From the developers that brought us 100% Orange Juice and QP Shooting, 200% Mixed Juice is the fruitiest new entry in the Juice franchise that celebrates the many characters from its catalog for its 10th year anniversary. Where 100% OJ was a traditional board game and QP Shooting was a shmup (shoot-em-up), this one is an RPG and actually the first that the developers have done. Very easy to pickup and play much like it’s board game counterpart, most of the joy comes from the novelty.
Title: 200% Mixed Juice
System: PC (Steam Store)
Paying homage to the classic RPG’s of yesteryear, everything from the presentation to the story in 200% Mixed Juice points to that end. In regards to story, the player takes on the role of an unnamed protagonist that is caught up in the collision of different worlds and meeting many colorful faces along the way tries to find the cause. Being nothing more than an excuse for a crossover, it is at least one that will delight those that know the franchises the best and probably confuse others with a bunch of characters that mean nothing. Either way, whether you are familiar with a few or none at all, the game itself provides a very straightforward and charming experience. If your thinking straightforward is synonymous with easy, then yes, the game is slightly vacant on being challenging, yet does have a weird uptick in difficultly near the end.
Like with the aforementioned RPG’s of old, you interact with the world in a menu based system that will take you to different locations to interact with the denizens and usually leads up into combat. Choosing 3 cards, battles are fought in a traditionally turn-based scheme with the aim of taking down your opponents team first. Each turn starts with a die roll that determines how much SP you start off with that is used for various attacks. While it would seem appropriate you use moves that consume more SP and powerful by association, the game runs on a rock-paper-scissors mechanic that dictates how certain moves will affect the opposition. Of course, even when you don’t have the advantage in typing, you can still come out victorious by sheer luck at times as the computer does make some ill-convinced decisions. If you managed to seize a win at the end, you will be awarded experience points for the participants and in-game currency that you can use to get more cards at the Mixdus machine, a gachapon-like device that will randomly present you with varying cards. Having the chance to get either character or item based cards, the latter can used to improve the former by changing them into upgraded versions with new abilities. Items do only work with certain characters, but shouldn’t be that complicated to figure out and for any duplicates you get (including character cards) can be sold back to Mixdus for a meager amount. Despite it being fun to throw money at Mixdus to get new cards, it does pain me that the characters you get start off at level 1 and if you ever plan to use them, you will have to spend a great deal of time of training them up. While you can get away and clear the story using any characters you please (some obviously being better than others), it is interesting to see how multiplayer pans out – an aspect I sadly didn’t have the chance to try out for this review, but will revisit it.
Being a very simple product in a presentation sense, the minimalistic design is a noticeable feature, yet fits in nicely with the style of what the developers are doing. Background and the artwork itself is a step down from the polished work of 100% OJ although, really doesn’t need that type of flourishing. For a title that emulates (or parodies) what once was, the music is actually not bad and sort of reminiscent to the chiptune era despite not being done in that mold. Lacking in duration and quantity, the tracks are at least varied enough and serve their purpose.
Ending on the same high-energy note that the game began on, 200% Mixed Juice certainly is a fine commemoration gift as well as personal love letter to the many titles that help make this one a reality and enjoyable. Still holding onto the same competitive feature found in previous entries from the developer, I believe people who really love that aspect will definitely find that here, but still can find a very short and solid single player campaign. With a wide array of cards to choose from and the many options that can develop from it, combat can get abit granular in the throws of multiplayer, but overall, still easy to get the hang of and can be played by almost anyone. If your into the multiplayer scene and don’t mind a silly game with a plethora of colorful personalities that will probably be unrecognizable, I do suggest giving it a go and believe you will peacefully part with a few minuets of your time you won’t miss all that much.
Pros: Cute character designs, simple menu system, very easy to learn, simple combat mechanics and gameplay, multiplayer available.
Cons: Slight difficulty spike near the end.
Disclaimer: In no way, shape, or form was I compensated for the composition or publication of this review. This by my own volition. A review copy of the game was kindly provided by Fruitbat Factory. All images and rights to them belong to Orange_Juice and for review purposes only.