GAME REVIEWS

Monday, September 27, 2010

Psycho Chaser

~ PSYCHO CHASER ~
Naxat Soft
HuCard
1990

I thought Psycho Chaser would be just another nondescript vert, with its one "notable" aspect being that it has the player control a running robot guy instead of a spacecraft. And when I first started the game up, it seemed to be a slow, ugly affair that would live down to my expectations. To be honest, the ugly aspect doesn't really change, but man, the pace picks up big time. This is a really good, really tough title, an unexpectedly awesome blaster that rewards those who give it a bit of time to shine.



The challenge level is high, and there's a lot of strategizing required in that you need to know which guns to use when (as four very different weapons are perennially at your disposal) and decide which ones to power up with energy points earned during play.



Put in a little practice and make some wise decisions and you'll eventually survive the stages--and come face to face with interesting, well-designed boss creatures.



The music is very cool, especially the moody track featured in the fourth level, where the enemy's fastest forces initiate a merciless attack. The soundtrack reaches its apex just as the game decides to weed out the unskilled by deploying its greatest threats.



Each time I powered up Psycho Chaser, I made it a little bit further, came up with a few more effective strategies, and memorized a few more level segments until I ultimately beat the entire thing. I think that's what the idea of a "difficulty curve" is all about. PC understands and delivers on the concept, accounting for its sleeper-shooter status among those who've run its gauntlet.


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