[PlayStation 4] 99Vidas Review

by Ajescent

Are you in the mood for a fun old-school infused beat ’em up on PlayStation 4? Then check out our 99Vidas review to learn more about a game you should play!

99Vidas – Trailer

Once upon a time, side-scrolling beat-em-ups were all the rage. You’d go to your local arcade and saddle up to your favorite side-scroller thinking, “today will be the day I beat this game with just one coin.” There was always an enticing enigma that siren-sang you back to the cabinet each time you would be with the belief that this will be the time you finally bested that game. You’d enter your 50 cents, and after stage one when staring at the game over screen, you’d know you had been bested yet again.

Fast forward to 2017 and Qubyte games are hoping to once again revitalize that feeling with their game 99Vidas, which, according to Google, means 99 lives in Spanish (disclaimer: You don’t actually have 99 lives in this game). Though the game has been playable almost everywhere else at some point throughout the year, it is finally making its way to the EU market on PlayStation 4.

99Vidas Review - 2

As with every side-scroller beat-em-up, there is a story, sure… but as is the case with pretty much every side-scroller, you are better off not thinking too much about it. This time, it’s about a crime boss wielding a darkness summoning artifact that can give its owner 99 lives, and four guardians are planning to stop his plan.

Upon starting the game, you can choose between 4 playable characters (with a handful more to unlock). Each character has a respectable list of upgradable moves and plays differently enough so that you don’t feel as if you are just button mashing your way through the game, and you can have a bit of strategy which each character, making the most of their pros and cons you progress and become more familiar with each one.

99Vidas Review - 1

While the different characters are fun to play, the real stars of the show are the many enemies you meet along the six stages the game has to offer. There is a real feeling of anachronism to have as just about every single enemy, mini-boss, background art, music and so on is a pop culture reference, from the Terminator, to YMCA, Alice in Wonderland and even real-life soccer players. It is always a joy to see them drop on the ground, grabbing their shins as though they are hurt and see wrestlers “beg” for mercy. It is those little details that really make this game shine.

The soundtrack is also worthy of praise, evoking the 8-bit to 16-bit change in eras, with some elements of the soundtrack paying even hinting at subtle nods to other games that would have been popular at the time – you know, just enough as to not get in trouble.

99Vidas is genuinely fun, but it’s definitely more fun when played with friends. while the game features online play, the online is mostly dead right now, making it almost impossible to find a game to join. However, if you are able to round some friends together, the game can be a blast with some solid couch co-op action.

99Vidas Review - 3

This game game is fun, but there are some elements that are a tad frustrating. Playing solo on normal difficulty can quickly become overbearing since enemy numbers increase considerably to the point of being unfair. While you can upgrade between stages to make yourself powerful, you never really feel truly improved, and unlocking moves add more arrows to your quiver but doesn’t feel as though they do much for you. And if you die in between stages, you lose all of your points so it is always best to spend everything when you can. The worst part of the upgrade system is having to spend your points to replace lost lives, forcing you to decide between upgrading your character and progressing in the game.

On the one hand, it’s possible to argue this will encourage re-playability but playing through the same stages over and over again to level up the different characters doesn’t feel as good as it should. The most egregious thing about the game is the audio that comes out of the controller at certain points in the game. During item pickup or special moves, a soundbite will screech out of your controller and irritate the hell out of you.

Apart from the minor pains, 99Vidas is genuine and fun homage to the games that inspired it and is definitely worth your time and money on PlayStation 4.


Cost: $9.99

PSN Game Size: 2.8GB


This 99Vidas review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Qubyte Interactive.

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