UPPERS... Reviewed!

Before I share my thoughts about this over the top beat 'em up brawler, shout out to XSEED Games for supplying a copy of the game for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own, that said... let's review!

What do you get when you mix macho anime characters... and women with an obsession for super-powered street fights? Well, you get... UPPERS!

Story: UPPERS is set on the deserted island of Last Resort, a place where the characters roam around... just looking to open a can of whoop a** on someone (mainly if you're a guy). The multi-layered story is packed with violence, betrayal, and redemption in the pursuit of being the best of the best on the island.

What I find interesting is that this "deserted" island is able to sustain the population, have stores, schools, a variety of food, and a society in general (no matter how crazy). I was like "where are the materials coming from and how are they cultivating, refining them... and so forth?", I was going back and forth on that word deserted and eventually shrugged it off. I've seen enough anime in my life to know that some will not make sense to me in some aspects.

The stories are as you would expect them to be... a bit crazy and connected to the desire to be the best fighter. Each storyline is powered by the passion to fight, but... with 13 playable characters delivering different personalities you aren't just getting the same personality crammed into a different skin.

Here are some of the characters:

If Daidoji-senpai looks familiar to you, she can be found in the Senran Kagura games. She's one of those characters the developers can't seem to get enough of... without starring in her own franchise. I wish they would pour some love into making one hell of a franchise covering her "legendary" life.

Fun Factor: The fun factor in this game can vary, which is actually based on if you're a fan of anime more so than beat 'em uppers and vice versa (see what I did there?). I can say that it will also determine whether you like this game overall.

The gameplay is... alright. You kick + punch + block + use specials... and throw as you would with most beat 'em up games on the market... with little gimmicks slid in there as you K.O. one group of baddies before moving on to the next. There is a cool little twist there where you answer the request of women who want you to pull off certain actions... and if you do so, you win their love and some anime-style sexiness.

Luckily it's not just panties being thrown at you based on your performance... you actually benefit from a combination of panties being flashed at you. It's weird... I know, but let's jump into what some of the combinations actually do for you in the game.

As you see, if you're flashed three yellow pinstripe panties via the Panty Slot Combinations... your attack power is increased by 20% for 10 seconds. Three yellow polka-dotted panties get you the same effect, while three orange polka-dotted panties (seen below) restore 10% of your health. Once you start playing, the Panty Slot Combinations add to the fun factor because you don't know what you're going to get as far as the effect goes... and you may need the right combination to pull you from the brink of defeat with much-needed health.

So even if beat em 'ups aren't exactly leading the pack nowadays... you can still get into the game based on what it offers (and make the most of it) or focus on fighting to simply reach the next cutscene. As I said... this would probably grab an anime fan's attention more so than someone looking for a great beat 'em upper. One thing I was able to appreciate (to an extent) was the voice acting and the interactions between the characters... that's what gave me that almost anime-show'sh feel. I played to see what was going to happen next in the story... while also trying to do my best to get the best score.

The fun factor was like a seesaw to me... although it didn't dip low enough to get on my bad side, because the interactions in the story weren't repetitive so you actually get the feeling of progression. I did find myself playing the game in sections rather than spending a large amount of time playing (in-game action isn't continuous like some other beat 'em ups). I basically played, got my dose of anime action (cut scenes) and I bounced. I won't say this is a bad thing... because everyone doesn't have the time to go on and on in a game, you only have... yay amount of time to and get on about your business.

So on that note... this game could also be a good fit for those of you with limited game time.

Replay Value: Replay value is definitely there when you think about the number of playable characters and... the fact that each stage has a rating that you can go back and improve on. If you're a fan of beat 'em up games... you can definitely get more replay value out of this game than some others I've played. You have seven acts in this game, and each act has multiple missions. You also get a survival mode, and a hard level (if normal isn't doing it for ya).

While this is one of those releases the fans have been waiting for (since its PS Vita days)... It would've been great to see more added into the updated version. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to add a bit more technical fighting to the game... and I also would've been open to more depth on Last Resort Island. Yeah you have the story and the beat 'em up gameplay, but they could've given us the ability to explore Last Resort Island... not just keep us locked into a certain area that represents a really interactive menu. Let the people roam and explore, maybe a menu to quickly access missions would work... but some of us wouldn't mind making our way to the area where the mission takes place.

Once you complete the final mission in an act... sometimes you get a side story as well. I don't really mention the supporting character or even the women in this portion, because they don't change the outcome of the acts (though they are part of the driving force behind all the fighting).

Price: Pricewise... $29.99 UPPERS hits the mark perfectly, it doesn't price itself out of the game... and there is enough content to justify the price tag.

Overall, UPPERS is a weird over-the-top beat 'em up with a sexy side... for the anime fanatics out there.


Story 4

Fun Factor 2

Replay Value 4

Price 5

3.75 out of 5 Cool Points