Kid Chameleon Review

Kid Chameleon is a platform game in the tradition of the Super Mario series, borrowing a lot from the famous Italian plumber: floating blocks that hold power-ups and coins (actually, in this game they are diamonds), flags marking the end of levels, even bouncing on top of enemies. The similarities end there, however. Kid distinguishes himself with the ability to transform into new creatures with special powers.

Each power-up lets you perform new moves and gain special abilities: a knight helmet increases Kid’s health and allows him to scale walls; a samurai helmet turns him into a high-jumping, sword slashing feudal warrior; and a hockey mask changes him into an axe throwing maniac, not unlike Jason from the Friday the 13th movies. There are twelve different power-ups in total, ranging from the strange (shrinking to a fly that can “stick” to nearly any surface), to the truly bizarre (a gorilla driven tank that fires skulls). All of these power-ups can help you solve certain puzzles within each level so you can reach the flag. There are also multiple paths to take by flying, climbing, or breaking down walls. Time is a factor as well. You start with three minutes to clear a level, but can add two minutes with every clock power-up you find. While some levels may only last a minute, others seem so enormous that you’ll be baffled on how to get through them. There’s nothing worse than seeing the flag with only two seconds left, because if time runs out, you lose a life.

The enemies are as wacky as the power-ups. Detached hands will crawl and grab onto you, slowing you down until they disappear, lions will toss fireballs, and giant boulders on wheels will fire cannons. (That’s a few of the normal ones!). The boss will also appear at various points throughout the game, resembling an ancient tribal warrior–without a body. An enormous head (or multiple heads) will attack you and to defeat it you must either bounce on it several times or use your character’s weapons. Whenever an enemy makes contact with you, a life point is lost, and once they are all gone, you revert back to Kid. There are also “environmental” dangers such as spikes, acid pools and bottomless pits which will quickly take your life if you’re not careful.

Perhaps the greatest part of the game is the sheer size of it–it’s huge! There are over 100 levels and there’s no password or battery to save your progress. Fortunately, you can find shortcuts that will advance you to different levels in the game. The problem is, they can also warp you back several levels. There are often multiple flags within each level, but to get to these locations you usually need a certain power-up. Of course, finding it can be an adventure by itself…

Kid Chameleon seamlessly melds platform, puzzle and action elements to create an absorbing experience all its own. The game may not have a certain blue rodent or cute sidekick, but what it lacks in flash is more than made up in gameplay.

Graphics

The game’s graphics actually get better as you progress through the game. Kid Chameleon looks like a baby Arthur Fonzarelli, and has very awkward looking jumps. Fortunately, you don’t play as the Kid very much!

Sound

The music and sound effects are very offbeat. The boss repeatedly says “die!” and Kid will say “bummer!” now and then. Each transformation has a funny little sound–my favorite being the fly. There’s an evil little laugh that makes me smile every time.

Enjoyment

This game is packed with fun characters and great puzzles. The only downside is that there isn’t a password or save feature. But hey, that’s part of the challenge! The ending is very anticlimactic considering all you have to do to get there.

Replay Value

Secrets, hidden power-ups, 100 levels and over 1000 screens means there is a lot to see in this cartridge.

Documentation

The manual explains everything you need to know.

