Pizza Titan Ultra is game all about quick arcade action. It plays out similar to Crazy Taxi, except the player pilots a massive robot that doubles as a pizzeria. The player has a limited amount of time in each stage to make as many deliveries as possible. Completing a delivery rewards time and cash.
Along the way, enemies will appear and attack the mech. In the earlier stages, enemies are a minor inconvenience which can be ignored. As the game progresses, the enemies start to interfere with your delivery duties in new ways. Some generate pools of cheese that drastically slow down the mech. While others will cause temporary paralysis. These effects greatly impact the number of deliveries you can make, so later stages end up being more challenging.
The overall presentation of the game is great. The mech and HUD have a cel shaded look, which stand out from the rest of the level, and they really provide a strong cartoon feel. The mech’s attacks feel powerful, such as the stomp attack, which produces a vibrant and exaggerated shockwave. The visuals are supported by a toe-tapping soundtrack, including a fantastic opening song that features a sing-along.
Cash collected during play can be spent on new parts for your mech. The player can slap on some new arms and a layer of fresh paint, giving the pizzeria a fresh look. As far as I’ve seen they are purely cosmetic, which is a shame. It would be nice to have some upgrades that impact how the mech controls, such as quicker movement or more health.
Players can unlock several Ultra Moves buy purchasing parts. I found that the initial speed boost move is my preferred choice, thus eliminating my interest in unlocking more. Pizza Titan Ultra is a game about moving between objectives quickly, so the other options weren’t very exciting.
Each stage in Pizza Titan Ultra features two types of missions. Challenge Missions are strictly races against time, where each delivery only adds a small amount of seconds to the clock. There are rankings based on the amount of cash you earn, which provides a clear goal to work towards. The player must constantly be on the move during the Challenge Missions. Achieving a gold ranking on the later missions requires some skill from the player. I found myself investing a fair amount of time playing the Challenge Missions, and loving every minute of it.
In contrast, the Story Missions are initially rather tame. These missions have different objectives that range from collecting special ingredients hidden across the stage, or defeating a set number of enemies. Deliveries in Story Missions reward considerably more time, which takes the bite out of the challenge at first. If you start to run low on time, one or two deliveries will provide more than enough. Later stages feature multiple objectives, which ramps up the difficulty.
A player can easily accumulate time in a Story Mission. Unfortunately, this makes the timer feel irrelevant. I would have liked if either the timer was removed from these missions, or the rewards from the deliveries were not as generous. I appreciate that the deliveries in the Story Missions provide more time, which in turn allows the player a bit of breathing room in regard to addressing the objectives in the level. But flooding the player with time rewards is effectively making the timer unimportant.
One unique mechanic was the “walk-in order,” which provides a minigame where the screen splits, and the player has to make a pizza while simultaneously controlling their mech in the level. The player can complete the minigame via a single button on the controller, which means the rest of the controller allows for normal mech movement. It is easy enough to keep working towards the next objective while finishing the minigame.
Fortunately, time slows down for the mech during the minigame. So the player doesn’t have to worry about fumbling between the two sides of the screen. I really enjoyed this minigame, and I would liked to have seen more variations of it. Making a quick pizza while running through the stage made traveling between the same points multiple times interesting.
The concept of a giant mech punching a skyscraper to deliver a pizza seems like something a child would come up with, and the game truly embraces this. The cel-shaded mech running wild around a brightly-colored city reminds me of watching Saturday morning cartoons in my youth. The whole experience is quite charming.
Overall, Pizza Titan Ultra provides an enjoyable arcade experience, featuring wonderful visuals, and some catchy music. I wish there was a bit more depth to in some areas, such as the upgrades, but I still had a good time. Just be prepared for the pizza cravings that come after playing.