Uppers (PS Vita) Review

By Drew Hurley 26.07.2016

Review for Uppers on PS Vita

When it comes to some game creators, a name alone can sell copies; names like Kojima, Mikami, and Miyamoto. Then there are the names that won't garner mainstream appeal but will guarantee their fans get themselves a copy - creators of cult titles like Suda51 and the creator of new Vita brawler Uppers, Kenichiro Takaki of Senran Kagura fame. With a brand new IP, how will this series do outside of Takaki-sensei's fans? In fact, with its drastic difference to Senran Kagura, how will it do with his fan-base?

It's rare to see scrolling brawlers these days, especially outside of indie titles like Castle Crashers or homages like Scott Pilgrim. The genre is dear to many classic gamers out there, though; gamers who grew up with Final Fight and Golden Axe, with Streets of Rage and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game. Developer Bullets knows the material thanks to its well-loved Kenka Bancho series, while creator Takaki and Marvelous have experience with brawlers already with one of the previous Senran Kagura titles in Shinovi Versus. This new franchise gives the companies an opportunity to combine the best elements of the two.

Screenshot for Uppers on PS Vita

The premise of Uppers is going to be popular with fans of the Japanese delinquent, with evident inspirations from shows like Worst, Crows and Great Teacher Onizuka. Considering the creator, it's not surprising to see that pervy comedy and ecchi moments are a big part of the game. Set on Last Resort Island, Uppers sees a land where lawlessness and brawling are commonplace - encouraged even. Delinquents battle in the streets, in schools, in car parks and basketball courts; anywhere they feel like or, more importantly, anywhere hot Japanese girls have gathered to watch. These girls are what make the game more than just a vanilla brawler. The girls will cry out moves or actions to perform when approached, requiring a set amount of finishers or putting so many enemies through the destructible scenery that makes up each environment.

Screenshot for Uppers on PS Vita

There's a fairly unique reward system for pleasing these groups of girls. Completing their tasks rewards love letters and sends them into a state of "ecstasy" where enemies sent flying near them will set of the "Panty Slots." Here the skirts of three of the girls in the group will flip up and if their panties match, there are reward bonuses and unlockable panties along with bonus points for use in the in-game store and gym. The groups aren't the only girls in the characters' lives, as there are plenty of female characters who become "Support Queens" - ladies who follow the fighters around giving them power-ups and encouragement, for example, the player can occasionally get a power-up where they fall and land face first in-between the breasts or thighs of their support queen, giving them a huge… power up!

The cast looks great, with a signature anime style and truly unique designs from Hiroaki, famed King of Fighters character designer. Their looks aren't all that are unique compared to the big cast of unlockable characters, but each has a different fighting style to try out. While at their core they all are just button mashers, the styles all have a distinct look and feel. Starting off, there are Ranma and Michiro, who use free-styling brawling and kickboxing styles, respectively, and soon enough there are boxers and pro wrestlers, Kung-Fu users, and mixed martial artists.

Screenshot for Uppers on PS Vita

The combat is simple but effective, taking either a single or duo team into the stages and mashing the hell out of the light attack and strong attack button, for the most part. Getting the most of the combat, though, requires using more than just these attacks. Using the "Rise Up" power-up system gives access to huge finishing moves, which unleash massive combos and dynamic tag-team-esque manoeuvres. The aforementioned destructible scenery is useful, too, as there are walls, floors, and buildings to knock enemies flying through, along with bikes to pick up and throw, and even set gimmick areas on each map that give the opportunity to do things like smash enemies through basketball hoops or uppercut them into passing helicopters.

Even though Takaki has announced his intention for Uppers to be released outside Japan, currently there has been no announcement in regards to its localisation. For those wanting to play the Japanese version, the gameplay elements are simple enough, and only a basic understanding of Japanese is needed to be able to understand the requests of the girls during combat. The story and cut-scenes are fairly shallow, so even those with a rudimentary understanding will be able to get the gist of the narrative, such as it is.

Screenshot for Uppers on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

An enjoyable game that aims towards a very specific audience since the risqué elements could easily alienate plenty of players. This fact was proven with the delays to the release of the game in Japan, thanks to low pre-order numbers. At its core Uppers on PlayStation Vita is a fun throwback to a simpler time, but it gets very same-y after a few hours play, and the extended cast does little to expand the lifespan.

Uppers (as well as other PS Vita games) can be bought from Play-Asia.com in disc format today, or credit can be bought for the PlayStation Network, along with many other great digitally released titles on the likes of Nintendo's eShop, on PC via Steam, and so on, across all regions.

Image for

Developer

Bullets

Publisher

Marvelous

Genre

Fighting

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date TBA   

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