In this week's recommendations, we've got a homoerotic TurboGrafx 16 shooter and a revered strategy RPG.
I am proud to present Jon Lindemann's long-awaited Cho Aniki recommendation. Lindy survived all the MAN-BEAMS and questionable subject matter to bring you the recommendation of the NWR Virtual Console Non-Nintendo Console Game of the Year.
Meanwhile, Nick DiMola handled Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen, a classic strategy RPG for the Super Nintendo.
Which game do you prefer? Does homoeroticism renew your interest in shoot-'em-ups? Where is the Black Queen marching to? You can discuss all this and more in the Talkback thread.
|System||Virtual Console - TurboGrafx-CD|
|Controllers||Wii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
|Released||Dec 25, 1992|
Cho-Aniki holds a special place in our hearts here at NWR. It isn’t the best shoot'em-up on Virtual Console – Lords of Thunder, Axelay, and Gradius III are certainly "better" – but it's definitely the most outrageous. As a cape-wearing hero named Idaten or a raven-haired heroine named Benten, you unleash your fury on the forces of Bo Emperor Bill. You see, Bill is a bodybuilder run amok, and after ten straight victories in the Galactic Bodybuilding Contest, he’s a bit short on protein. In need of planets on which to build more protein factories, he invades nearby galaxies in the hopes of continuing his muscle-bound domination. That's where Idaten, Benten, and their two cohorts Samson and Adon come in.
This is a fairly straight-forward horizontal shooter. You fly through various types of colorful environments, taking out enemies and battling bosses. Survive long enough and Samson and Adon will appear to aid you in your battle, hovering around you and providing some extra firepower. You can also select your movement speed, which is handy for certain bosses. What sets Cho Aniki apart is its character design, which borders on homoerotic. You'll find yourself asking questions like: "Is that a flying penis?", "Why does that have breasts?", and "Why are Samson and Adon Speedo-wearing musclemen?" You'll also revel in the fact that Idaten's super-attack is called the MAN-BEAM. A real hit at parties, Cho Aniki is a title that fans of ridiculous Japanese shooters will love. Others will scratch their heads.
|System||Virtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
For its time, Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen was quite a revolutionary game. It melded classic RPG concepts with those of strategy titles, creating a new and unique product. Essentially, players command a collection of troops on a variety of maps and attempt to reclaim all of the towns and villages present. Along the way, enemies need to be dispensed of, and troops, items, magic, and tarot cards need to be managed.
The game has an ActRaiser-esque feel to it, except instead of battling enemies in 2D side-scrolling levels, players take to the battlefield and fight enemies in standard SNES RPG fashion. While the gameplay was polished and innovative for its time, it is out of date at this point given the large strides that have been made in the genre since then.
Getting into Ogre Battle doesn't prove to be an easy task either. The "tutorial" level has players traversing the map over and over just to demonstrate some very simple concepts (though this may be symbolic of its age). Once players hit their stride there's plenty to enjoy and manage, but it is definitely inaccessible to those who don't already have an affinity for strategy RPGs.
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen is undoubtedly a well-made title with many unique and successful features that are still in use today; however, given the limited appeal of the genre it helped pioneer, the game is very clearly meant for fans only.
Special thanks to the Video Game Museum for the screenshots