4D Boxing – PC Review

Any fan of professional boxing can easily get the
picture. The tuxedo-clad announcer strides to the
center of the ring and grasps the microphone that
drops in from over his head like a deus ex machina
ready to rescue the hero in a Greek comedy. His enunciation,
tinged with the Bronx overtones forever associated
with the sport, describes the combatants for all
of the assembled fans: “In the blue corner, the number
16 contender, weighing in at 219 pounds… a record of
20-0 with 18 KOs from Exeter… The Wol! In the red
corner, the number 14 contender, weighing in at 201
pounds and also undefeated… from San Mateo…
Ugotabe Kidding!”
The fighters shuffle together and test each other’s
strengths and weaknesses, dancing the modern
equivalent of the warrior’s pre-combat ritual. Astute observers
gain some prescient sense of what is to occur
and the announcer prepares to describe the second
round.
“A bad first round for The Wol as his inexperience at
this level shows. Kidding is advancing confidently
across the ring and fires a quick combination. The Wol
still looks groggy from that first round. Somewhat
foolishly, The Wol is continuing forward, maintaining a
strong body attack with occasional hooks to the head.
A huge right hand from Kidding has Wol in trouble by
the ropes, he’s down… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9…
10, Knockout! The fine unbeaten streak of the Wol has
come to an end at 1:35 of the second round.”
The fiction used to introduce this review actually occurred
on the reviewer’s computer as he suffered his first defeat in
Electronic Arts’ 4D Boxing. This reviewer’s initial reactions
were rather negative, but the game itself proved to
have even more heart than his fighter.
Such a positive perspective certainly
could not have been predicted from looking
at the box cover or getting one’s
first taste of those strange-looking
polygon-filled boxers. After five games,
however, one becomes perfectly at ease
with the graphics. What causes the
change? There are two basic factors:
familiarity and accuracy. During the action,
the punches flow so smoothly and land so correctly that
one can readily understand why the polygon choice was made.
Once one sees the advantage in terms of the accuracy of physical
modeling that is possible through the polygon technology,
one overlooks the surrealistic nature of the boxers themselves.
In the Gym (Preparation for Play)
The best way to get into 4D Boxing is to create one’s own
boxer. The program provides the gamer with the opportunity to
choose the boxer’s weight, height, hair color, jersey and shorts
color, skin pigment and facial “shape.” Then, one can use the
“facilities” of the gym to increase one or more of the boxer’s
skills: speed, power and stamina. In the early going, most
players will find that power and stamina are much more important
than speed. Stamina, the ability to take punishment and
trade inside punches, is vitally important for a beginning fighter.
Then, once the gamer has developed some familiarity with the
game, it will become possible to develop a “stick and move”
fighter such as the great Pernell Whitaker. One will have to
master the basic interface, however, before moving to this style.

It takes considerable practice to be able to score sufficient points
to win with a “stick and move” approach.
The Main Event (Game Play)
The fighter starts off as the number 51 ranked fighter and
moves (one hopes) up the rankings by beating a fighter of a
higher ranking. This seems quite a quaint concept, causing one
to wonder why the major boxing organizations do not simply
take a page out of 4D Boxing’s book! (grin!)
I he top 50 fighters are a punster’s delight. Lance Boil, Sadie
Mazo-Chisholm and others add a silly side to this product, but
one should not make the mistake of thinking that this is a silly
product. Players will need a lot of skill and, ultimately, an understanding
of the strategies of boxing in order to be successful.
This is not a Low Blow-type of game.
Trainer Talk (Strategy)
As one’s boxer climbs the rankings, it is profitable to look for
the fighter with the lowest stamina rating. Naturally, these are the
easiest to knock out.
Never forget that the body is an easier target than the head and
that boxers can still score effectively while in close. Indeed,
though this reviewer is not entirely certain, but it seemed that a
counter punch thrown correctly scored more effectively than a
regular punch.
Combinations are important. The jab is only an effective
weapon if it is used with a second or third punch. Remember to mix it up with both head and body combinations. Mike Tyson
was particularly effective in his early career by doubling up a
right hand to the body and then to the head. It is very nice to see
that work in the 4D Boxing program.
Indeed, the more one plays this game, the more one sees that
for all its “game” trimmings, this is, in fact, a very accurate
boxing simulation.
Television Coverage (Camera Angles)
This is an option which this writer used very infrequently. The
program provides nine different camera angles from which to
view the fight. This can be an effective learning tool. It is particularly
useful for replaying a round of action and picking up
tips and pointers.
Another one of the nice touches that this product delivers is the
ability to see the fight, while one is fighting, from any of these
camera angles and through either fighter’s eyes. As the manual
notes, “This is a good way to look at your opponent close up….
You can really tell when he’s about to go down. It’s also a rather
interesting view if you get knocked down.” They are not kidding
— there is a very weird sensation when one’s boxer drops to the
canvas.
Press Coverage (Newspaper Headlines)
After the decision of the fight is announced, the last couple of
seconds of the fight are displayed against a newspaper format
background with suitable headline (“TKO Stuns Crowd”).
Whoever thought of this delightful piece of
chrome is a “genius.” Although it is just a
five-second piece, it adds a considerable
amount to the atmosphere of the game.
Counter Punches (Critical
Remarks)
At the risk of being called a purist, the
reviewer must question the idea of a fight
scheduled for eleven rounds. One usually
has fights set at ten rounds, twelve rounds
(the current championship distance) or even
fifteen rounds (the traditional championship
distance), but not eleven rounds.
The manual also says, “All amateur and
professional boxing matches use 3-minute
rounds.” While this may be true in the United
States, it is not necessarily true in other
countries (most notably in the United
Kingdom).
The Decision of the Judges
Many serious boxing aficionados may well
be put off by the “unrealistic” graphics.
Those who get past that reaction and experience
the smooth, realistic motion, however,
will find an enjoyable product that will
entice them to return on a regular basis. 4D
Boxing is an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable
game with an effective representation of
boxing skills. 4D Boxing scores a real TKO —
Technological Knock Out — and should be a
welcome and often-played addition to any
sports game library.

