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Magical Chase
  opened by paleface at 03:48:50 06/28/04  
  last modified by paleface at 21:53:09 07/04/04  
  paleface [sys=PCE; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN]
Horizontal shooter in which your cute little witch blasts along on her broomstick through levels of cutesy bad things. Goes out of its way to come up with offbeat characters, such as the poly-cubic first boss, the pumpkinhead shop-keeper, and the weird dudes running along on beachballs.
You can pick up some pretty hefty firepower in the shops and more weapons become available as you go through the stages. You can also spend money to recover healthy, increase your max health, change your speed, boost your base weapon power, etc.
Your witch has two little stars around her, normally these orbit freely, shooting in the opposite direction in which you point the joystick, but you can lock them in any position by pressing the I button. Locking them forward seems to be good policy, since they'll block many incoming projectiles.
It confused me a bit at first but the initial menu is difficulty--and if you pick an easier (upper) mode, the game ends before you get to the later levels.
The framerate is very smooth even with a lot of nicely animating sprites onscreen. The whole game has a very appealing stuffed-animal type of look about it, with rich round forms and bright but well-chosen colors. The music is decent if rather sugary.
Magical Chase doesn't really come out and grab you by the nuts (or whatever you have) as it were. Like right now, having just played it for a while, I'm feeling sort of ambivalent about it. And yet I suspect that it is one I will want to come back to in the future, it's just so cute and well put-together.

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