to then spend on upgrading your character and these upgrades are permanent. You can also buy extra lives for that particular playthrough which is quite helpful. Instead of traditional continues when you end up losing all your lives, you’ll just be kicked back to the title screen. Fortunately, you’ll be able to buy extra lives right away with the money you accumulated and get right back to wherever your previous level you were just on. You can quit out of the game at any time and continue your progress later from where you left off, though it starts you at the beginning of whatever stage you made it up to.
Before starting, there are four different difficulties to choose from and the difficulty definitely increases the farther you progress through the title. Things start off rather easy, but once you make it to levels four and later it definitely becomes a challenge. Enemies are able to easily combo you, which can be somewhat annoying and are able to drain your health in a matter of seconds if they’re able to mash attacks right next to you in bunches.
Bosses in particular will put up quite a fight and you won’t be able to exploit them at the beginning by running up and wailing on them. You’ll end up just having to soak up the damage and try to brawl them to death. There is an element of strategy when fighting most of the bosses having to learn their patterns and when they are going to get tired so you can get in and deliver plenty of attack combos.
Outside of the main Story mode is a Versus mode for you to take on your friends in up to four-player versus matches. There is also a Survival mode where you are tasked to stay alive for as long as possible. The additions made to this Switch version include having a few new enemies, stages, and a new game mode called Arcade, where you can play through the campaign but have no dialogue present to interrupt the action flow.
What 99Vidas does the best though, is with its graphics and the sprite work for its characters and enemies are exquisite. I also have to highlight the soundtrack which is absolutely fantastic and features plenty of original nostalgic tunes that you’ll be humming long after you’re finished. Unfortunately, you’ll be finished fast as is expected with most games in the beat ‘em up genre.
Overall, 99Vidas – Definitive Edition is an enjoyable and action-packed beat ‘em up title that you’ll have a lot of fun playing with friends either locally or online. At a low price point with plenty of unlockable characters and a decent amount of content, 99Vidas is definitely on the positive side of how many brawlers you can find on the Switch. The soundtrack and graphics alone make this title stand out and comes recommended if you are a fan of the genre.
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Reviewed by Josh Brant on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by QUByte Interactive.