Coffee Crisis (PlayStation 4)

Coffee Crisis from Mega Cat Studios makes its way to recent consoles and offers players retro beat em up action more reminiscent of the 16-Bit systems of old, the game also has a Mega Drive version. Does it manage to fight its way to a good cup of Joe? Lets find out.

An evil race of aliens called the Smurgliens has watched Earth for years. Through their observations they have realised that the best humanity has to offer is its wifi, metal music and coffee. Two baristas from the Black Forge Coffee House, Nick and Ashley, take it upon themselves to confront the threat after their coffee shop is invaded.

That’s about it for story to kick things off, and is all you need really for a beat em up – especially for one that also has a release on Mega Drive. There’s 8 stages in total to fight through with 2 characters, tho there isn’t much difference with how the two characters fight, with most of the variety coming via enemy types. You’ll not only be fighting aliens as brainwashed masses and government types also enter the fray, with each offering up a different attack pattern to adjust to.

As you’ve probably noticed from the screenshots on the page, this game also carries with it an old school look. Anyone that has played through their fair share of side scrolling beat em ups on Mega Drive & SNES will feel right at home. Obviously the game is a little more detailed than what you’d find on those 16 Bit machines, with plenty of added screen effects to showcase that, but not enough to negate the aesthetic aimed for.

Great performance is a given considering the type of game we are looking at, with not even a frame dropped when the screen is packed full of enemies. – tho this can lead to you getting lost in the crowd on screen sometimes. Aside from a rocking soundtrack, the games audio doesn’t stand out too much as it is likely limited by going with the 16-Bit aesthetic.

To put it simply, this game plays like a typical side scrolling beat em up. Having recently been playing SOR I was able to slot into this easily and put the hurt on the alien invaders. Fights will usually see you facing off against several enemies, so making the most of your charged & special attacks is a must – though the special attack does cost some health so is risky to use in a slog. You’ll wanna make use of the throw as much as possible, the game notifies you early that its a great weapon against small enemies so it will fast become a key component in your arsenal.

Just like other beat em ups there are plenty of objects to break for health, power-ups etc during a stage, with boosts to damage and health amongst the quirky bonuses. If playing Solo you really will need to make the most of everything on offer as well, all too often it can feel overwhelming as your character gets lost in the on-screen enemies. The game really seems balanced for co-op play, with the skirmishes much more manageable with some backup instead of just having two boss characters mudhole stomp you in the corner. One other thing to remember is that the innocuous passwords at the end of the stage are actually to be noted for tracking progress, the game doesn’t save progress.

Coffee Crisis is exactly what you expect it to be, a retro side scrolling beat em up that doesn’t stray too far from the games you used to play back in the day. There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had here for retro fans, there is even a Mega Drive release, and fans of the genre can drop into this games 16-bit styled action with ease. May not do enough to entice newcomers tho, but any that give it a try will find several hours of good old fashioned fun.

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Geoffrey Wright

Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.