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GBA

North America

Chu Chu Rocket

by Mike Sklens - August 20, 2001, 12:22 am PDT

8.5

Mike S takes a look at the Game Boy Advance version of one of the best puzzle games of all time.

First off, I loved Chu Chu Rocket on the Dreamcast. It’s one of my favorite Dreamcast games. So, that will obviously affect this review. Chu Chu Rocket is a fantastic puzzler game. Its simple premise and awesome gameplay make it addictive. The game retains its cute graphics that were present in the DC version. Sonic Team has used scaling to add some very cool effects to the Kapu Kapus (cats). The game animates very smoothly also, and the characters are very slick ACM (CG rendered) sprites. The game also sounds pretty darn good. Nothing spectacular. Though I am very glad that Sonic Team kept their little “Sonic eh Team eh” sound intro from the Dreamcast version. In fact, pretty much all of the sounds in the game are ripped from the Dreamcast version.

Gameplay is the meat of Chu Chu Rocket. This game is addictive. You can pass many hours trying to get those stupid little rats into the rocket. Chu Chu Rocket is one of those “easy to learn, hard to master” games. It seems simple enough when you start, but later on it gets intense and complex, especially in a 4-player match up.

Being a veteran of the Dreamcast game, I had to make quite the adjustment to the controls of the GBA version. The game comes with 3 different control settings, and it may take a while to pick the one you’re best with. You can use either A or B to cycle through panels when you place them, you can use A plus the D-pad to place a panel, or you can use A and B to place up and down panels, and L and R for left and right panels. I went with the 4 button “Pro” controls. I find it much easier to have each button do one thing and one thing only. But be warned, no matter which setup you pick, you will need to stick with it for a while until you get good with it. The new special modes activated by the “?” Chu Chu’s are great too. Stealing Mania is an absolute blast!

If there is one thing that sets the GBA version of Chu Chu Rocket from its big brother, it’s extras. The GBA version comes completely packed with them. The GBA version comes with 200 extra puzzle stages that were designed by players of the Dreamcast version. Also, the GBA version supports not only a create-a-stage mode but also a create-a-character mode so that you can design your own sprites to replace the Chu Chus.

Overall, Chu Chu Rocket is a fantastic game. I’d certainly rank at one of the top 5 puzzle games of all time; it’s up there with Tetris, Tetris Attack, and Puyo Puyo. If you are a puzzle fan, you must own this game. If you’re not a puzzle fan, this game is still great and I highly recommend it. It’s an excellent way to kill time. Just don’t play it too much, or you’ll start having Kapu Kapu’s chase you in your dreams!

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 6.5 5 9 10 8.5
Graphics
6

The sprites are fantastic looking and the game plays fast and furious. The small scale can take a bit of getting used to though.

Sound
6.5

This is almost exactly the same as the Dreamcast version. Perfect sound effects and happy upbeat music, but it all seems a bit quiet.

Control
5

They are hard to get used too, even harder if you play the Dreamcast version. It’s nice to have options for 3 different control sets. Once you learn them, you’ll be fine.

Gameplay
9

Top notch. This game is as addictive as anything. Once you start playing it, and get used to the controls, it’s fantastic. Single player puzzles are tons of fun, and multiplayer battles are great too, even with computer opponents.

Lastability
10

Fantastic! Chu Chu Rocket comes loaded with extra features that keep it fresh for a long time. The TON of puzzle levels will keep you entertained for hours on end, and multiplayer battles never get old, ever.

Final
8.5

Chu Chu Rocket is the Tetris of this generation. Its simple premise makes it easy to learn, and its addictive game play will keep you coming back for more. The multiplayer mode is a total blast. Slight control issues keep this game from being perfect though. Chu Chu Rocket is a must have title for puzzle fans, and would be an excellent title for anyone else.

Summary

Pros
  • Excellent Puzzle Game
  • New special mice and modes
  • TONS of bonus features
Cons
  • Controls take a while to get used to
  • May make you late for work/school
  • Sound is a bit quiet
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Puzzle
Developer Sonic Team
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Chu Chu Rocket
Release Jun 10, 2001
PublisherSega
RatingEveryone
jpn: Chu Chu Rocket
Release Mar 21, 2001
PublisherSega
eu: Chu Chu Rocket
Release Dec 07, 2001
PublisherInfogrames

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