Saturday, 2 April 2016

Saturday Soundtracks: Asterix & The Great Rescue

You have to have been living under a rock (or at least not near a library) to have missed Goscinny and Underzo's Asterix the Gaul series of cartoon strips. Featuring a colourful cast of characters, liberal messing of history and lots of reoccuring latin jokes, these stories were a mainstay of my childhood alongside the Tintin comics, Hardy Boys books and so on.

So when I learned that there was a licensed Asterix game that featured platforming and fighting, I jumped at the chance. The only problem was that the game was and still remains as hard as nails. While the first level requires you just to go from left to right and avoid some slow moving enemies, level two ramps up the difficulty by demanding you use limited power ups to kill enemies and create temporary blocks to reach the end of the level. Misuse them or run out of power ups and it was kinder to kill Asterix (or Oberlix) and restart the level. Even if you did make the jumps or sequence of movements, you also had the added pressure of a time limit to contend with. It's more a puzzle/platform hybrid than straightforward genre title

Anyway, enough griping. The music is thankfully one of this games redeeming features, with an original soundtrack not heard anywhere else in Asterix cartoons or films. It's bright and buzzy FM sounds that the mega drive did so well at producing, and while it sadly was not enough to make me keep the game in the console's heyday, I do think fondly of the times I cursed this game's steep difficulty curve, bit my lip and tried to get past a level under the time limit.