There are instances where you basically need to be all in on the concept in order for the execution to work in any way. Take, for example, the greatest action movie of all time, Kung-Pow! You need to accept that this is an old Chinese martial arts movie that Steve Odenkirk has inexplicably digitally inserted himself into, and that the whole thing is cut up, spliced together, dubbed over and made to be an absolute farce. And once you do that, it’s so much fun and so excellent that you purposely, unapologetically ignore all the glaring errors and mistakes. This might feel like a weird disclaimer before a game review, but bear with me, because we’re about to get into Pizza Titan Ultra.
Brought to us from Breakfall, Pizza Titan Ultra is the tale of the end of the Pizza Wars, in which the low quality (and arguably evil) Cheezborg has been defeated, and the Pizza Titan stands supreme as the number one delivery service. You, a faithful customer, have found the Golden Pepperoni on your last slice (sorry about your tooth) and now are given a chance to be the Delivery Pilot, the one who commands the ten story, mobile pizza shop that is the Pizza Titan. In a city, nay, a world driven by pizza and faithful to a fault to your brand, it’s your job to make sure that pizza gets to them as fast as possible, no matter the cost, no matter the destruction, no matter how many things attempt to interfere. It’s like if Uncle Enzo needed to move outside of awesome cars and gave Deliverators license to carve a totally illegal path to their customer. Welcome to Pizza Titan Ultra.
The best way I can describe this game is an action game that’s equal parts Crazy Taxi and Gundam Wing. Every area you encounter is a mix of suburbs and metropolis, with various pizza orders coming in from different parts of the map. Like Crazy Taxi, you will have Green, Orange and Red orders to show you the distance, and an on-screen compass to point you in the right direction. Along the way to deliver the pizza, plenty of things pop up to make the quest both more and less enjoyable. There’s random cash to grab, clocks to add more time, charging stations to repair damage that your Titan may have suffered, and the five Ultra Ingredients that can all be collected for a massive cash bonus. Additionally, there are forests that slow you down, buildings that you probably shouldn’t crush (but totally can), and the remains of the Cheezborg Army, which has a surprising amount of tenacity and firepower. However, they are quite small, and you are very, very big. Many can be dispatched just by walking over them, and others require a well placed stomp or punch to take them out. All in a day’s work.
Every area of Pizza Titan Ultra will have four choices as to what you can do. Three are challenges, which can only be unlocked after you’ve accumulated enough cash from deliveries, and the fourth is a “free range” mode where the only objective is to deliver as much as possible before the time runs out. When you run into new areas (there are a few to unlock), you have to do free range to help build “presence” in the community before you can start doing the challenge missions. These missions range from gathering ingredients, defeating Cheezborg soldiers, delivering enough and, in a couple of fun cases, destroying as much of the town as possible. It’s a little bizarre because your leader/manager expressly tells you to try not to wreck the town if possible, but there’s no penalty for it and, in many cases, destroying things early means for clearer pathways later. So…I guess we should still try?
If this sounds like it’s a load of fun, it definitely is. The giant mech handles fairly well, with alternating walking and running speeds that you control with a held button. You can briskly kick a Cheezborg tank as you walk by or stomp and do a massive stomp that does area damage to everyone in the vicinity. You start out with an ultra run powerup that you can trigger once you get enough energy items, but you can eventually do things like a giant laser show or a dome of protection to keep the damage down (in later stages, the Cheezborgs really do get nasty). I loved being able to clamber up buildings to grab a gargantuan wedge of cheese that just happened to appear there. I love the idea of punching into people’s homes and delivering their pizza with my huge fist and very expensive property damage. And I was totally on board that I could be in the middle of a VIP (Very Important Pizza) delivery, missiles flying at me from all angles, but I’ll stop and do a QT event to make a pizza for some random customer I see on the street. The making pizza game is fun enough on its own, and I’m glad that it gets peppered throughout the missions without being too front-and-center, simply because it would get boring and repetitive.
The art style is also something that that’s really endearing. It’s very obvious that Breakfall has a bit of a love for the giant mechs, and it comes through in the customization of your Titan throughout the game. You have unlimited, free paint jobs to help coordinate your robot to your liking, but, as you accumulate extra cash, you can purchase different heads, arms, torsos, wings and legs to help make your cyborg suit look it’s finest. All of the different parts seem inspired by robots from the past, from a MechaGodzilla/Grimlock style to the classic DeathScythe from Gundam Wing (hence the reference at the beginning). You can invest the money to make an exact replica, or get a hodgepodge of parts to really drive home the insanity of it all. And you’ll want to buy those parts: purchasing more pieces is the only way to unlock the additional ultra abilities that the Titan can wield.
However, and I mean this in the nicest way, that’s it. What I’ve just described, from front to back, is what Pizza Titan Ultra is all about and all there is to it. There’s a total of about 12 chapter missions to play, three different free range deliveries, and some parts to unlock. When all is said and done, there isn’t a ton in terms of expansion, or even side content, to pick apart or look over. It’s more like Crazy Taxi in that way, where you need to love, and I mean LOVE, the primary aspect in order to get the game in a way deeper than surface. But Crazy Taxi had that amazing soundtrack with The Offspring and other great bands: Pizza Titan Ultra has music, sure, but nothing mind-blowing or even memorable. You get what you get and it’s up to you if you want to become the best damn pizza delivery robot driver ever or if you’re kind of over the whole thing. There’s not even an online mode to post scores against other mech warriors, just local tallies for how well you’re doing.
In an age where a lot of games have plenty of bells and whistles and online mechanics, it’s a bit of a shock to run into a new game that’s completely lacking in those areas. Having said that, it’s not really a bad thing for Pizza Titan Ultra. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s destructive, there’s enough land and mission variety to keep you going for a couple of hours, and there’s tons of parts to unlock for fun and power. When you get into a groove, you can easily become obsessed with making sure you get one more delivery, one more Cheezborg swatted, to move from a Bronze ranking in Free Range and get up to Silver or even Gold, if you’re good. This is definitely an arcade game disguised as a console experience, and I’m alright with that. As long as players know what they’re getting into when they find this title, it’s all good. So, if you’re hoping for the next great robot RPG, keep rolling on: there’s a reason pizza gets delivered in 15 minutes or less.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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