Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum is one of many games based on the French comic book series started in 1959 by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The ongoing adventures of a small clan of Gauls who continually fight the invading forces of Caesar and the Romans, the series is self-referential and full of puns, play-on-words and nods to pop culture. Its popularity has seen it spread all across Europe where it has been translated into numerous languages and has spawned over twenty video games dating as far back as the Atari 2600 in 1983.
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum takes the cultural references and self-referential themes of the comics and applies them to video games. A myriad of imagery, locations and characters cheekily poke fun at familiar video game franchises as well as previous entries in the Asterix & Obelix series of games made by developer Etranges Libellules.
Like many of its contemporaries, Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum is a 3D action-adventure game played from the third-person perspective with large areas to explore and shiny objects to collect, sectioned off by locked doors and boss encounters. What sets it apart is that the player can switch between Asterix and Obelix at any time as well as call on the help of Dogmatix to distract enemies or get a directional hint about which way to go. All three characters appear on-screen at all times and automatically take part in combat without the player having to do a thing.
Combat is relatively simple and both Asterix and Obelix have multi-hit combos, jumping attacks, and the ability to grab enemies and either toss them, spin and whip them around or jump and do a piledriving ground pound, all of which can hurt nearby opponents. A reward system randomly pops up during combat, tempting players to use specific moves on specified enemies for health or point bonuses. It is largely through these prompts that the subtleties of the combat system is discovered by the player, culminating in powerful combos that involve switching between characters mid-attack for some flashy finishes. Power-ups in the form of Getafix's potions can be used by Asterix for a few moments of enhanced strength and speed.
Exploration and puzzle solving elements are fairly light and require Asterix's diminutive size to squeeze through narrow passages or Obelix's girth and strength to use cannons, move blocks, and drag around a unique "rope-pulled cable car" that Asterix rides in. Most obstructions are dealt with by fighting a prescribed number of enemies in an area and then flipping a switch, collecting an item, or releasing one of the kidnapped Druids.
"Getafix has betrayed the Gauls! At least that's the word from ex-Roman super spy, Sam Schieffer. Nobody can quite believe their ears. However, Europe's three leading Druids have been kidnapped by the Romans during the International Druid Festival in Carnutes forest. And it seems the Romans succeeded because they had the help of Getafix. How could this be?
The kidnapped Druids have been taken to Las Vegum, Caesar's new entertainment park under construction in the heart of Rome. The park is set up like a city, split into districts, each with its own theme based on a province under Caesar's control. For reasons still mysterious, the Druids have been locked up in separate districts. Vitalstatistix is eager to get to the bottom of things and orders Asterix and Obelix to head out to Las Vegum to bring back Getafix."
Lutetia serves as an early-game hub to reach these themed areas that are based on lands under Caesar's rule:
- Lutetia: This is the first district of the entertainment park where you can learn the ropes. From here, you'll find a way to reach Venice.
- Venetia: You have to free Battermix to reach Lucksore.
- Lucksore: To reach the next level, there’s an entrance fee to pay. Watch out! You'll have to put your thinking-helmet on if you want to free Kerosene and reach WCW.
- WCW : The WCW arena is the place to go to raise the cash. This one’s gonna hurt!
- Pirate Island: Exploration is in store on Pirate Island. Use what you discover to release Suchafuss from captivity and open the gates to SeizeUs Palace.
- SeizeUs Palace: Use all the experience you've gained to work out just what Caesar's big plan is!
Tribute, Homage, and Reference
The cultural references come in a variety of forms. Most are background art or other forms of decoration. Many serve as enemies in appearance, animation, and sound while a few are more abstract. Yet more forms of homage draw inspiration from outside of the gaming industry. Below is a list of titles, franchises and characters spotted in the game but the images, captions and comments present the best way to experience how jam packed every inch of Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum is with tribute, homage and reference.
There are a few meta references as well. The box art for the game itself is styled like Grand Theft Auto and the 'Mission: Las Vegum' tagline is written in a font reminiscent of GTA: Vice City. The title screen music, composed by Fabrice Bouillon (aka LaForest), features a brief theme that sounds reminiscent of Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo 64. The large boss character you fight several times is named Dethmach, a play on the gameplay concept of Deathmatch.
- Atari Logo
- Beyond Good & Evil - Pey'j costume
- Bloodrayne - Larry Craft wears arm blades similar to Rayne's
- Bomberman - bombs and costume
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania (unconfirmed)
- Columns - Venezia area sign (unconfirmed)
- Chu Chu Rocket
- Crash Bandicoot
- Devil May Cry - Dante
- Diddy Kong (unconfirmed)
- Donkey Kong and barrels
- DOOM - Imp-like 2D art (unconfirmed)
- Dragon Warrior VII (unconfirmed)
- Ecco the Dolphin (unconfirmed)
- Final Fantasy - Yoshitaka Amano style, Vivi (unconfirmed)
- Grand Theft Auto - box art and font design
- Goldeneye 007 - theme in title screen music
- Half-Life logo
- Jak & Daxter - Daxter statues
- Legacy of Kain - Raziel
- Maximo - Maximo's sword, shield and boxers
- Mega Man - balloon
- Mortal Kombat - Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Fatality, Health bars, logo
- Pac-Man and ghosts - enemy character
- Panzer Dragoon (gameplay)
- Pikmin - Olimar and and Pikmin
- Pokemon - Psyduck, Pokeball (unconfirmed)
- Quake 3 logo
- Ratchet & Clank - Ratchet, Clank
- Rayman - enemy character
- Sly Cooper - Sly, van in wagon form
- Sonic the Hedgehog - enemy character, costume
- Soulcalibur - Siegfried, logo
- Space Invaders iconography
- Splinter Cell - Sam Fisher
- Spyro the Dragon
- Starfox - Slippy Toad
- Street Fighter - Ryu animation, sounds, enemy character
Non-Game Referential Material
Some of Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum's content was reworked for handheld releases in 2006 for both PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS as Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Wifix. Wifix being a play on both handhelds' wi-fi capabilities which the games tried to capitalize on in the form of multiplayer minigames and versus modes. Both versions were created by different developers and shipped across Europe by Atari. Some of the excessive referential material from Asterix & Obelix XXL2: Mission: Las Vegum is identifiable.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows 2000/XP
- Processor: Pentium 3 @ 1 GHz
- Memory: 256 MB
- Hard Drive: 1.3 GB Free
- Video Memory: 32 MB with Transform & Lighting
- Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
- DirectX: 9.0c