Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The year is 55 BC (Before Consoles) and the onset of the Roman Empire is unstoppable. Everything has fallen in their wake. Everything, that is, except a small Gaulish village, the home of Asterix and his friends.
The Romans are having great trouble overcoming these humble villagers. The reason? It’s all thanks to an ancient magic potion and its creator, Getafix the druid. This potion empowers the populace of the village with incredible strength so they trounce the Romans time after time.
Every Gaul character in Asterix has a name that ends in ‘ix’. Here’s our Who’s Who.
Julius Caesar, the great Roman emperor, conceived a cunning plan to remedy this embarrassing situation. He ordered that Getafix be kidnapped and brought to Rome to make the potion for his Roman armies, thus making them the equals of Asterix and friends in individual strength but more powerful in numbers.
One sunny day, while picking herbs outside the village, Getafix was nabbed. Asterix soon cottons on to Caesar’s plan. Now you, as both the short Gaul and his large best friend, Obelix, must get to Rome and rescue old Getafix.
The Asterix books and cartoons are absolutely fabulous: they’re witty, exciting and fun to read and watch. An obvious step for cartoon characters these days is to become a platform-based video game — so here’s Asterix’s!
The first thing you notice is the great similarity between the comic book characters and the game’s sprites. Both Asterix and Obelix look and move superbly, giving a real cartoon feel.
Your second thought would probably be, ‘I’ve seen this before, haven’t I?’ — and you’d be right. One quick play reveals amazing similarities with such titles as the classic Mickey Mouse and, more recently, Donald Duck.
The lack of originality makes Asterix a less appealing prospect, but stick with it. The basic gameplay’s the same as most platform romps but has a few new features up its sleeve.
A neat idea is that you can choose from Asterix or Obelix. Not only do they have different characteristics, each level’s tailored to fit each character, so essentially you’re getting two platform games in one. You could try to complete the game with just Asterix, or only Obelix (except for the first stage), or why not switch between them for fun?
As well as the usual platform puzzles and tricks, Asterix has special potions. These potions play an important part, as they’re often used to get past various tricks and traps.
On World 2-1, using Asterix, you’ll find yourself trapped in water, with a wall in front of you. The wall’s too high to jump over and you’ll need to think to get out of this deadend. (Go on, tell ‘em! -Ed)
Okay, okay! Stand on the far ledge and throw your potion into the water. This will cause a jet of water to come to the surface. Jump on top of the jet then to the platform. (Boy did that take ages to figure out or what!)
Graphically, Asterix is great, brilliant sprites and great animation adding to the fun. Sound is the only letdown in the whole game, just a few pathetic little beeps and average FX.
Gameplay-wise there are no complaints either, apart from the unoriginality. The control system’s very easy to use and even with the inclusion of magic potions they don’t become cumbersome Platform addicts will lap it up.
Overall, this is a polished piece of software worthy of anyone’s collection.
I love Asterix, it’s instantly playable and incredibly addictive. The choice of control is a great idea and there are so many hidden tunnels and passageways that no two games are the same. The characters are faithful representations of the colourful cartoon heroes, easy to control and beautifully animated. Some of the tasks require a little thought but don’t take too long — time is tight. Asterix has an ideal difficulty level: the first couple of stages are easy and from then on, those end-of-level beasties take a helluva lot of thwacking. Thumbs up from me! Buy Asterix NOW!
A great platform game, let down by some minor faults