**** For the Hidden Gems portion of the blog, I randomly select a game out of the PS Store library for $20 or less with the hope of discovering the next Hidden Gem!!!****
99Vidas is a 16-Bit 2-D side-scrolling Beat’em Up from QUByte Interactive. QUByte Interactive is a video game development studio based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They have produced a lot of mobile games such as Plush Ninja, Rescue Team, and Plush Wars. They have also produced a Slot Car racing Simulation on Steam called HTR+ High Tech Racing.
Growing up, I didn’t play many Beat’em Up style video games. Well, I played them, but I never took them serious enough to finish them. It was mostly a pop in, play a level, and pop back out sort of thing for me. One reason for this may have been because I didn’t have anyone to play video games with. I mostly played story-driven games like Metal Gear Solid or sports games like Madden. Anytime I think of Beat’em Ups, I think of couch co-op. Two to four people sitting together, tackling waves of enemies, and just having a good time. There were two beat em ups that I remember taking very seriously: Tekken 4? I believe had a sort of beat em up mode. The other game was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. 99Vidas definitely has its own style and is awesome all by itself, but I definitely got Scott Pilgrim vibes throughout my many hours with it… and that’s ok. 99Vidas, I just want to tell you that I love Scott Pilgrim. As long as you treat me right, I could love you too!!!!
Did 99Vidas treat me right?????
Well, I guesss I should explain what I mean by did it “treat me right”.
- Did we go out and have a great time? Yes √ (I’m just going to use this little symbol here as a check mark even though it’s not one…don’t get mad)
- After the first date, did I want a second date? Yes √
- Did it make me laugh, smile, and stare longingly into its eyes thinking about the possibility of our future? Yes √
- When I got back home and accidentally tripped walking up the stairs because I was wearing heels, did it help me up? No ×
- Did it point and laugh? Yes √
- Did I cry in the car? Yes √ Twice √√
5/6 yes = Good Times!!!
I say all of that to say 99Vidas is rude. It is extremely hard and will not hold your hand and feel sorry for you. Seriously, when you first start, this game is unforgiving. The AI is on point at all times and just be prepared to catch ALL of the hands, even little baby hands at some point. The AI in this game must be from the hood because they don’t fight fair. These kids don’t believe in one-on-one fights anymore. You are about to get jumped from all angles. They are coming with shanks, boxing gloves, and someone’s auntie shows up with a cooking pan at some point. I mentioned earlier how Beat’em Ups remind me of a special co-op night with a friend. Well, you HAVE to play this with a friend. Trust me, you will not succeed if you don’t. Do you remember in High School when you had a bus buddy? Your bus buddy was the guy/girl who rode the bus home with you in case something bad happened. You always had each other’s back in case a group of kids tried to jump you. Well, if you buy 99Vidas, you need to call that person after all of these years and ask for help again.
However, I will say that if you play with a friend the game is manageable. It’s not hard for the sake of being hard. I never felt cheated. It can get overwhelming, but once you learn the patterns of the enemies and the bosses you can conquer it.
Levels and Boss Fights
99Vidas is unfortunately on the shorter side of the video game spectrum. There are 6 stages and 2 secret stages, but for only $9.99, I’ll take it. Most of the levels are pretty memorable and standout long after you finish playing them. They range from fighting on the streets to office buildings, bridges, and even trains. There is a nice variety of locations and some of them have environmental hazards that can either help or harm you. For example, if you are fighting on the streets, you have to watch out for cars driving by. There are two things that really stand out about the level designs:
- Some of the stages have mid-level transitions which help to switch things up. This helps to keep you engaged and not get bored fighting the same enemies in the same backdrop. One moment you may be fighting in a subway, and then a train comes, so you get on the train where more enemies await. Next thing you know, you are on top of the train. The locals can change and I appreciated that aspect of the level design.
- My all-time favorite thing about the levels are the people in the backgrounds. The levels feel like real places that are alive with people going about their day-to-day life. You may walk past a bar and see a patron run outside and throw up on the curb after having too much to drink. I crack up every time I see the guy leaving the adult video store. Before he leaves, he peeks out of the door to see if anybody is outside watching him leave with a bag of goodies.
The boss fights are unique and pretty challenging. They require patience and punish you for just running up and spamming attacks. They await you at the end of the level after you have cleared waves of enemies in typical old-school Beat’em Up fashion. I will say the 2 sub-bosses were kind of disappointing. They weren’t challenging at all compared to the boss battles and even some normal enemies.
Music & Visual
I absolutely love the music in this game, and I tend to not focus on music a lot when gaming. But the music here stands out. The theme song is my favorite. You will find yourself humming it long after you are done playing.
Visually, 99Vidas comes to us in wonderful 16-bit glory. The game is very pretty and easy on the eyes with its blend of both warm and cool colors. The game uses a lot of sunset orange which gave me a nice relaxing feel as I played.
I really only have one issue with this game and it has to do with the online save feature. Really just saving in general. The game autosaves, but since I am a trophy hunter, the game requires you to beat it several times and several different ways. You have to beat it on every difficulty and sometimes do specific things like complete it using no magic. Because of these specific requirements, it would be beneficial if multiple save slots were available. This is not a big deal when doing the single-player campaign. It’s more of a nuisance.
With that being said, I don’t like how saving is handled online. If you play with someone online, the game only saves during that session. For example, if you play with a friend online and make it to the fourth stage and die, you are ok. The game will restart back at stage four and you can continue as normal. However, if you end the session, shut the game off, and attempt to play with that same friend later or the next day, you will have to start all the way from the beginning of the game. This really sucks because if you play online, you have to play with the intention of completing the entire game in one playthrough because it doesn’t save once you quit. I hope the devs plan to fix this in the future.
99Vidas was a great first entry to the Hidden Gems section of the blog. It has secret levels, and plenty of secret characters to unlock which gives it tons of replayability. The devs also said that they plan to add more to the game later, which gives us hope for more content in the future. Also, there is a versus mode where you can battle it out with a buddy to see who is the better fighter. I enjoyed my time with this game, and I’m sure if you give it a chance, you will love it too. I will be keeping a close eye on QUByte Interactive from now on, and I look forward to their next game.
PRICE( At the time of review): $9.99
Hidden Gem? √
Check out the 99Vidas trailer here
Check out my 99Vidas broadcast here!