Tecmo World Cup Review

Tecmo World Cup never dazzles with its detail to the sport, but if you’re fond of games like Double Dribble or Blades of Steel, you just might find yourself smiling from time to time while playing. The graphics are colorful and the players are very large. Animation is nothing to get excited about, but considering the time of release, it gets the job done. Gameplay is decidedly simple. Move your player to the left or right and try to score (preferably at an angle). That’s about it. Add a slide tackle and a pass button, and you’re ready for some clean, old-fashioned arcade-style action.

Before you begin, you can play a single game or the World Cup. Choose from 24 teams, one of four formations (which determines the placement of your players on offense or defense), and then begin play. It’s very simple, but incredibly addictive! Just like the aforementioned Konami games, there’s a lot of back and forth action as you constantly switch possession of the ball. The computer is also very aggressive (and quick) on the higher difficulty levels. Unfortunately, passing is a hit-or-miss affair, since there is no radar to show where your other players are.

There aren’t any extra features to speak of, either. I would have appreciated a few more moves under my control, password support for the World Cup, substitutions or injuries, an indoor stadium, and more strategy options. Yet none of these issues really take away from the game’s fast-paced fun. While soccer fans might turn up their noses at the game’s emphasis on arcade action over depth, those looking for a sports game that hearkens back to the days of the NES will get their kicks from Tecmo World Cup.

Graphics

Simple, clean graphics with large players. Unfortunately, all the players look exactly the same, aside from skin tones and uniform colors. The field looks nice with different shades of green.

Sound

The music is enough to make a person grit his or her teeth in frustration. It loops constantly and you can’t turn it off! Sound effects are extremely basic.

Enjoyment

Fans of simple to play sports games will enjoy this title. Soccer nuts should stay away!

Replay Value

The lack of features really hurt this game’s replay value. Two player support and the five levels of difficulty help.

Documentation

The game probably could have been explained on one page, but the instructions are adequate.

Lemmings 1992 Game Review

Oh no! The little suicidal lemmings have taken a leap of faith from the PC to the SNES! Don’t get me wrong! This is a good thing. It’s just a wonder they didn’t kill themselves in the process. But, somehow they’ve survived, and now they’re ambling precariously towards their death with only you to stop them. Careful coaxing and calm tones aren’t going to stop them either. You’d got to do something!

Lemmings successfully walks, blocks and bashes it’s way to the SNES. Although, sometimes the control pad just isn’t enough to keep the little suicide-bent cartoonish characters from falling to their death. Playing on a PC is preferable since you can use a mouse to guide the little buggers safely to the exit.

The music’s still catchy, the graphics are still attractive, and the gameplay is still incredibly fun. Lemmings for the SNES is everything the PC version was, and just as fun!

Lemmings has a selectable skill level which allows it to be attractive to all gamers – regardless of age or skill! It offers a unique gaming experience, and is wonderful for teaching younger children problem solving skills.

Lemmings is an engineering test in disguise. Can you get the lemmings from here to there without getting them killed? This really isn’t a game for everyone. Some people don’t enjoy puzzle games, and heck, that’s fine. Lemmings is really hit and miss. Either you love it, or you hate it.

Graphics

Nice backgrounds, cute lemmings!

Sound

As addictive as ever!

Enjoyment

Great, fun puzzles.. real time.. You’ve got to be quick!

Replay Value

Once you know how to finish the puzzles, it’s not as fun. Still a challenge though.

Documentation

Standard instruction booklet lets you know all you need to know!