Here is a story that probably everyone has gone through one time or more. You go to rental stores like Gamefly.com or Blockbuster to rent a game that has recently come out, like for me, when I was writing this opening paragraph I was wanting to rent Metroid: Other M. It looked good, it sounded good, and it looked amazingly action-packed with action coming from all around you on each side and what not. It was the first thing on your list to rent, but you never got it. You know what happens next, especially if you use Gamefly.com? They send you a game that isn’t on the top and is actually 6 games down your list, and you know what game I got? Instead of getting the action-packed Metroid: Other M, I got an unknown PS2 game called Chulip! I know I have said that I have played a lot of weird games, but I seriously think this takes the cake! Think of Harvest Moon, combined with some adventure game elements, and put the main character in the most hormone-rushed mood ever. No, this isn’t an erotic title by any means, but there is a lot of kissing. However, this could be a hidden gem, or just a waste of time, but you have to read on to see what I think. Before I continue with this review, let me make this clear. NATSUME PUBLISHED THE GAME! They didn’t make it, they published it. A company called Punchline made the game and they also made a horrible horror survival game called Rule of Rose. I apologize for my little rant, but this just makes me mad since people always say that Natsume made the game. They published it. Now, let’s move on to the story.
The main story starts off with a dream of a boy falling in love with a girl under a creepy talking tree. It then moves to the boy in reality that lives with his father and is very poor. As he walked around town meeting people, he met the girl from his dream and tried to kiss her. However, he gets slapped by her, and is told that he isn’t her type of guy. It is your job then to get the boy a good reputation around the town he lives in and fall in love with the girl. It’s a simple story, and it’s definitely is a little off-putting when you find out the back-story behind some of the people in the game.
The gameplay is in the form of an old fashioned adventure game, where you need to do a lot of tasks that makes you walk around a decently-sized world, and doing a lot of backtracking. If you played games like the Monkey Island series or other adventure titles, then you will feel right at home. The main goal is to do tasks while finding people who are upset, and here is the weird part of the game, you have to kiss them. I am not kidding, you have to kiss people in this game to gain experience and money. In order to level up, you basically have a goal to kiss a certain amount of people. It’s also a challenge since they all have their own schedules and you need to be there when they are there or else you will miss them. A very handy tip I will give you right now is that you don’t, and I mean DON’T, want to be around at night or else the policeman who I swear looks like a rejected Disneyland character will shoot you. Believe me, it sucks.
The graphics, well, are from 2002, but it doesn’t look bad 8 years later (even though we got this game in 2007). Everyone is really bizarre-looking, and look like they were rejected designs from Animal Crossing. I swear I have never seen such bizarrely designed characters ever. If I had to pick something good in this game’s presentation, I would have to pick the music. It’s very calming and oddly enough, fits the areas you are in. The characters, like I said, are very bizarre, but have a unique charm to them.
However, some things don’t age well for this game. The game’s pace is slow and just tedious. Your character moves slowly, and it’s just tedious getting from place to place. The only way you can save is to use a toilet to save, and you can’t save anywhere else. It becomes annoying when you, accidentally, try to kiss an angry person. I also find all these fetch quests even more tiresome since it seems like you have to go back and forward like 5 times in the same two areas. I can’t count how many times I just groaned with boredom because of how long it takes to get from place to place. I am also not a fan of everyone’s schedule. It makes it very annoying since there are multiple people who will come out to get some experience and money, but you can’t approach them until you hit it just right. If you don’t, you lose like half your life, and they just go back underground. It becomes a chore to do a lot of stuff in this game, and it seems like a lot of its system mechanics are very outdated.
So, that is my review of Chulip. It’s weird, bizarre, slow, and I enjoyed playing it…Yeah, I did bash it in the last paragraph, but the whole game does have a charm and is definitely worth a rental for a rainy weekend. If you like games like Harvest Moon or Monkey Island, then I would recommend this game. However, it isn’t a game for everyone, so just a heads up.
This game gets a 6 out of 10.