Monday, November 25, 2019

Charinko Hero (Nintendo Gamecube) Review.

For many ages now, the schoolyard kids have argued about which kid's superheroes could beat up the other kid's superheroes.  Goku Vs. Superman.  Spiderman Vs. Batman.  Angry Video Game Nerd Vs. Nostalgia Critic.  (Although I don't know why kids would be watching them.)  All these (and many more) have been the topic of many recess time debates.  Today I tackle a verses topic that got turned into a video game.  Ultraman Vs. Kamen Rider.  I wonder how this will turn out?  This is Charinko Hero for the Nintendo Gamecube.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review.)




Charinko Hero is a crossover kart racing game where characters from the Ultraman and Kamen Rider franchises duke it out to determine who is the best.  Okay, kart racer may not be the proper name to call this due to all the characters are riding tricycles, but the gameplay style is 100% kart racer.  The goal is simple, just race around tracks and aim for first place.  The tracks are grouped into cups and you gets points for finishing a race.  The number of points you get is determined on the position you finish.  Well, minus last place as they get nothing.  The top three racers with the most points win the gold, silver, and bronze trophies although first place gets all the glory.

Seeing as this is a kart racer, there are some crazy over the top stuff thrown in to make it feel more fun.  You can pick up and use items that can either fix your bike or harm your foes.  All the characters can nitro boost for extra speed, but this come at a price.  The bikes engine (I didn't know that pedal tricycles had engines) can overheat and this can get very annoying to recover from.  You can cool your engines by waiting for it to cool down by itself, with the help from a water item, or you can mash the A button.  Mashing the A button feels awkward because that's also the acceleration button.

There are special items that can be picked up and they'll let you use your special attack.  These special attacks resembles the characters finishing moves from the TV shows that they are from.  The controls are super simple and if you've played any other kart racer before this, you'll know exactly how to play this game.

There aren't that many levels or modes.  You've got GP mode, time trail mode, and multiplayer.  While little, it is a satisfying amount to where it doesn't feel like it needs any more modes or levels.  The levels themselves are the best things about this game as they are full of charm and character.  They range from theme parks, construction sites, evil lairs, and even tracks where you can see epic battles of Ultraman clashing with bad guys.  There's a lot to look out for and some tracks have shortcuts that won't only just make you get across the track faster.  You'll see more charming things such as a bath house where the heroes are bathing, a bar where they are drinking, and a ghost house where random Putty like goons are trying to scare you.

Sadly, this game has one huge flaw that absolutely kills the game for me.  Heck, it's a flaw that kills the game for everybody.  You ready to read what it is?  It's the gameplay.  While each rider has different stats, they all play the same...  POORLY!  Yup, the speed, the handling, the special moves all play like an elephant stuck in the mud.  It's slow and unresponsive making for a slow and boring adventure.  This is especially disappointing considering that everything else about this game is great.  This is the equivalent of getting full size candy bars from trick or treating, but only to find out that someone put razors and killer bees in the bar.  It looks good, it smells good, but brother, it taste like metal and bees.

The character selection is also small, but decent.  You'll get to play as Kamen Riders and Ultramen from different eras.  You can race as the bad guys as well and while it's nice to be riding around as Kamen Rider Black; I get to ride as the Ultraman monsters and that's bloody awesome.  Well, it would be if the gameplay wasn't a broken mess.


The graphics are pretty decent with a good mix of bright, dark, and metallic coloring.  Plus, it has cute super deformed versions of the characters.  There's also a lot to see in the game and it adds a lot of charm and character to the game.  It was fun to keep an eye out for all of these little things, but I'm just repeating myself now.  There were some things that were incredibly rough looking as well such as blurry sprites and the brown rocky areas look way too dark.


Music has a nice fun upbeat symphonic sound that just fills you up with excitement and energy.  The music also goes well with the game and helps add on to that super hero racer feel.  Sadly, you won't remember any single track upon turning the game off, it's pretty forgettable.

The menus are in Japanese, but the announcer speaks in English.  You'll know which mode is which just by listening to the game.  I also love how this game uses audio clips from the shows that each character is from.  It's also funny hearing how different the audio quality is between each voice clip and it really shows.  The more modern (which are now retro) clips sound much more clear than the retro characters (now super retro characters).

Overall, one flaw ruined what possibly could've been a must own for the console.  If you want to give this game a go, I recommend using it as a virtual tour simulator thingy. That way you can drink in the sights and sounds of the game.  It's not like you are getting much thrill and speed out of playing this game the normal way anyway.  I give this game a 3.5 out of 10.  See you next year!

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