Coffee Crisis – A Caffeinated Blast of Retro Gaming

I thought it would be interesting this weekend to pick up a random indie game on my Switch without knowing really anything about it and write my thoughts about it. In looking through the Switch Online Store, which I believe could use a bit more organization as it seems daunting to look through page after page of titles without there being much for filter options…but I digress. I found the game Coffee Crisis which was developed by Mega Cat Studios and published by Qubic Games. The game appeared to be a bit of a retro throwback to all the 16-bit side scrolling beat-em-up games that I played as a kid on the Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo. It also happens to involve metal music, retro games, and as the title would suggest….coffee.

I have fond memories of playing beat-em-ups like the Streets of Rage, Final Fight, and Golden Axe games; everything about this game fits right in with these games. I enjoyed the aspect of playing a game so reminiscent of the previously mentioned early-90’s titles. Mega Cat Studios I discovered, even produced an authentic Homebrew version of the game on cartridge with case and manual to play on Sega Mega Drive/Genesis that you can purchase on their website.

The story is set on Smurglians – a race of aliens who’s entire planet runs on the energy generated from coffee, metal music and WiFi( that’s right!) and have set their sights on planet Earth’s most precious resources. You play as either Nick or Ashley, two metalhead baristas at the Black Forge Coffee House who are not going to sit idly by and let this travesty occur as you fight your way through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh.

Walloping the elderly to save the metal…

The gameplay is pretty standard as far as beat-em-ups go; you progress through multiple levels with the occasional mini-boss appearing every several levels until finally making your way to the boss at the end of the game, which I was mildly disappointed in the abrupt not-quite-an-ending of the game, it more or less just….stops. The length of the game overall I was satisfied with, being roughly the same length as others of the genre. My criticisms of the game are pretty mild, as I any drawbacks to the game are the same that you would hear of games like Streets of Rage. For better or worse, Coffee Crisis is authentic to a fault with negative attributes that are commonplace in games like it. You screen position is difficult to keep track of when multiple enemies attack and you get “Caught In A Mosh”( couldn’t resist!). There is also the annoying abundance of enemies who can shoot projectiles at you or simply have “weapons” such as a lasso or a cane…yes, among the enemies you fight off are humans that have been taken control of by the Smurglians. These can be range from random looking “dude bros”, to western looking…uh…cowgirls, to I guess….the elderly? You fight your way through the streets of Pittsburgh drinking coffee, listening to metal, and pummeling old men and women that attack you with canes and walkers. There is also an array of Smurglians to fight from purple aliens sporting mohawks to tuxedo-clad aliens in wheelchairs who can shoot “mental projectiles” at you ( Professor X as a Smurglian). The game in premise alone is not any danger of taking itself seriously, I ALMOST felt like I shouldn’t have been enjoyed this developing chaos as much as I did. My other critique is also all too common in games such as this where, you have a powerful special move at your disposal HOWERVER, using it costs you a small portion of your health. The game is not an easy game, as it was clearly intended to be played in “couch co-op” with another player alongside you.

I still feel these negatives don’t overly hinder any enjoyment to be had playing Coffee Crisis, I had a blast playing this game. The soundtrack to the game is excellent as well, with tracks being provided by Pittsburgh area metal band Greywolf. There is also a couple small cameos from retro-gaming YouTubers Metal Jesus Rocks and Alpha Omega Sin. Mega Cat Studios clearly shows a lot of love for the 16-bit beat-em-ups of yesteryear and I very heartily recommend to anyone looking for an entertaining indie game to play, it’s got coffee, retro games, and metal, hell yeah!

I thought these dudes looked familiar….

Side Note: Coffee Crisis is currently available for LESS than the price of a coffee house brew at $1.99, a GREAT DEAL until May 27th. https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/coffee-crisis-switch/

For anyone else who would like to purchase a physical cartridge version to play on Sega… https://megacatstudios.com/collections/16-bit/products/coffee-crisis-sega-genesis

Keep on playing…

My Nintendo Switch Wish List

Right around this time every year, leading up to E3 in June there is endless speculation regarding what games will be announced for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. This includes brand new series, sequels, along with remastered collections/ports. I thought it would be fun to make a list of the 3 games highest on my wish list for the Nintendo Switch ranging from rumors that have been circulated for a while to “hey, it COULD happen right?”.

