Review by chandlerbing

"Competent and fun shoot-em-up with a great bizarre sense of humour"

Cho Aniki and the series as a whole has had a certain reputation within the gaming community. The presence of muscular bodybuilders and suggestive poses has led to people being disturbed, frightened, intrigued or fascinated by the games.

And so Cho Aniki forms part of Nintendo's second Hanabi Festival of import titles for the European Virtual Console. It's a shoot-em-up but what separates this from the rest of the herd is the unique presentation and theme. The story revolves around the emperor of Planet Builder, after running out of protein for the Galactic Bodybuilder contest resorts to intimidate and invade other planets to steal their source of protein. This is the basic and odd storyline that the game follows.

While most shoot-em-ups follow the familar theme of having a Vic-Viperesque spaceship shooting other spacecraft and alient beings, Cho Aniki has you play the part of two celestrial beings - Itaden and Benten, who are accompanied by Samson and Adon, burly musclemen that play the role of Options and firing MAN BEAMS out of their heads. It's a s bizarre as they come and only serve to attract more attention in future installments. There isn't a huge amount of customisation that one may expect in the fire power but what is there is sufficient for the first installment of a non-typical shoot-em-up series.

- Gameplay and Difficulty -

The game has various difficulty settings ranging from Easy, Normal and Hard and 5 stages in total. In all honesty, Cho Aniki isn't anywhere near as tough as the likes of Gradius and Ikaruga. It's a much more gentle approach that suits the silliness and bizarre tone of the game as a whole that should appeal to those that are looking for having a fun rather than an extensive challenge. Charging up attacks or positioning your character in the right place is usually more than enough to take down most bosses. This is fairly disappointing as the player may not have enough time to admire some of the excellent boss designs before taking them down quickly.

- Conclusion -

Overall, Cho Aniki is a shoot-em-up with a theme that sets it apart from most other shoot-em-ups. Though there are more proficient shooters in the likes of Gradius, Cho Aniki is still a damn fun game that should be given a shot. Various articles have painted this game in a negative spin over the years due to suggestive themes and the very muscular bodybuilders, but this game is nowhere near as controversial as it is portrayed. Don't be frightened and give this game a shot on the Virtual Console. It's a pretty unique experience for 900 Wii points.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/12/08

Game Release: Cho Aniki (EU, 05/09/08)

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