Chuck Rock – Review

He may not be the sharpest flint in pre-history, but Chuck Rock has a head as hard as a rock and a belly that is deadly. So get ready to navigate jungles and swamps, battle dinosaurs, and rescue your wife before Garry Glitter has his way with her. Unga Bunga!!!

Title screen (screenshot taken by author)

Chuck Rock is a single-player side-scrolling platform game developed by Core Design. It has been published and ported to many other platforms including:

  • Core Design – Atari St and Amiga (1991), Commodore 64 (1992), and Amiga CD32 (1994)
  • Krisalis Software – Acorn Archimedes (1991)
  • Virgin Interactive – Sega Megadrive (1991), Sega Master System (1993) and Game Gear (1992)
  • Sony Imagesoft – Sega Mega-CD (1993), SNES (1992) and Game Boy (1993).

I chose to review the Mega Drive version.

Beautiful level design (screenshot taken by author)

Plot

Set in a fantasy prehistoric Stone Age, Chuck’s wife, Ophelia, has been kidnapped by Garry Glitter (no, not the disgraced pop star).

Gameplay

Chuck must navigate his way through jungles, swamps, ice-capped mountains and caves, all the while evading various dinosaurs and prehistoric animals; or if you are feeling brave, barging them out the way with your belly, performing flying kicks, or picking up huge boulders and throwing them. I’d recommend using the latter two to kill your enemies.

Chuck may look like a everyone’s least favourite uncle, but he is the hero of this tale (screenshot taken by author)

How Does It Handle?

The controls are easy to learn and are nice and responsive. The game is challenging with some tough levels. Oddly, the end bosses are all very easy to defeat with the exception of the third boss. The only boss that you need a strategy to defeat is the first boss, but other than that, it is simply a case of button mashing.

Graphics

Throughout the game the graphics look fab. There’s plenty to catch the eye and make you think “That looks cool!”.

The levels look gorgeous (screenshot taken by author)

Music

The music is good throughout the game. The opening musical number on the title screen is awesome and I found myself delaying playing the game in order to listen to the song the whole way through. It seems that even though Chuck isn’t the sharpest tool in the box, he has aspired to lead singer of a rock band.

Replay Value

Sadly this game lacks replay value, and once completed you may only wish to revisit it once or twice before turning your attention to the next challenge.

(screenshot taken by author)

Did I Complete The Game?

Yes, I completed the game without the use of cheats. Sadly, Upon completing the game you are met another example of an anti-climatic ending to a game that deserved more.

What The Critics Said:

Mean Machines: An excellent and quite original platform game that’s highly recommended to all Megadrive players. Overall 91%.[1]

Mean Machines Index: “A brilliant, humorous Megadrive platform game with real character. Its graphics are out-of-this-world, the sound completely brilliant, and the game play pretty good too! A must have for your Megadrive collection. Overall 91%[2]

Sega Power: Groovy goings-on 100 million years B.C. with wild sonics and graphics as Chuck rescues his wife from the evil Garry Glitter. Overall 4/5.”[3]

Electronic Gaming Monthly: “The gameplay could use a little fine tuning, but it is still very fun to play. The graphics are comical and the music jams. Overall 7.75/10.[4]

Megazone: “Graphics wise this game is a hit (as good as the Amiga on the Mega Drive), the sound is pretty good (not quite up to the Amiga, but still pretty hot) and some imaginative sprite drawings have been added to this game. Overall 85%.[5]

GamePro: “The game’s worth the bucks for the music and graphics alone. From standpoint of challenge and gameplay, it’s middle of the road – not too hard and not too easy. Overall 4.6/5.”[6]

My Verdict:

“Unga Bunga – The game has nice graphics and is fun to play. The simple button mashing as oppose to a strategy needed to defeat end of level bosses, is a mark against this game. The lack of replay value means that once completed I doubt you will want to play through again.”

Rating:

What are your memories of Chuck Rock? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.


[1] ‘Review: Mega Drive – Chuck Rock’. Mean Machines. (June 1992). Issue 21:76-8.

[2] ‘Review: Mega Drive – Chuck Rock’. Mean Machines. (October 1992). Issue 1:137.

[3] ‘The Hard Line – Review: Mega Drive – Chuck Rock’. Sega Power. (September 1993). Issue 46:96.

[4] ‘Review Crew: Genesis – Chuck Rock’. Electronic Gaming Monthly. (March 1992). 32:26.

[5] ‘Review: Mega Drive – Chuck Rock’. Megazone. (December 1992/January 1993). Issue 25:36.

[6] Feline Groovy. ‘Genesis Pro Review – Chuck Rock’. GamePro. (December 1991). 29:70.

Aladdin – Review

Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale about a boy who went from rags to riches with the help of a genie. The western world embraced this tale, and is one of the more well-known stories from the Arabic world. In 1992, Disney released their animated film version, bringing Aladdin to a “whole new world”…er…I mean generation. Its popularity, due to a great soundtrack and an award winning performance by Robin Williams, saw a video game released a year after the films hit the cinemas.

Title screen (screenshot taken by the author)

Aladdin is a single-player side-scrolling action platformer which was developed by Virgin Games. It was published in 1993 by Sega and Disney Software for the Sega Megadrive, and by Capcom for the SNES. It was later ported to the NES, Game Boy, Amiga and DOS formats. I chose to review the Mega Drive Version.

