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Choaniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko no Gyakushu (Saturn) artwork

Choaniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko no Gyakushu (Saturn) review

"!!~CAUTION~!! This review is best read with unsuspecting family members, close friends, or complete strangers for maximum effect. You have been warned."

This review is best read with unsuspecting family members, close friends, or complete strangers for maximum effect. You have been warned.

With my original Saturn collecting dust and a second one now going to take the bruises in its stead, I figured it was time to play that game as a way of breaking in the replacement. An import horizontal shoot'em up, Cho Aniki: (Long Subtitle) is a release that's infamous for... stuff. In case you weren't aware, the series is known for its bizarre muscular slant, featuring a consistent wave of bald-headed beefcakes in thongs to assault one's sight. For variety's sake, you'll also see these bodybuilders combined with something else, the most common being machinery. Don't be surprised to see something like a locomotive with a face and bulging arms in these games.

This fourth release in the series has those elements, but along comes a graphical upgrade... of sorts. Replacing the colorful imagery of prior games are digital sprites of actual actors and "realistic" background settings. This is as creepy as it sounds, giving Cho Aniki: (Long Subtitle) such a unique and horrifying look. The development team wanted to hit the ground running with the facelift too, gracing unfortunate gamers with one of the most unforgettable images in video game history:

While nothing ever becomes as eye-gouging as the above picture, Cho Aniki: (Long Subtitle) still has a bunch of crazy things that'll make you question the development team's sanity. Muscle men ride literal red rockets in a manly stadium with gladiators, muscle men with seagull wings fly through the skies at a manly beach, and, by the end of the game, supposedly naked muscle men shoot laser beams out their penis. The boss battles are just as silly, pitting you against a huge frog-snail that transforms into a cow with a tied man on top, a killer bowl of squid soup that sprays bullets, and a giant spaceship modeled after, you guessed it, a bodybuilder. I think after playing this and PuLiRuLa so close to each other, I fear the random dreams I'll be experiencing for the next few months.

Now if you're thinking Cho Aniki: (Long Subtitle) could potentially be a guilty pleasure that can be enjoyed every now and then, the disappointing play mechanics get in the way of that pursuit. At first it'll feel a bit difficult, clearly because you're playing for the first time and learning where enemies pop out, but also due to hard-to-spot bullets that blend with the backdrops. However, after just one serious playthrough, you'll understand how the game functions, how predictable enemy formations are, and learn to position your two muscle helpers to act as shields. Shockingly, Cho Aniki: (Long Subtitle) quickly turns into a dull shoot'em up, and not even the insane cluster of craziness saves the game.

Damaging things further is the obvious ambition of the title. Totaling in at 14 friggin' stages, this is quite possibly the longest shoot'em up I've played, lasting well over one hour to make it to the finale. That's overkill for even a fantastic shooter, so imagine how dreadful it's like for one with issues. On my first playthrough, I completed the seventh stage and thought I was right at the end, with the celebrating in the following cutscene and all. Afterwards, I was forced to play an absurdly lengthy intermission level where I took control of the main villain: a towering muscle man with a helmet that fires massive laser beams at asteroids. This went on for at least three to four straight minutes. For some reason. It was torture.

After completing that abomination of a level, I was filled with anguish once I realized that was the mid-point of Cho Aniki: (Long Subtitle). At this point, the game felt more like an endurance test than a matter of skill as I struggled to stay interested. Then the unthinkable occurs. The final stage was reached, and after going through another army of strange things and bullets, I had to go through a boss gauntlet. That's 11 bosses in a row... Worse, if you lose at the final boss and use a continue, you have to repeat the entire stage with a usually-depowered shooter.

I don't think anything else needs to be said about this wreck, so I'll end with another set of lovely pictures.


pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (May 12, 2012)

Even after reviewing all these Double Dragon games, it's crazy to think there's still a ton of games left to review due to varying interpretations.


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zippdementia posted May 14, 2012:

Nice handling of the title, pickhut. Most people stop with the funny pictures and don't get much into the mechanics.
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pickhut posted May 14, 2012:

Thanks for reading! Yeah, whenever the game gets brought up, it's mostly just about the images and stuff. I wanted to delve further... and suffered. 14 stages really is overkill for a shooter. I think my 4/10 is too kind, as well. Might change it to a 3/10. Gah, ratings!

And honestly, I'm surprised "that" image was accepted for the site considering the new image guideline xD. I'm bummed you can see it the moment the page loads... I was hoping the warning and first two paragraphs would be big enough for someone to have to scroll down to it.
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Roto13 posted May 15, 2012:

I bought the PSN version of this game for the novelty of it and it's pretty awful. The Cho Aniki on Virtual Console (the first one, I guess) is a pretty solid shmup, but this one is terrible. The enemies are bullet sponges. The bosses take forever to take down, and it's not like they're fun anyway.

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