Mega Coin Squad was developed by Big Pixel Studios and published by Adult Swim Games on Xbox One. It was released on May 20, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Big Pixel Studios for review purposes.
You know you’re playing a special game when you are actually standing up out of your seat and cursing out loud at the creature that just killed you, but you can’t wait to hit continue and try again. Mega Coin Squad made me do that — a lot.
Big Pixel Studios’ platformer distills everything you like about platformers down to the bare essentials. You run and jump, you shoot, you dash, you collect coins and you die. A lot. And it’s also a lot of fun.
Here’s what I liked:
Coins! — You know how in a Super Mario game when you get into a situation in which you can collect a lot of coins and collecting each individual coin feels incredibly rewarding? Well, that’s basically the gist of this entire game. You have to dodge and jump on and shoot enemies too, but the main goal is to gather up coins and drop them in your piggy bank. And you’ll be gathering a TON of coins in Mega Coin Squad, which is hugely satisfying.
Charm galore — This is an Adult Swim game, and while it’s not as funny as I expected it to be, it’s got a ton of charm. The characters and enemies are great. The obstacles that get thrown your way are all clever and cute.
Perfect platforming — Like I said above, this is everything you want in a platformer. The controls are for the most part pretty tight, there are meaningful ability and weapon upgrades and lots of different enemies.
Upgrades — If you can beat a level either without getting hit or in under a certain time limit and within one coin deposit, you’ll get diamonds that can be used in a slot machine mini-game for upgrading your character. These upgrades come in the form of unlocking new abilities like double jumping or upgrading your weapons to shoot further and be more powerful. It actually gives you a meaningful reason to go back and get the three stars that many modern games award on each level, but which usually don’t really do anything other than add an extra goal.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Random difficulty changes — I got stuck on one of the first levels, and it must have taken me about 30 tries to beat it. After that, I played through the next 10 like they were nothing, until all of the sudden I hit a level that was inexplicably crazy hard again. Difficulty is just all over the place, but for the most part, not that bad until you hit one of these super hard levels. The extremely hard stages usually are usually filled with a lot of cheap enemies or an unnecessary number of randomly generated spike-covered platforms. Not a lot of fun.
Controls could be a little better — The directional controls tend to be a little on the stiff side, especially when using the dash attack, which you will use a lot. Oftentimes, I’d dash left, then hold up and hit dash again, but I’d actually end up dashing left a second time in a row. Little problems like this are life and death and add to that sometimes cheap difficulty.
You can probably tell that aside from some difficulty-related frustrations, I really loved Mega Coin Squad. There’s plenty of replayability here, as well as a multiplayer mode that I didn’t even get a chance to check out because it’s local only, and I haven’t had anyone over to my house lately. Another thing I want to point out is how perfectly this game would have fit in as a Wario-themed Nintendo game. It’s got that charm, and that coin-obsessed 2D gameplay that Nintendo games tend to have. And, honestly, there’s no better compliment a platform game could get.
Score: Buy It