|Mon, September 5th, 2005||#1|
Kid Chameleon is a 2D platformer on the Genesis that at first glance smacks a lot of the old-school Super Mario Bros. games, and in many ways, that's an accurate assessment, but there are several major differences that set this apart from that mold, and make this game perhaps the best 2D platformer you've never played.
The story is pretty forgettable, really. There's a new game at the arcade, a virtual-reality deal called Wild Side that everyone's in love with. Suddenly one day, the kids who go in to play stop coming out. The Boss of the game starts capturing players who lose. Now, the only person who can save the day is Kid Chameleon, a squat Fonzie-type with shades and an attitude. Welcome back to 1992.
Kid Chameleon came out right about at the center of the Genesis' lifespan, but this game aesthetically rivals even the latest and greatest to appear on the console.
As with the graphics, each stage has its own thematic music, and almost all of the tracks are eminently enjoyable. The city stages have a hip-hop beat, the tribal island stages have a jungle beat, the underground stages have a menacing metal sound, and so forth. Unfortunately, there's not as much variety in the soundtrack as there is with the visual styles, but it's not a major gripe, what is there is very good.
Kid controls quite well. The controls are very responsive, and your character has a very decent range of movement. In your different forms, you will control differently (for instance, the fly jumps higher and sticks to walls, but walks very slow), and it takes some getting used to. It is definitely recommended to enable the auto-run option before you start, for it makes control much more fluid and spares you from having to hold down a run button, freeing you to only having to concern yourself with moving, jumping, and using your attacks, if you can. And it's definitely a good thing the control is tight, because there are some stages that are fast-paced and absolutely merciless to those with slow reflexes.
It is in this that sets Kid apart from the rest. The major gimmick to this game is that Kid uses different helmets, found in P blocks, that grant him many different powers, and in different ways. For instance, the Red Stealth helmet makes you a Samurai, giving you great speed, very high jumping, and a sword attack. The Maniaxe turns you into a likeness of a famous movie slasher with a hockey mask that throws axes and is all about offense. There is also a hoverboard helmet, a flying helmet, and many others. In addition to giving you a basic advantage, each helmet allows you to utilize Diamond powers. Diamonds are the Coins of Kid Chameleon, although in this game they serve a greater purpose. Each version of Kid has two types of Diamond Powers, a small and a large, and there are many, many different things these do, ranging from using the diamonds as a weapon in perhaps a dozen different forms, to giving you extra hit points or even extra lives.
Kid Chameleon is one of the most difficult and enjoyable platformers on any console. Everyone's heard of Super Mario and Sonic, but in many ways KC surpasses both. It's not for the novice or the faint of heart, completing the game is definitely a reason to pat yourself on the back, but the fun of the experience is getting there and seeing everything there is to see. It's one of the most truly memorable gaming experiences Sega put forth in the 16-bit era.
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|The Nintendo Kid||Smoke||Tendo City||41||Wed, June 29th, 2005 05:50 PM|