99Seconds (Wii U) Review

By Shane Jury 04.11.2014

Review for 99Seconds on Wii U

As a long-time supporter of Nintendo's download services, the Barcelona-based EnjoyUp Games has produced and created a large number of notable titles for online purchasers. Wii U owners may recognise the names Unepic, Darts Up, and Abyss as being particular highlights of the eShop. Many of these titles came from more humble beginnings on earlier Nintendo hardware, as does 99Seconds, which first emerged on DSiWare in 2012. Now given fresh exposure like many of EnjoyUp's titles, has 99Seconds lost the lustre that portable hardware afforded it, or does the home console setup suit it?

As essentially an upgraded up-port of the original, 99Seconds also adapts the original storyline. Following on from the DSiWare game 99Bullets, the threat of the evil Black Eye has been silenced and the humanoid ship V-99 inns itself in an unfamiliar zone called 8-bit, where it discovers the ability to stop and slow down time. This is quite handy considering that the Black Vectors, shapes that make up the life forms of this zone, are none too happy about their new guest and set out to pulverise it. This sets up the basis for the game, which involves moving and dodging obstacles that fly across the screen from all angles.

The game's main Arcade mode is where the majority of play will be spent in gaining a high score, and it is here that the online leaderboards become vital for longevity; a much-needed addition over the original build. The player is given 99 seconds to stay alive for as long as possible, done by avoiding contact with anything that appears on the 2D plane that won't actually destroy V-99, but will deplete seconds off the timer. One more hit when the timer runs out and boom. The ability to stop time is crucial for this task, but to be used sparingly as well since the timer continues even when everything else doesn't. Small dot-like pellets appear at select intervals on screen, and getting to these before they disappear grants more time, but the positioning usually involves more risk of hitting something. Small green icons resembling V-99 also pop up periodically, giving a boost to the points meter when collected. It's a clever and involving system, perfectly realised in this version due to crisp visuals and a super smooth frame-rate.

Screenshot for 99Seconds on Wii U

The concept is sound but irrelevant without effective controls. Thankfully, every controller native to Wii U is supported here; the edging precision of the Wii Remote's D-pad being a surprisingly effective counterpoint to an analogue stick's gradual movement for all the other control options. A wide range is useful for the game's new multiplayer mode, which lets up to five players guide their own V-99 through hazardous terrain as a group effort or be the last craft standing in Survival Mode. These are local-play-only modes sadly, but this does make 99Seconds a much more viable and cheap option for parties and couch group gaming sessions. The solo gamer has complete Off-TV support on the GamePad to take advantage of, as well.

The regular Arcade mode has three difficulties and a number of floors to try and survive through for as long as possible, thus actually completing the game is completely possible. The online leaderboards help the player see how they compare against their friends and worldwide opponents for a greater score challenge, but the aspect of the game that will see the most returns is undoubtedly the multiplayer. 99Seconds is more style than substance, but for a quick pick-up or a zany multiplayer session at a low price it is an easy recommendation.

Screenshot for 99Seconds on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

More of a refinement with extra bells and whistles over the original DSiWare game, this version of 99Seconds keeps the basic-looking overtone of the concept and adds more of what works. The online leaderboards and multiplayer feature, backed by sharp visuals and a fun gameplay mechanic, gives a handy reason to use that £2.29 stashed down the sofa.

Developer

EnjoyUp

Publisher

EnjoyUp

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

5

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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