The beauty of the Nintendo Switch is that there are all kinds of games out there, including a plethora of Indie Games that would honestly take far too long to name them. A recent one that I got to play though was a title called Coffee Crisis. It harkened back to the side-scroller beat’em ups that the gaming world use to love and play for hours on end. Sadly, Coffee Crisis didn’t live up to that in my book.
To be fair, not everything was bad in the game, it’s just that like many games that dare to be nostalgic yet innovate, it came across as rather random and tedious at times. I still don’t understand parts of the story, and the gameplay is very confusing in terms of the decisions that were made to make it “fresh”.
In short, the game focuses on a race of aliens that come and find Earth. They somehow embed themselves in our wi-fi and create a “fake internet” and then…yeah I was lost after that. Not because the story didn’t make sense per se, but rather, the cutscene just drops out and all of a sudden you’re playing the game!
I’m all for random gameplay spots when it makes sense, but it made me feel as though I had accidentally pressed the “skip cutscene” button, but it turns out, I didn’t.
Once I was in the game, it felt like a standard beat’em up. You go from left to right, fight aliens (and aliens in the forms of humans because reasons) with various attacks. You have your standard attack, a charge up attack, and a special move. There are also certain items you can pick up and use for a certain amount of time.
The problem here is that of the lot, the best attack (at least for the character I played as) is the special attack, where my barista (did I mention both the main characters are baristas?) grabs his coffee bag and spins around in a tornado-like strike that can damage a lot of enemies. It’s very effective, but, it also drains my health. But I didn’t realize that until it was too late, so before long, I was getting picked off by enemies because I didn’t understand I was losing large amounts of health per attack.
I’m told by those who played those kinds of games that this is somewhat standard, but it actually makes the game worse in my mind. The special attack wasn’t a “gamebreaker”, and yet the damage I was apparently self-inflicting made it seem like it was. Which brought up another issue, the game is so confusing and random at times that it can be very difficult to beat even the earliest of levels, especially if you’re on your own.
The enemies themselves are varied to an extent, but they do get repeated A LOT. Plus, because of the number of them on a single stage, it can seem like you’re being hit out of nowhere because you’ll focus on one group, and then all of a sudden you’re getting hit by a random bolt from another character on the other side of the screen. I lost a lot in the beginning because there were just so many enemies that seemingly never ended. And times, when I thought the level was done due to the number of enemies I had just beaten, were actually just one stop on a longer path!
I don’t mind hard games, but Coffee Crisis seemed content to throw me to the wolves with basically no explanation and that definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Now true, I didn’t have a second player to assist me, and that might have helped out more, but it’s also true that it might not have helped at all.
For what it is, the graphics aren’t too bad. They could’ve gone a little bit more visual in some cases, and at times the “warping” on the stage (which I never understood why it happened at all) was a bit too much of an overload. I’m also told that the music of the game is actually original via a Metal band, so I appreciate the initiative there.
But when it comes right down to it, I honestly can’t give this game more than an average score. By the time I was done playing, I was more than happy to go and “cleanse my palate” with another game because I wanted to get something more fun and pleasing in my mind.
If you’re a fan of these old-school games, you might want to try Coffee Crisis, but don’t go in thinking it’ll be like Double Dragon or Streets of Rage, it honestly doesn’t compare.