Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chameleon Twist for the Nintendo 64




As a gamer, I always have a fond memory of most of the games I play. Yeah, I might not remember all of them, but one that I played a long time ago and still remember is Chameleon Twist for the Nintendo 64. This is definitely one of the more memorable games that I remember from back in my childhood. How does it stand up by today, though? Well, I’ve got my thoughts on it and I am ready to review it. Is it as good as it was back in the day? Or are there a few cobwebs showing this game’s age?

The story is very simple, and I think it fits the game quite fine. One day a blue chameleon named Davy is just relaxing and minding his own business, when he sees a white rabbit that strangely looks like the one from Alice in Wonderland. Davy goes through a rabbit hole, and ends up in a strange and magical world. Davy also turns into some strange humanoid chameleon. It is up to him to travel through 6 levels to get back to normal. Heck, if I was in some strange world, I rather escape it than live in it, unless it’s really cool.

The game play featured in Chameleon Twist is your basic plat-former game where you control 4 different chameleons. You can either control Davy, Jack, Fred or Linda. They all play the same so I guess you would play as your favorite colored chameleon. The main gimmick in Chameleon Twist is the tongue. It’s like Yoshi’s tongue, since you can eat enemies, but it also has a mix of Kirby where you can shoot the enemies back out of your mouth, like artillery fire. You can jump in this game, but you will need to use your tongue to grab onto metal poles and swing around them. You can also control the way your tongue goes, which is kind of cool. It reminds me of Super Castlevania 4, where you could whip 8 different ways. The reason why I say that is because you can control the way your tongue goes, and you can swallow even more enemies than you could by just sticking your tongue out straight. You also collect these golden crowns that I think do nothing, but I think they either give you a life if you get a certain amount, or they could just raise your score, but I don’t remember.

In my opinion, the graphics in the game are pretty good for N64 standards. I mean, yeah, you can see how they have aged, but since I grew up on the N64, I think they look great. I also love the music for the game. It reminds me of something like Kirby or Adventure Island. I like how all the enemies are unique to that certain level, like spiders in the jungle level, ice cream sandwich monsters in the sweets level, and stuff like that. The game can be a little difficult, but if you know what to do or just find an alternative route through a puzzle or something, it’s easier that you think. The game rewards you for being creative, and I like that.

There are some gripes I do have with this game. They might have to do with putting it into the somewhat obscure game category where not a lot of people know about it or not pick it up. The difficulty in the game comes from the awkward camera angle. It’s too far away, and you can’t control it in some levels, which makes the plat-forming sections a little harder than you would like. Outside your extremely long tongue, you have no other form of attack, so be careful. The game itself is also pretty short. The levels are long, but you can easily get through them if you find alternate ways of getting through the levels. A lot of people might be turned off by the cute factor of the game. While I don’t really care, I still can see people not picking it up due to its cute factor.

Overall, though I think this game is a highly overlooked gem on the Nintendo 64. I know I could list others like Fighters Destiny or this game’s sequel, Chameleon Twist 2, but those are for another time. I say, pick this game up. I think you will like it, but I wouldn’t pay too much for it since, well, we want to make sure to get a good game for a good price. I think this series at least deserves one more sequel, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

This game gets an 8 out of 10

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