Sunday, April 8, 2012

ChuChu Rocket - A Quick Look (GBA/DC)

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With the advent of the Dreamcast it brought the concept of online gaming to the world and with that the first truly online game, ChuChu Rocket. ChuChu Rocket is a puzzle game released on February 29, 2000 to the North American audience and rereleased on June 10, 2001 for the Gameboy Advance with only minor alterations. ChuChu Rocket was lauded at the time for being the first online game and for a brief stint was given away for free with a purchase of a Sega Dreamcast in Europe. The sheer popularity of the game at the time inevitably resulted in the GBA port, aside from the obvious lack of internet play the port allowed for up to four players to participate in puzzle battles with only a single cartridge, another thing the game contained was over 25,000 puzzle previously created by the online user-base for the Dreamcast version.

ChuChu Rocket as a puzzle game revolves around guiding mice (named ChuChus) to their rocket ships, the obstacles they need to overcome are KapuKapus (Cat’s), pitfalls, and walls. You guide the ChuChu’s by placing arrow panels down to change the direction in which they are traveling, however the KapuKapus will also change the direction they are traveling if they happen to pass over an arrow. Ultimately each puzzle requires a good deal of forethought such as…

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See the above example? With three panels you need to get both sets of ChuChu’s to the ship in the center of the Dreamcast logo. Not all puzzles are as difficult, in actuality some are quite easy like the example below…

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As you can see all that was needed to complete the puzzle was the placement of a single arrow.

As charming as the single player modes are the real fun in the game lies within it’s multiplayer modes. In multiplayer mode your obejective to get the most mice in your Rocket Ship and to direct as many Kapu’s into your opponents Rockets as quick as you can. The gameplay can be hectic but incredibly fun and rewarding…

The video above is a good example of what a multiplayer match look(ed)s like, as not long after the above recording the SEGAnet servers were shut down and to date there haven’t been any private servers for the Dreamcast version. In the video you will notice the Kapu’s and Chu’s all going every which way and each player attempting to drive them into their rocket by slapping arrow panels everywhere, things can get pretty crazy. The ultimate objective of any match is to get the most Chu’s, both the GBA version and the Dreamcast version have this and it can be rewarding as much as it is crazy. Both versions of the game can provide hours of enjoyment either alone or with friends, and for those looking for a more modern version an iOS port was recently released which boasts “HD” graphics and what not. I highly recommend this game to any puzzle fan as the game can really get you thinking.

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