VanillaBeast Is The Ultimate Immature Secret Agent
I’ve played a lot of games in my time. But none have ever collaborated with a company like Pornstar Platinum. Actually, let me back up a bit. I was recently offered the opportunity to preview VanillaBeast: Ace in the Hole. It’s an upcoming Kickstarter project that officially launches tomorrow. And it’s clear that the game was very much inspired by spy movies like James Bond as well as insane offshoots like the hilarious cartoon Archer. And while those two have coexisted fine, I wasn’t sure how they would intermingle.
VanillaBeast is very much a comedic parody, and it revels in that. Every other line of whip-smart dialogue involves sexual innuendo, and the main character, Vanilla AKA 0069, is a sex-crazed secret agent. The preview begins with him spending ‘quality time’ with adult film star Anna Claire on a boat, right before his latest mission. It involves infiltrating a casino in the Caribbean, and yes, there’s lots of jokes about whether Vanilla should enter via the front or back door. It’s funny, but also more than a bit immature.
Thankfully, one thing the game already does well is the stylish pixel art. It’s very much reminiscent of the NES era, and there are a lot of great details. Some of my favorite easter eggs were random cameos in the casino itself. Some examples were the likes of Skeletor, Bane, and even Beetlejuice playing cards. More random was when I was wandering around the casino bathroom, found a man using his free time constructively, and accidentally barged in. As he ran away screaming, I found a porn magazine that also references Pornstar Platinum, which was all sorts of strange but not unwelcome.
There are some stealth infiltration segments in the preview, and those gave you a choice. You could either go in guns blazing, attracting more guards, or try the quiet approach. Vanilla has some kung fu moves at his disposal, and those abilities are pretty competent at dealing with foes. He can even roll to dodge bullets, which is both helpful and very necessary for his continued survival. Later on, when I tried using his pistol, I found it worked pretty well, though the hit detection felt slightly off, especially when I was trying to change targets.
Lest I forget, the voice acting in the game is pretty top-notch. Vanilla himself sounds like a nasal James Bond, and his long-suffering partner, Agent Juggz, delivers all her sarcastic lines with just the right amount of snark. The villain in the preview is the deranged Le Queefe, seeming more than a little bit condescending in his written dialogue. If the overall quality of voice acting persists in the main game, it will be a joy to listen to.
It’s clear VanillaBeast is meant to be played with a controller, and I’m pretty happy with how it worked using my own. It wasn’t perfect, but given this is still the alpha build, I can forgive a lot. What’s important is I can see the intention there, and hopefully, any quirks I encountered will be smoothed out in the final version.
I should note, developer Vanilla Gaming Company LLC is already working on a host of tweaks to the game, including making it more diverse and full of even more easter eggs. Though the preview didn’t feature it, there are going to be tons of different mini-game segments in VanillaBeast. I only got to play Blackjack, but there will be Street Fighter cameos, FPS sniping sections, and much more. According to the Steam page, there are also going to be nods to Punch-Out!, Jaws, and even the Friday the 13th game.
Perhaps my favorite part of the game was when I got to roll credits, and was treated to a full-fledged James Bond intro parody. It had great visual effects, catchy music, and lots of silly adult content. Frankly, I think that VanillaBeast has a lot of potential. Even though the preview was pretty brief and only showed a small glimpse of the full picture, there’s a lot to enjoy. And once they throw in tons more to do and a bunch more different game modes, I think it will be a blast.
If you’re a fan of adult humor and love tributes to the NES era of gaming, or if you just enjoy James Bond and Archer, VanillaBeast: Ace in the Hole is your game. For those that are intrigued, be sure and check out the Kickstarter once it opens up tomorrow.