Pizza Titan Ultra is a bit like Crazy Taxi with more cheese. You control a giant city levelling Gundam, and your objective is to sprint from tower block to tower block, delivering delicious Margherita with a colossus iron fist. Each delivery sees you gain additional time, while evil enforcers will attempt to prevent you from doing your rounds. It’s top stuff.
Or at least it would be if the title didn’t actively work against you. The first stage, a relatively straightforward suburban environment, provides the perfect backdrop for the arcade action, as you sprint along roads and leap over apartments, smashing up helicopters and collecting ingredients that have fallen from space. The problem is that this doesn’t last long.
In order to augment a degree of difficulty, later levels rely on obstructions, be it large stretches of water that can’t be sprinted through or irritating verticality. It’s momentum sapping, and it makes the title slow and cumbersome as a result. You’re given the tools to navigate all of these obstacles, but the release never quite feels the same when you’re actively being slowed down.
And that’s a shame because at its breakneck best, it is intense. Pick-ups litter the stages, while enemies can be crushed with a single stomp; there are even customers loitering in the environment, and the screen will split up anime-style while you bake them a slice of heaven. The cel-shaded graphics are sharp, while the Persona-style character portraits look grate – er, great.
The title can be a bit talkative, but when it’s parodying real-life personalities like Bob Ross as well as video game icons such as PaRappa the Rapper, it’s very difficult to complain. In addition to the highly replayable score-chasing arcade levels, there’s also a campaign divided into chapters which basically assigns you different challenges set within the framework of the release’s gameplay systems.
Some of these are better than others, but they’re all fairly short and add some variety to the action. Everything that you do earns you money, which can then be invested into new parts for your Gundam, allowing for plenty of customisation options. There are almost 100 items included in the game, so there’s a lot to unlock and keep you busy.
Pizza Titan Ultra has a strong identity and a delicious gameplay loop, but the title actively works against you in later levels, sapping your momentum in a desperate attempt to inject some difficulty. It’s a frustrating flaw, because between its high-octane arcade action and punchy personality, there’s a slice of something nice here – you’ve just got to pick off all of the bits you don’t like before you can truly enjoy it.