Nintendo is still riding high on the success of the Switch and has been busy bringing over titles that gamers may not have gotten the chance to play on previous consoles like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe to franchises that haven’t yet been on a Nintendo system like Diablo 3: Eternal Collection and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There is also a rapidly growing collection of indie titles on the Switch that is still growing like Rocket League, Undertale and Cuphead(just released a couple days ago). My 3 games I would most like to play on the Switch are all previously released Nintendo games that I think would be excellent on their newest handheld/hybrid console.

I desperately hope the rumors are true…

Metroid Prime Trilogy – The rumor that Nintendo would bring a (hopefully hd remastered) version of the Metroid Prime Trilogy to the Switch has been around for a little while, and has grown even more prevalent since it was announced that they weren’t satisfied with how the development of Metroid Prim 4 was coming along and decided to restart the process along with Retro Studios who developed the first 3 games. Metroid Prime is one of my absolute favorite games and this would be incredible on the Switch with some updated visuals and standard button controls; the latter being one of the biggest reasons Metroid Prime 3 (along with many other games) was a bit difficult to go back and play. The rumor of this being brought over to the Switch has Metroid fans like myself salivating and would help to ease the disappointment in the announcement that Prime 4 is very likely a couple years away still.

Super Mario Sunshine could be an excellent port to the Switch library

Super Mario Sunshine HD – This is another Gamecube game that I would love to play on the Switch with a few tweaks to the game. I have very fond memories of spending many summer hours collecting Shine Sprites and cleaning up graffiti around Isle Delfino as Mario with the help of FLUDD his water-jet backpack….contraption. I know people that weren’t huge fans of the game and criticized the game for being “gimmicky” in its usage of FLUDD throughout the game, who I suspect were the same ones that accused Super Mario Odyssey of the same thing. Oddly enough, while playing through Odyssey I noted the game did seem to be a spiritual successor to Sunshine. One thing, along with some refreshed graphics I would like to see would be maybe…possibly…an improvement to the camera scheme in the game. I have long said that Mario’s greatest nemesis in his 3d adventures IS NOT Bowser, but rather Lakitu and the often clumsy, awkward camera angles. Nonetheless, Super Mario Sunshine had some of the most creative(and difficult) 3d levels I have played and would love the chance to tackle them and Shadow Mario again on the Switch.

Wishful thinking…

Banjo-Kazooie/Banjo-Tooie HD Collection – A Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie collection is my “it COULD happen…right?” entry on the list, this being a somewhat extreme hypothetical as the characters from the BK games as well as Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day are properties of Rare Ltd. who was bought by Microsoft back in 2002. However, a working relationship between Microsoft and Nintendo starting with cross-play ability for games like Minecraft and Fortnite has increased with players being able to unlock Xbox Live Achievements while playing the aforementioned games on their Switch consoles. There has also been the rumors that Microsoft may be working on bringing aspects of Xbox Live to the Switch. This could be a game-changing(PUN!) event, as Microsoft has the best and most robust online gaming experience out there with Xbox Live and if that infrastructure were to be integrated with Nintendo it could be incredible. Another rumor leading up to E3 is that Xbox’s Games Pass subscription could be made available to Switch users, which would also be an amazing development. So my wish is that as long as Microsoft and Nintendo are maintaining a friendly working relationship to compete with Sony in the gaming universe, could Rare Ltd. be given the green light to re-release some of their N64 classics in a HD remastered package? This is pure speculation(not even that…) but I would gladly fork over the cash to play upgraded versions of the Banjo-Kazooie games as well as Perfect Dark or Jet Force Gemini, another underrated Rare game from the N64. Any games you would like to play again on the Switch? A guy can dream, right?

Me, every time Nintendo releases another port or remaster on the Switch