Here is yet another offering for the recent resurgence of local multiplayer games. Mega Coin Squad takes its own unique approach to the formula, but does it do enough to set itself apart from the competition? Let's smash this piggy bank open and find out.
Mega Coin Squad is played by making your quirky character run and jump to collect coins. This gang of characters sure is agile as each one can jump up walls, dash in mid-air, and shoot fireballs from their hands. Thankfully, the controls do a great job of boiling the chaotic gameplay down to its simplest essential commands. As you gather coins, you better return them to the piggy bank quickly before a hazard, enemy, or opponent hurts you. When this happens, your coins spill all over the arena as if you're Sonic the Hedgehog. Once you reach the coin threshold and claim victory over your friends, it feels fantastic. Overall, the simple gameplay combines with the nimble characters to make each battle a thrilling ride from start to finish.
Visually, Mega Coin Squad shows off some impressive pixel-perfect characters and environments. Everything from odd enemy creatures to the subtle backgrounds are beautifully animated which creates an overwhelmingly lively atmosphere. Foregrounds do a great job of standing out, so being able to focus on the action is never problematic. As you play through battles, floating sections within each arena eventually dissolve and are slowly replaced by new installations. This adds to the dynamic presentation as it constantly keeps things feeling fresh as you play. To accompany your battles, the music sounds like it's straight from a Super Nintendo game while sound effects tend to give off an 8-bit vibe. As a result, the audio is sure to tap into your retro cravings on multiple levels.
You can play matches with up to four players. If you're lucky enough to have three friends who enjoy these sorts of games and four controllers then you're in for a real treat. When setting up a match, you can dive straight in with a randomly assigned setup or configure your own tournament. Besides setting the amount of required wins, you can select which of the four modes and environments to play in. After, each player chooses one of the five (plus one hidden) characters to play as. Modes consist of the classic "see who can bank the most coins" option, a mode where you fight over one giant coin at a time, one where holding a rainbow ring increases your score, and of course the mandatory free-for-all death match mode. All of these variations are great fun to experiment with, but in the end it simply doesn't feel like enough. After playing a few matches, you'll wish there were more modes, environments, and characters. I guess that means the gameplay is so fun that you'll want more of it, but it also means that there just isn't enough content.
Although this is primarily a multiplayer experience, an included single player mode acts as an enjoyable distraction. Here, you can play through each character's short-lived campaign to try and beat it in record time. The fact that you can upgrade between stages if you manage to beat them in under the par time, bank all of the coins in one go, and emerge unscathed is a well-implemented mechanic that'll keep you striving for perfection. Each of the four worlds ends with a challenging onslaught of enemies that thoroughly test your combat skills. Basically, you may not spend hours playing Mega Coin Squad by yourself, but it is a fun and challenging diversion.
There are a couple of minor issues that are hard to ignore after playing for a while. The first is that weapons don't seem to add anything to the already competent gameplay. You can't aim them and a lot of them aren't as powerful as your fireball and dash attacks. Therefore, they come across as a tacked on complexity that doesn't really fit into the equation. Secondly, characters may look different and have different attributes, but their abilities are the exact same. I can imagine how much more dynamic the game would feel if characters had unique attacks and acrobatic moves, so this aspect ultimately ends up being a missed opportunity.
Mega Coin Squad is quite a delightful competitive local multiplayer game that's beautifully presented and features simple yet thrilling gameplay. However, before you break the bank, make sure you don't expect oodles of content.
- + Exhilarating local multiplayer battles
- + Single player campaigns are enjoyable and challenging little adventures
- + Wonderfully animated and lively visuals
- - Simply leaves you wanting more environments, characters, and modes
- - Weapons seem tacked on and unnecessary
- - Characters don't play uniquely enough