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Chiki Chiki Boys
  opened by paleface at 04:21:51 04/23/05  
  last modified by paleface at 01:04:40 04/26/05  
  paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Platformer; loc=JPN]
Port by NEC Avenue of the co-op Capcom platformer, in which you, possibly in tandem with a chum, control one or two babyfaced super-deformed, sword-wielding barbarians in order to hack, slash and jump your way through a variety of colorful stages. In the port, anyway, each stage takes place in two parts, with a boss (or sub-boss) at the end of each part.
The sprites are everything you'd expect from relatively early Capcom: big, round, colorful, and quite active, with a pleasant energy about them. The barbarians can bound quite high, and even higher if they can spring off the side of a wall. They don't have any main move aside from swinging their sword in a vertical arc, but they get a limited number of Select-button magical attacks that will lay waste the screen in those particularly thorn situations.
Of which where aren't too many for a while--the difficulty takes a few stages to start racheting up. You've got a pretty beefy life meter at your disposal, and usually manage to find some life-giving red or blue pills along the way. Enemies drop coins, but I'm not really sure you can play the game for score, since in some areas, like at the very start of the first stage, enemies appear to respawn indefinitely, so you can just keep hacking away at them and collecting coins. (I suppose very likely they stop spawning eventually, but I spent several minutes there and they showed no sign of letting up.) You get five continues--shared between both players, I think--after which it's back to the title screen.
I think part of the reason it feels easy is that you don't really feel yourself getting hit, and this has a lot to do with a lack of sound effects--there aren't many, and what there are, is pretty weak and even annoying, like the alarm that starts going when your health gets low. On the plus side, the music is pretty nice--sounds like CD audio--even if it does loop rather more frequently than one might want.
Aside from the dire sound effects, I'm quite pleased with Chiki Chiki Boys: the action is fast and enthusiastic, the stages inventive, and the bosses even rather memorable. It must be at least twice as fun when played two player, but I haven't tried that yet. I can't really compare it directly against the arcade version, as I only have the vaguest recollection of that from decades ago; although I'm sure the graphics, in addition to the sound, have been cut down in the PCE version, they still make very good use of the PCE hardware. Chiki Chiki Boys was the very last PCE game I was looking for--it took me a full year of looking just to find even a hint of a single copy--and it does my Duo proud.
  paleface 01:04:40 04/26/05
Played two-player and was pleasantly surprised to find that there isn't a noticeable amount of slowdown in that mode--not more so than single-player, anyway. You share the five additional credits between you, so if you have a crap partner (my partner had this problem with me ;), you won't get far.

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