Tagged: Etranges Bibellules

Now Playing: Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 Mission: Las Vegum (PC)

I did it guys! I found Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 Mission: Las Vegum for PC… I just, didn’t come about it in the most honest way. I couldn’t track down a physical copy anywhere (for PC or PlayStation 2) which is to be expected for a game from 2005 that was only ever produced for Europe.  Let’s just assume I’ll go out and buy two copies of developer, Etranges Libellules, other games that did manage to make it to the U.S. Those include the latest Spyro the Dragon, Arthur and the Invisibles, and that upcoming Alice in Wonderland. Hmm, I think I’ll go pre-order a couple copies of Alice.

Gray areas aside, I have it! It runs great on my PC (as you’d expect for an ’05 release running on ’09 hardware) and it even natively supports my new Xbox PC controller! I was ready to do some GlovePIE scripting but it supports everything except the right analog stick and the triggers. Camera control is a little tricky with Left/Right rotation mapped to the Bumper Buttons and Up/Down on the D-pad but all of the game’s commands are accounted for and within finger reach. So, the game itself.

I’ve always been interested in Asterix & Obelix. Growing up I’d always catch a glimpse of their games in random EGM sidebars or in the mysterious Euro gaming mag but I never bothered to figure out what they were all about. Some inspiration for The Lost Vikings, I assumed, and went back to thumbing through the latest issue of GameFan. Like I said before, I first saw XXL2 in a PLAY magazine preview where a single screenshot of Roman soldiers dressed up as Sonic  the Hedgehog fighting Asterix blew me away. But just like ‘Young Shawn’ I turned the page and continued reading about games that were actually coming out over here, keeping XXL2 in the back of my mind for years. Just what was going on there!?

In traditional Asterix & Obelix fashion, Julius Caesar is up to his old tricks, trying to conquer the last indomitable clan of Gauls who are holding out against Roman rule. This time he’s gone to great lengths, building the Las Vegas-inspired theme park/casino world of Las Vegum. From the intro it even looks like Asterix’s trusted friend, the druid Getafix, has sold out the other Gaulish elders and has gone over to Caesar’s side. Determined to rescue Getafix and find out what’s going on, Asterix and Obelix make their way to Las Vegum thanks to the help of Sam Shieffer.

Sam Shieffer. Why does that sound familiar? Sam… Fisher? Yup! The narrator and guide for the game is the fellow from this image who sports the glowing three-eyed night vision headset and drops into frame on an elaborate series of ropes. He’s the first character you meet but the video game homage starts before you even turn on the game. I didn’t realize it myself but the box for the game looks an awful lot like a Grand Theft Auto cover and the title screen music sounds just a tiny, tiny bit like something from Goldeneye on N64. But I’ve written quite enough for one post and there’s still so much more to see. I installed Lightbox gallery on the site so please visit the actual GameLuv page for the proper experience and start clicking below; be sure to read the comments on these sizable images and if you spot something I missed, do add a comment!

Asterix, Obelix, and a whole lot of copyright gray area

M A D N E S S !

So here’s a quick look at Asterix & Obelix XXL2: Mission Las Vegum. But first, an even quicker primer. The pair of ancient Gaulish heroes were originally created and serialized in the French magazine, Pilote, in 1959. Their escapades revolved around their small band of Gauls holding out against the invading Roman Empire. Sort of like Hogan’s Heroes only all the good guys are French and the bad guys are Romans. It’s apparently really popular throughout Europe and has spawned 34 comic book collections, 14 films — both animated and live action — and over 20 games going back as far as the Atari 2600. Asterix & Obelix even had their own Euro-specific “At the Olympics” title in 2008 that hit every major platform.

But none of those other 20 games are XXL2: Mission Las Vegum which is what this post is about. In traditional A&O fashion, the game sees the pair once again up in arms against the Romans only this time the historical and social parodies of the comics are transposed onto our gaming culture. I don’t know a lot more about the game; I originally saw a small preview in PLAY magazine back in 2004 and was just completely intrigued. Having no way to play an imported PlayStation 2 game (and unaware of the PC version until more recently) I kinda forgot about it until my last post here.

I’ve got a line on the PC version but if that doesn’t work out it looks like a PSP port may still be available. In the meantime check out some imagery below of green warp pipes, Splinter Cell goggles, F.L.U.D.D. ripoffs, and Tetris walls. And check out the developer video over at Etranges Bibellules to see this madness in motion!