Chu Chu Rocket - A Mainstream Viewpoint!
You may well be amazed to learn that the recent Reservoir Gods conversion of
the Dreamcast game 'Chu Chu Rocket', has had a write-up, in a totally
unexpected place. So we now turn to Stuart Campbell's review in the January
2002 issue of 'PC Zone' (Dennis Publishing) A magazine which is normally as
Atari aware, as a blind man with his eyes poked out in a desert, or
something... CiH, Dec '01
'Stuart Campbell reports from a world where no platform is out of reach'
As you'll have seen if you read last month's letters page, or visited the PC
ZONE online forum, Emu Zone has come under attack recently from some of PC
ZONE's fine readership for its slack attitude to the evil software piracy
going on in the guise of emulation, and the attendant deaths through
starvation, of countless thousands of impoverished software publishers.
So to start this month's column off, we're going to talk about the emulation
of a game that was actually free on its original release, in the hope that
no-one will blame Emulation Zone for the imminent collapse of Western
society and all that we hold dear.
As it happens, almost no one in said Western society bought Sega's ill-
starred Dreamcast console, and that means only a distressingly small number
of people ever got to experience the joys of one of the first ever online
console games, Chu Chu Rocket! (so named, incidentally, because the game
stars a bunch of mice, and the Japanese equivalent of 'squeak' is 'chu'. So
it's really called 'Squeak Squeak Rocket!' which may be the best name for a
videogame ever, but anyway.)
Chu Chu Rocket is a super-fast puzzle game with its roots in Lemmings. You
have no direct control over the hordes of little furry mammals which
populate the game, and you have to guide them to safety (a rocket) in a
perilous environment (exploding space station full of cats). We don't have
time to detail its finer points here, but suffice to say it's one of the
most entertaining things you've ever played. Or rather, haven't played,
since - as we've already established - you didn't buy a Dreamcast.
But no, in a wholly predictable turnaround of fortune (what, you thought we
were just shooting the breeze), you can. Because some people with clearly
too much time on their hands have just produced a more or less perfect
replication of it. On the Atari ST.
The ST version of Chu Chu Rocket! plays, looks, and (to a slightly lesser
extent) sounds just like the real thing. It has the competitive modes, the
puzzle modes, challenge modes, and everything else featured in the original.
And while it's been primarily released for real ST owners to copy onto
floppy disks and load into their real STs, the magic of emulation means that
you can, obviously, now play it on your PC. And as a bonus, you won't have
the spectres of destitute former Eidos, EA, and Infrogrames executives
shambling around in a Tesco car park, swilling Special Brew on your
consciences while you do it.
Normal civilisation destabilising service will be resumed (in a very big
way, Neo Geo fans) next issue. Thank you.