Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nerdicus Genesis Review #50: Chakan: The Forever Man

Title : Chakan: The Forever Man

Publisher : Sega

Developer : Extended Play Productions

Genre : Platformer

Players :  1 Player

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$10

Apologies again for the 2 days lag, but I am busily preparing the launch of my updated blog, and trust me, it's going to be a hoot. Totally redesigned, and kicking it off with a smashing raffle that'll have you guys going bonkers! It'll drive you all to the grave you'll be that excited! In fact, you'll probably end up looking like this fella here. 

Tell me this game's box art would have scared the crap out of you as a kid. What the hell is that!? Samurai, zombie, ninja!? With a cowboy hat!? I don't even know what the hell it is, but that is NOT my idea of a protagonist I want to play as. Then again, it is kind of bad ass when you think about it. And I'm all about being a bad video games anyway.

Chakan: The Forever Man actually ended up being one of my favorite platformers for the Sega Genesis. In an era where platformers were repetitive, and the kiddy 'ol mascots were growing tiresome, to see someone like this with a backstory that is absolutely "killer" was nice and refreshing.
Seriously, when do you ever see such a dark theme in video games? This isn't targetting your average gamer. Oh no, this is all for those good 'ol goth kids smoking cigarettes over by the bridge behind the high school. Did every high school have a bridge where kids smoked? Mine was kind of creepy too, and if you ever had to cross that bridge (it wasn't even a real bridge, it like went over a 2 inch deep creek), you had to face off against the punk-ass kids from your high school. Wow, I'm getting side tracked..but yeah, they'd love this game. Right up their alley.

Are you ready for an awesome story? Okay, get this. This bad-ass known as Chakan thinks he's so powerful that he can take on death. And I'm talking legit battle to the death, WITH death. Chakan was known for his swordsmanship, spellcasting, and alchemy abilities, and he was so dangerous that all the warring kingdoms ACTUALLY decided to join forces and recruit death in order to stop him. So Chakan, of course challenges Death to a duel, with the reward of eternal life if he wins. OH, but foolish Chakan, you never make a deal with death....and he twists around the deal after losing the fight, granting him eternal life as a CURSE and feeling the pain of everyone around him unless he can defeat four ultimate evils.

Tell me you don't want to stop what you're doing right now and play this game?

If you want to compare this game to anything, you need to look at this as a Mega Man / Castlevania clone. Theme wise, it's totally Castlevania, but with elements of Mega Man (mainly the level select ability). There's a central hub where you'll be able to select from "elemental" themed levels. You know the deal. Earth, Wind, Fire, Water. But no, you won't encounter any Earth Man, or Fire Man. Although, that would be hilarious. Each "stage" is divided into three levels and then the mighty boss room. Bosses, of course, each have their own weakness based on your abilities, so it's up to you to figure out which skills to use for which boss.

There's a slew of weapon upgrades and spells to be cast, and that shouldn't be a surprise considering Chakan is supposed to be the greatest warrior who ever lived, and you're going to need every bit of your arsenal, as this game is HARD. I'm talking original Mega Man hard. You will be dying, a lot...but don't worry!!! Since you can't die, guess what!? UNLIMITED CONTINUES!!

THANK YOU!!!! A PLATFORMER THAT LETS US CONTINUE FOREVER!!!!! And with the occasional finicky controls that'll leave you falling off ledges and into death chasms, you'll be thankful for that. Seriously, the controls aren't too bad, but they take some getting used to. It's definitely not as fluid as lets say "symphony of the night"

However, there is one portion of the game where continues don't matter and I'm going to spoil something for you. So if you plan on playing this game and want to be surprised, don't read this little section.

After you beat all the bosses, and complete the game basically, Chakam will stab himself, believing the curse is lifted. However, after the credits roll, you will be presented with Death again who reveals the true nature of the curse. Another boss battle resumes, and get this, YOU ONLY GOT ONE SHOT AT IT. Die, and that's it, game over and no "good ending." Succeed, and you are free to live your life again as the most bad ass warrior in existence.

Throughout the playthrough, I noticed that the graphics and visual display were somewhat inconsistent. Some levels, and designs were really thought out and fine tuned, while others I feel were rushed and really just half-assed to get it into the game. Seriously, some enemies I didn't even know what the hell they were. Monsters, or blobs, or just misconstrued body parts..who knows. Still, the design for Chakan, and some of the bosses are downright creepy, and the game gets bonus points for creating quite a diverse world that we haven't seen before...although Castlevania comes close.

Music is as you would expect, quite creepy and pretty damn foreboding, but it is truly nothing extraordinary. No "bloody tears" here, but still it gets the job done. Sound effects however are a bit lax. They missed the mark, but not by much.

Chakan, in a way, is a hidden gem. Not many people know about it, and those that do, are really big fans of it. I asked a number of my gamer friends if they have ever even played it, and half of them didn't know what I was talking about. But, if you're looking for a platformer that takes "creepy" to the next level, and are just aiming to hack and slash your way through the most disturbing set of monsters you've seen in awhile, then Chakan is for you.

Seriously though, prepare to die....this game is not easy.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!


1 comment:

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