Last Beat Enhanced is a fine 8-bit brawler, but I'm obsessed with my perception of its obsession with my perception of its female character's underpants.
- Title: Last Beat Enhanced
- Release Date: September 15, 2022
- Price: $9.99
- Suggested Audience Age: Rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB
- Availability: Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
- Recommended for fans of: Double Dragons, Buff Lizards, and Upskirts
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title.
I really try not to be negative on here. Even when a game doesn’t quite click with me, or seems a bit small, unpolished, or unambitious for its price point I try to find the positives in it. Sometimes a game is broken, and there’s not a lot of praise to give.
Last Beat Enhanced is tough for me to talk about, because, for the most part, it is resoundingly fine. There’s nothing really wrong with it; it’s not outright broken. I might not even have bothered writing anything about it, if not for its weird choice to show off its female protagonist's underpants at every opportunity.
First things first. Last Beat Enhanced is a brawler styled after the likes of Double Dragon or Retro City Rampage. As one of five playable characters you and up to one other person venture through city streets bashing in the heads of every n’er-do-well you see, safe in the assumption that they probably deserved it. Hopefully. Maybe?
Anyway, let's just assume the folks you are fighting really do deserve it. Your arsenal includes the ability to attack, dodge, jump, and use a special ability that charges up throughout the course of a level. You can break apart boxes and barrels in search of delicious street food to heal yourself or weapons you can pick up to really hurt some bystanders.
The root gameplay all works perfectly fine but also doesn’t do anything to set itself apart from all the other brawlers out there. There’s no unique hook that makes the gameplay feel unique.
Upgrades and Unlocks
Once you beat a level, the points you earned become currency you can use to buy upgrades or unlock characters. At the start of the game, there are two characters available, two locked behind pretty high prices, and one that just isn’t available. I don’t know why they aren’t available, but the one you can’t play as is the dude from the cover art that looks like a member of the Squirtle Squad evolved into a fighting type, and I’m real annoyed that I couldn’t choose him.
As far as upgrades go, you can buy extra health, or pick up upgrades that make your special charge up faster. These are pretty typical upgrades, but getting them is tougher than it should be. Because you only bank your points as spendable currencies when you beat a level and you only have one life per attempt, these upgrades are kind of hard to obtain. It would have been nice if you banked your points even when you lost so that you were always making progress toward those upgrades.
The Underpants of It All
When I started Last Beat Enhanced I first played the male character. Playing through the first level as him is what informed most of my thoughts above. At that point, I thought that this game fell squarely in the “unimpressive but inoffensive” category. Then, on the second level, I picked the female character.
She’s wearing a tiny blue tube top, a short blue skirt, white shoes, and white underpants. I know she’s wearing white underpants because she primarily attacks enemies by kicking, and almost every one of her combos shows off her underpants. Sometimes she kicks facing you and shows her crotch. Sometimes her back is turned and you can see that her underpants don’t fully cover her backside. Even her idle animation shows a pixel of her underpants as she rocks back and forth.
I know it's just a silly 8-bit sprite, but it feels super weird for the only female character available at the start of the game to be constantly flashing the camera. It’s especially annoying because there are female enemies who are comfortably kicking ass in pants.
So yeah, I’m not super impressed by Last Beat Enhanced. It’s a perfectly serviceable game with a little bit of questionable design and a whole lot of panties.
It’s not bad, but it's not one I’m very interested in playing more of.
And I’m still salty that I didn’t get to play as that big lizard dude.
Geek to Geek Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Pervy Perspectives
You can watch TroytlePower struggle through his first impressions of this game below.