Thursday, January 8, 2009

Retro Saga part 9: Kid Chameleon



There are a lot of overlooked games these days that I wish could be loved more. For example, these are some of the games I think are underrated, Lost Kingdoms 2, Donkey Kong Jungle Beats, and etc. Though there are some games people do know about like Kid Chameleon for the Sega Genesis, this is still a rather unknown video game. So, is this game as cool as the kid on the box art? I think you will have to read to see my opinion of it.

The main story of Kid Chameleon doesn’t have to do anything with some science experiment gone wrong or a kid getting bitten by a radioactive chameleon. The story takes the place in a fancy new arcade where rumors are popping up that if a person loses in a certain game, then that person is trapped in the game forever. The rumors turn out to be true, due to the game’s AI that went crazy and decided to kidnap kids if they couldn’t beat the game that the AI controlled. This is until one day, a kid name Casey and, yes, he is a guy, decides to take on the AI himself and try to beat the game and free the children trapped inside. The story in the game kind of reminds me of Tron for some reason, since the game is kidnapping people.

The game play is a simple action plat-forming game, where you control Casey through some interesting levels. Casey alone can jump on enemies to kill them, but then this game would have been labeled as a Mario clone. It’s a good thing that this game has its own unique power-up system that is pretty neat. Casey has multiple power-ups to help him get through the level. One of the first ones you get, turns you into a knight that has more defense power, and can scale certain walls. Another one turns you into a samurai, a tank, a super hero, and there are more, but I will let you find out about them yourself. Other than that, it’s basically a normal plat-former in the other areas, like it has a timer for each level, you collect crystals, and etc. The main goal in most of the levels is to get a flag at the end of the level. Some levels, though, throw you a boss fight to mix it up a bit so it doesn’t get too repetitive. It also helps to use the superhero suits, since in some areas, you need to use them to get to other areas of the level.

Graphically, it’s a take-or-leave kind of game. The 16-bit graphics look good in my opinion, but some people can say that it hasn’t aged well, and that is also true if you look at it. Like I said above, I like the idea of multiple suits, because it gives the game variety. It would be boring to play through the whole game as a stereotypical 90’s punk kid.

However, as with every game I review, I do have a gripe or two up my sleeve. Hey, if they didn’t, multiple other people and I would be saying every game was perfect, and we would be out of a job. First off, the game can get pretty tedious, and new players could get lost in the game. I mean, it took me awhile to figure out how to get past one of the early levels due to getting stuck in an area. The game can also get pretty hard, and if you play the Genesis version, then there are no save points or passwords, meaning you will have to beat it in one sitting. I have heard there is a cheat code, but it only takes you to the final level and that just isn’t right.

Overall, it’s an okay game. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I say check it out first on either the Sega Genesis Collection or on the newer and bigger Ultimate Genesis Collection.

This game gets a 7 out of 10.

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