Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

SNES vs. Genesis: Go! Go! Ackman

Akira Toriyama, known for his hyper-famous Dragon Ball series or maybe even Dr. Slump if you’re feeling really obscure, but he also had another series that ran from 1993 to 1994 called Go! Go! Ackman, which starred a demon child named Ackman who harvest souls to sell to the devil. He’s the “hero” of the story. As with any such series, it was inevitably turned into a series of licensed games, of which there were four [three on the SNES, one on the Gameboy] and all of them were developed and published by gaming house Banpresto.

In the game, Ackman fights against the angel army and collects the souls of the defeated enemies, which his demon companion, Godon, keeps in a jar. The gameplay is pretty standard action/platformers stuff. You have to jump over lots of bottomless pits, fight enemies, and gather powerups and such. Ackman has a four-bar health meter and several lives per continue, which, as far as I know, are unlimited. There are several different weapons that can be picked up and used, although you’ll mostly just have Ackman punch and kick his enemies. Don’t try to jump on enemies’ heads though, because most of the time that doesn’t work and results in Ackman losing health.

Graphics and music are both pretty good, nothing really all that special but it works and doesn’t get in the way. The only problem with the music is that most levels just loop the same bit of music over and over. I mean, I like the tune, but it gets old after a while.

I will mention this: the car driving level is brutally unforgiving. You’ve got to get it fully memorized in order to complete it and that will probably take you at least two continues. There’s a boss fight right after that and if you die during the boss fight you have to do the car driving level all over again. That was the part where I gave up.

There are also two sequels for the SNES and they all play pretty much the same. Only the first one’s been translated though.

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , | Leave a comment

SNES vs. Genesis: Kid Chameleon

In a rather uncharacteristic move, Sega established a development team in the US known as Sega Technical Institute. On top of working on several Sonic games, the team also came up with several totally original titles of their own. One amongst that number was Kid Chameleon, a game about a virtual reality program that kidnaps anyone who can’t beat the game. Unfortunately for the kids who play it, that’s everyone who has ever played it so far. Enter Casey, a cool kid who think he’s got what it takes to the beat the final boss, Heady Metal, and free all the kids who have been kidnapped.

He’s nicknamed Kid Chameleon because of his ability to assume various personas by putting on different masks. One of those is a  samurai who wields a sword, another is an armed knight, and another is rhinoceros sort of creature. There are more besides those three and each serves a different purpose in getting Kid from end of the level to the other. This adds variety to the gameplay and ensures that few levels repeat the same structure.

Setting the masks aside, the gameplay is similar to Super Mario Bros. There are various enemies that move back and forth across the screen and most of them can be killed by jumping on their heads, although this is not the case for all of them. There are also breakable blocks that hide collectible crystals and Kid’s various masks. Some of the forms have melee or even ranged weapons, further differing it from other platformers. Each section is usually split into two levels, although it doesn’t have boss battles. Each form also has at least one diamond power, which uses the diamond collected in the various to levels to perform different effects.

Kid Chameleon is slightly easier than other Genesis platformers. You start with three lives and three continues and it’s possible to get more over the course of the game. I died a few times, but that mainly as a result of simply getting used to the game. Also, each form has its own health bar and that, when emptied, causes Kid Chameleon to revert back to his regular form, which has two hit points. Obtaining a new mask, even the same as the one Kid already has, result in his health bar being refilled. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some areas that can be really tricky, however.

On the technical front, the graphics aren’t too hot. I know I harped on Rocket Knight Adventure’s graphics a few days ago, but it looks much better than Kid Chameleon, which has a flat look to it. That doesn’t effect the gameplay of course, but I think it’s worth at least noting. In terms of music, I suppose it gets the job done, but there’s nothing there that I find to be particularly memorable.

Overall, it’s a fun game to play for a while, but I just don’t see putting it up with the best platformers on the SNES and Genesis.

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , | 1 Comment