Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

SNES vs. Genesis: Holy Umbrella, Chakan, and Red Zone

Chakan: The Forever Man

Well, what can we say about this one? It’s an action game developed and published by Sega in June 1992, based on a comic by Robert A. Kraus. It’s notable for it’s dark theme and unrelenting difficulty. Chakan must fight his way through various levels filled with monster in order to become human again. It’s actually nearly impossible to get a real ending to the game, because of how difficult the final boss is [and the fact that you only get one try]. And the “real ending” is just an hourglass background with no text because it was never actually implemented. Joy! So, I suppose if you like to punish yourself, this is the game to play. It’s slow, incredibly hard, and doesn’t actually feature the real ending.

Red Zone

This little top-down shooter from Zyrinx, and published by Time Warner for the Genesis in November 1994. In the game, you pilot a helicopter through various missions designed to prevent nuclear war. Failure results in a little video of nukes being set off and the remainder of the world being taken over by communism. This is a scene that you will become very familiar with because the game can be very unforgiving. It’s hard, really hard. There are enemies that you can wipe out your helicopter in a matter of seconds and you can run up on them before you even realize what’s going on. You’ve got to be incredibly careful at all times, especially since get killed means an instant game over. It’s kind of cool, especially because of the neat graphics effects that it employs [and which very few other Genesis games did], but it’s just so hard and unforgiving that it’s difficult to really enjoy it.

Holy Umbrella

This action game, developed by Naxat Soft and released by Earthly Soft for the SNES in September 1995, most of the action takes place as a sidescroller, although towns are presented in RPG-style isometric view. It’s a colorful game and pretty kid-friendly, but difficult enough that someone more experienced with games won’t be immediately bored. Having said that, it’s a bit too slowly paced to be all that much fun, but it does make up for that slightly by having all sort of different abilities that have to find in order to progress, mostly relating to the main character’s umbrella. It’s also possible to switch characters mid-level to gain access to areas that the main character might not be able to. Overall, it’s a decent little game, but a bit too slowly paced for its own good. The game was only ever released in Japan, but a translation is available online.


April 26, 2010 - Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , , , , ,

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