Thursday, November 29

Review: Coffee Crisis [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Ever since the old days in the arcade I’ve always been down for a good beat-em-up. Knocking around various baddies, picking up a weapon to really put down a beating, and bashing my way through, expecting a bit of a grind, is old hat. Unfortunately in the case of Coffee Crisis, despite its cool retro looks and pretty rockin’ metal soundtrack, it’s not a good beat-em-up. Among its competition on the Switch, I’d actually say it’s pretty mediocre at best and perhaps just not very fun.

In the game you’ll take control of one of two baristas whose job is apparently to try to help save the world from an alien invasion of some kind. Plot really isn’t an important factor in this genre so that’s all fine. Aside from a small variety of aliens, including the usual greys and a few other bigger varieties, it appears that the aliens have mentally taken control of not only some sensible young toughs but also a bunch of little old ladies with walkers and geezers as well. So be ready to kick some geriatric ass along your journey.

I suppose this is funny for a few moments but the joke wears pretty thin as on top of throwing just masses of enemies at you pretty consistently they’re heavily repeated. Worse, among the other beat-em-ups on the Switch, Coffee Crisis may have the most limited moveset of them all. You have a basic attack, a strong attack, jump, and a panic attack that costs you a little health but that’s pretty much it so expect to be repeating a lot of the same moves, there really aren’t combos to pull of per se… just move in and attack, lather, rinse, and repeat.

In order to try to make things more interesting there are some pick-ups, modifiers that change some of the way things work for better or worse, and things like a brief CRT mode but they’re randomly placed and a bit baffling in their real value. I’d recommend playing with a friend as trying to go through the game solo feels very unbalanced. Throw a bunch of enemies with ranged attacks as well as some with melee and you can expect to get overwhelmed with your underwhelming moveset pretty quickly on your own. To make it worse your health gauge isn’t where you’ll think it is and since there’s nothing helping you keep track of where your health is as it gets low you’ll just tend to suddenly die.

At best Coffee Crisis has a severe case of style and flash over substance. It generally looks terrific, giving serious retro-modern vibes and displays a sense of humor. That said, as a beat-em-up it’s a bare bones affair and pretty well devoid of serious strategy or opportunities for much enjoyment. With so many quality brawlers on the Switch there’s no reason to have to settle for less, I’d recommend the majority of other genre titles available over this one.

Score: 5

  • Really looks like it was made in the SNES/Genesis era
  • Has a funky sense of humor, like getting to beat up on the elderly
  • Rocking metal soundtrack

  • Generally unbalanced in its difficulty
  • A severely limited moveset, making for pretty unsatisfying play even if you’re successful
  • There are simply too many better titles on Switch in this genre