99Vidas which stands for “99 lives” in Portuguese, is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up, similar to those of Double Dragon, Streets of Rage and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. The game is based on a Brazilian podcast and the main characters consist of the members of the podcast and their friends. The game has 4 player local and multi-player co-op with 6 worlds and 2 bonus levels to get your brawl on.
The game is about the characters in the Brazilian podcast that focus on video games. Although I’ve never heard the podcast before, I didn’t find it necessary to play this game and was still able to enjoy it for what it is.
99Vidas has 11 playable characters but some are locked from the beginning. Each one has their own stats and moves, as well as an element that they are based around like fire, water or thunder. Each character is able to perform special moves based on their element.
The controls are fairly simple, with weak and strong attack and jump. You’ll also be able to pull off moves that require you to use both buttons at once—but you do lose a little bit of health by using it. Character specials are pretty damaging to most of the characters in the game and look really cool.
The game uses a point money system that you spend on upgrading your character and those upgrades are permanent. You can also use these points to buy extra lives. Instead of continues when you die, you are placed back at the title screen. You are able to continue at the level you died in, but you start at the beginning of that level.
The game has 4 difficulty settings—the easiest of which is called “Izzy,” based on one of the characters in the podcast. Speaking of difficulty; this game felt a little easy at first, but definitely picked up in levels 5 and 6. There were instances where I would get comboed really easily by the A.I when I got too close. I didn’t find the boss battles too difficult. Instead of running in and bashing buttons to do as much damage as I could, I had to watch the patterns of the boss and wait for the right moment to strike.
There are other game modes aside from just the campaign. There are VS modes where you can play against your friends in up to 4 player versus matches, and a survival mode.
To go along with the gameplay is the simply awesome graphic work of the game. It really tries to separate itself in a style that’s been done many times before, with a unique setting in each level. The enemies in the game consist of soccer players, guys in frog outfits, and even a girl swinging a rabbit. What I really enjoyed was the various video game references throughout—some were very obvious, while others made me laugh once I noticed them.
Overall, if you’re a fan of side scrolling beat em ups or their podcast, this game was a great way to kill some time, and if you’re into achievements the requirements will keep you busy for a little while.