Review by Videogamer
"A great action-puzzle game that most people likely never played when it came out."
I found a good obscure Turbografx16 game on the Wii Virtual Console, and I have to say that it is definitely worth the $6. Chew Man Fu is a sort of action puzzle game where you roll around 4 different colored balls and try to get them on matching colored floor tiles. It sounds a bit odd but it is actually quite enjoyable.
The story is that you're a girl appointed by an old guy on a cloud to save the Egg Roll dynasty from the evil Chew and his minions. For a puzzle game of this era it's a darn fine story ;).
I'll come right out and say that when the Turbo came out, I had no knowledge of it's existence and as a result I don't know much about the system's capabilities except for what I've seen in this game and screen shots of a few others. From what I can tell, the graphics are at least above average. There isn't a whole lot of color to the graphics, but everything from your character to the balls to the enemies is easily distinguishable.
There really isn't much to the controls, the control pad moves your character, holding the 1 button (or B on a Cube controller) allows you to roll the balls around, and the 2 button (or A on a Cube controller) allows you to kick a ball that you are currently rolling/holding. I've used both the remote and Cube controller and both work great, so it's really just a matter of personal preference. I don't have a classic controller but I'd imagine it works fine too. Most of the time the controls work fine, but occasionally the player won't go around the corner you want when in a tight spot. It's not a huge issue, but I have lost a few lives to it so I knocked off 2 points.
There aren't many songs, but none of them are bad. That said, they can get mildly repetitive during long play sessions. The sound effects are pretty much standard fare for when it came out so they aren't spectacular but certainly get the job done.
Each stage is a single screen with a series of walls and four balls with matching color panels. There are also up to four enemy characters on the screen roaming around. Some exist just to try to touch your character so you will lose a life, others will break walls, dance on the balls, and pick up the balls. The AI isn't anything spectacular, but it's not completely dumb either, pretty typical for a 16-bit game. Your goal is to get the balls on their matching panels within the time limit armed with the abilities of rolling and kicking the balls. By kicking the balls you can defeat enemies and break down walls to help you achieve your goal. You do need to be careful kicking though, as it kicks you back when it returns. There are also item pickups that include destruction waves (ie. Picking it up destroys all walls and enemies in the specified direction), earthquakes, and ones that temporarily make all balls one color. The different color balls also have different levels of destructive and attack power, adding a further level of strategy to the mix. Overall I've found it to be a very enjoyable action-puzzle game design.
Replay Value/Longevity: 8/10
I've read that there are like 500 or 550 total levels. There are 5 areas of 10 levels each, but after you beat level 50 you're provided a password to a second quest which has new, more difficult level designs. Currently I'm on the second run, but I'd imagine there's several more. Note that though I mentioned passwords, the Wii saves them for you, though it couldn't hurt to write them down on occasion. So there's definitely a substantial single-player offering here. You also have the option to go through the levels with a second player and play a basic game of 2-player kickball. There is also a fully featured and easy to use level editor that lets you make your own levels if you so desire, though you can't save more than 12 of them. Overall, there's quite a bit of replay value and longevity to be had here.
Overall, this is a great little action/puzzle game. It might not be to everybody's taste, but if you have a Wii and $6 to spare, I highly recommend giving it a try.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 03/05/07
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