I swear to Alanis Morissette that someone out there in the universe knows how to tug at my heartstrings when it comes to video games. That somebody may be part of Mega Cat Studios. There are not many games I can play where it combines a few of my favourite things: Coffee, 80’s sidescrolling beat em ups, and heavy metal. Well, in fact, there were exactly ZERO games that I can think of…until now! Coffee Crisis is here and good Alanis Morissette is it fun!
The story of Coffee Crisis is actually pretty short and simple. The Smurglian race have been watching the people of planet earth and they have landed and they want humanities three most precious assets, our heavy metal because obviously everyone should be jealous of what bands we have in that genre, our wifi, and our coffee. I can understand the Smurglians plight though as I could not live without any one of those 3 assets! Planets Earths only means of defence lies in the hands of two coffee baristas, Nick and Ashley. They will have to fight thru legions of aliens, cowgirls, college frat boys, and possessed old people to get to the commander of the Smurglians to stop them from getting their way. Along the way, there are some awesome cameos from real-life people, from 90’s Death Metal band Nile to (my personal favourite) the modern heavy metal band Psychostick. Complete with Rawrb riding a flying Taco. The only way that cameo could’ve been better is if they chastised Nick for not having weak Beard strength. Overall though, the story is not going to be something that leaves you with the feeling that your life has changed, but I appreciated the humour and all the fun references the game made.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, fans of games like Double Dragon will feel right at home. I know there have been a few that have made their way to modern consoles, my personal favourite being the 2010 game Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. You and another friend can take the roles of Nick and Ashley and go to the different locations around the city, some of which are real-life locations! These include your coffee shop, a warehouse, amongst others. The one issue I did have is that there is not much variety in the levels, some levels you actually re-visit later in the game! As I stated above, you will find yourself fighting different varieties of baddies along the way. They are all being mind-controlled by the Smurglian race. You will face different varieties of aliens in clothing, cowgirls, jocks and elderly folks. That’s pretty much it though for the whole game. Each time you play the game, you have the ability to have modifiers on. These can either help or hinder your game. Perhaps you pick one up that makes you hit extra hard, perhaps you will be invincible for awhile OR you might pick one up that makes a ton of enemies spawn. You always take a chance when you decide to pick one up off the ground.
You can’t have a beat’em up game without the ability to, well, BEAT THEM UP! Coffee Crisis is pretty simple in that nature as well. Pressing A will perform a light but quick attack, while holding A will do a charged heavy attack. Pressing X has a few different options. You can grab an enemy to throw as well as picking up weapons off the ground. The left trigger buttons will make Nick or Ashley do a special attack that is very strong. Though you want to only use that attack in dire situations as it will cost you health
Let’s talk about the soundtrack because it is the best part of the game! Want blast beats?? CHECK! Want detuned guitars? CHECK! Sweeping Arpeggios? CHECK!!! DJENT??? CHECK!!!!!!! Seriously though, if you are someone that does not enjoy heavy metal, you will NOT be a fan of the game. I might add though that it was hilarious to me that when you pause the game, the music will go from metal to a song that you may hear on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Realistically, I would listen to the soundtrack of Coffee Crisis alongside Pantera or Slayer. It’s great!
Coffee Crisis is one of the games that I love because you can easily beat it in an evening. It won’t be on the lips of people for Game of the Year, but in my opinion, it should be talked about all the same. I love that there is a studio that was able to reach out to musicians to get behind this game as well. You can tell the studio had a blast with making the game and they put a lot of love into it. I see that, and I can’t wait to see what they do next!
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*