Plot

The game is not identical to, but still has the same storyline as the film. You play as the hero Aladdin who must must rescue the Princess Jasmine from the evil Jafar.

Gameplay

Whilst traversing the levels you are able to jump, crouch, and climb ropes. To defeat enemies, you have the choice of a scimitar with which to slash your opponent or you can collect apples to use as projectiles. If you collect tokens of the Genie’s head or Abu’s head, you will gain access to bonus stages to gain extra lives and such.

The difficulty of the levels increase as the game progresses. One level which sees our hero trying to escape the Cave of Wonders is particularly hard and had me swearing many times at the TV and/or controller pad.

Aladdin was praised by critics for its graphics (screenshot taken by the author)

There are cut scenes between the levels allowing the storyline to move along, but you do not need to have seen the film in order to enjoy the game.

How Does The Game Handle?

The controls are tight, and the physics of the game are easy to get used to.

Graphics

The graphics are bright and colourful, and the animation is fun to watch. All the levels are detailed, look beautiful and make you feel like you’re playing the movie.

Music

The music consists of songs from the movie soundtrack so no doubt you will be humming along.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Frustratingly, at the end of the game you can only defeat Jafar by throwing apples at him. What the game doesn’t tell you is that you need 36 apples to defeat him. If you don’t have enough there is little else you can do other than restart the entire game, and ensure you use the apples sparingly.

“Prince Ali fabulous he Ali Ababwa” (screenshot taken by the author)

Replay Value

When the game is completed the ending is practically non-existant, which begs the question, should one have bothered to complete it in the first place. The answer, of course, is yes as this is a good game and worth playing again.

Did I Complete The Game?

Yes, but I wasn’t happy about getting all the way to the end before realising that I had to restart and play through again to ensure I had enough apples to defeat Jafar.

What The Critics Said:

Edge Magazine: “…almost perfect. The sound could have been better – but that’s a minor quibble. Anyway, at last the Mega Drive has a new platform king. Move over spiky blue one, Aladdin’s in town. Overall 8/10.”[1]

My Verdict: “Prince Ali! Fabulous He! Ali Ababwa. A fun little game that is well worth your time. Great graphics and music, however older generations might get bored a little easily with this one.”

Rating:

What are your memories of Aladdin? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.


[1] ‘Review Mega Drive: Aladdin’. Edge Magazine. (November 1993). Issue 2:92-3.

European Club Soccer – Review

In 1992, I was just beginning to become interested in football. I was playing in my school team, and at weekends would play for local Saturday morning teams. My love of football meant that I also sought out football computer games. FIFA International Soccer and Pro Evolution Soccer were a few years away yet, so I purchased European Club Soccer.

Title screen (screenshot taken by the author)

Known as World Trophy Soccer in North America, and J-League Champion Soccer in Japan, this football game was developed by Krisalis Software (Game Arts in Japan) and published by Virgin Games for the Sega Mega Drive in 1992. I chose to review the Sega Mega Drive version.

European Club Soccer had an impressive array of teams to choose from (screenshot taken by the author)

Gameplay

Playable in one and two-player mode, you can choose from over 150 teams throughout Europe to compete in tournaments. Naturally they do not have the real player names, but many of the teams are recognisable. For example, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus etc., are available, as well as some more obscure additions such as Rotherham United.

How Does It Handle?

Oddly, there is no “shoot” button per se, only low pass and high pass. Frustratingly, the players lose the ball if they change direction too fast whilst dribbling and scoring from a cross or corner is pretty much impossible too. In order to score, I found that I had to have one of my players stand in front of my opponent’s goalkeeper to intercept a shot from another of my players. The keeper would dive out the way, allowing the intercepting player to score into an open net.

Due to a lack of storage, any changes made to team strips could not be saved, and the only way to continue progress through a tournament was to use a password.

Graphics

The in-game graphics are good for 1992, far superior that Konami Hyper Soccer and Goal! Two on the NES.

Sadly, the gameplay left alot to be desired (screenshot taken by the author)

Personal Memories

I remember that I always wanted this game as a kid because I thought it looked excellent, and the cover art really sold it to me. Sadly, I couldn’t afford many games. I’m unsure if I would have felt let down had I bought this game upon release.

Did I Complete The Game?

I successfuly won all leagues and cups without the Three Shredded Wheat cheat.

What The Critics Said:

Mean Machines: “A superbly presented game which is sadly let down by some awkward gameplay points. Overall 69%.[1]

Mean Machines Index: Megadrive soccer games have a history to beingsad and this effort does little to addressthe situation. Although the graphics and sound are very good, the gameplay is let down by low player intelligence, wonky collision detention and awkward controls. As the (very) old saying goes “try before you buy!”. Overall 69%”[2]

Sega Power: “Nice introduction and options, but the whole thing is a let down by poor gameplay. It’s simply too easy to beat in one-player mode. Overall 3/5[3]

My Verdict:Not the worst football game I’ve played, but there are better ones out there to enjoy. I‘d recommend seeking out arcade football games for games released in 1992.

Rating:

What are your memories of European Club Soccer? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.


[1] ‘Review: Mega Drive – European Club Soccer’. Mean Machines. (June 1992). Issue 21:106-8.

[2] ‘Review Index: Mega Drive – Euro Club Soccer’. Mean Machines. (October 1992). Issue 1:138.

[3] ‘The Hard Line – Review: Mega Drive – European Club Soccer’. Sega Power. (September 1993). Issue 46:97.