Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chaka Khan with a side of Chaka vs. Chakan

So I can't explain what happens to me every once in a while, but something grabs me, sits me down in front of the tv, pulls out a random old game cart, and switches on a nightmare from the past. Possession? Evil bunnies of death?

I ain't kidding here. Am I the only one that sees the evil bunny in that picture above?

Anyway, that evil bunny is from (and this weekend's distraction is called) "Chakan" ... Not to be confused with Chaka Khan as my friend Christina Ice Dreamer pointed out to me. Nor Chaka, the neanderthal boy from Land of the Lost. No, no, no this has infinitely less soul and beadier eyes.

Yes, that pixilated fella is Chakan--a bloodthirsty, dual-sword-wielding mortal turned immortal in 16-bit goodness. Who knew such bloodthirst came in such pixilated packages? Hey! This was some spooky stuff back in the day! :)

Playing Chakan now (and even back then) is a bit like eating nasty salty black licorice fish. Let me explain in inner dialog format: "YUCK, why did I put this in my mouth and is there ever any end to the disgusted pain I'm feeling right now? I'm still chewing on this nasty candy? Who do I sue and will someone hurry up with the legal documentation because . . . Wait a second . . . is this all that bad? Hmm, maybe I'll have another! This is the worst tasting candy I've ever eaten! I must share! Cripes, did I just eat the whole bag of that nasty stuff?"

(I think I just told a story within a story there . . . )

Here's the bullet list of agony:
- Chakan has no save option.
- Chakan has delightfully painful music.
- Chakan is an unforgiving finger masher that requires muscle memory to the Nth degree.
- Chakan gives you limited resources to pull off cool stunts (aka Alchemy) and makes you try to pull off the impossible (like beating a boss whose attacks you can't avoid (unless you're blessed with the finger dexterity of a concert violinist) when you don't have said resources.
- Chakan is a miserable game that . . . You must play! LOL!

When I first put in Chakan, I wasn't even wanting to play Chakan. You know what I wanted to play? Soul Reaver. That's right, a completely different game--I just had forgotten which game was which.

I did a little Internet digging after I started playing Chakan, and I found a few interesting nuggets out. Basically, the rumor from that link is that Chakan was going to have a sequel released on the Dreamcast but never got made. Instead what happened was some of the concept work for what would have been Chakan 2 went toward another game ... Blood Omen 2, which as it turns out is Part of the Legacy of Kain series of games including ... Dun dun dun ... Soulreaver, the very same game my psyche was hungering for in the first place. I wanted to play Soulreaver, not Chakan, but now I'm too far into Chakan to give up Chakan . . . Chakan Chakan CHAKAN!

I'm not going to go into the whole plot and background of this game, we'll let Wikipedia do that for us. Instead, I just wanted to say that I'm now in the Elemental Planes portion of the game.

That's right, congrats me (I'm sure it only goes downhill from here in a punishing spiral of difficulty)!

Yeah, I'm just really irritated with the lack of a save button on this game . . . was that common back in 1992? I guess so . . . wild . . . it just means my old Sega box is going to be left on for a couple days. Sigh.

After I finish playing out this Chakan nightmare, perhaps then I'll step into Soulreaver again on my old Dreamcast like I had originally planned. It's been far too long! I may even have to play through this whole vampire series that I missed! I didn't even know about the Blood Omen, Legacy of Kain series! Seems a bit spooky, but I'm good with Spooky.

Till then ...

Happy dueling

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