(from 3 WONDERS)

Reviewed by Malc

Chariot. Pish name for a game, much less a fine 2-player shooter such as this. Chariot - reminds me of those sort of bathtub settees on wheels that old Victorian bearded women with gammy legs used to ride around on. 'Hey, gies a go on yer chariot, Jessie!'...

Anyway, Chariot, the Game, is a gem. Yet another shmup I haven't heard of before (I'm beginning to think this is a conspiracy), it's a third of Capcom's 3 WONDERS arcade game- a 3-in-one special, the other two-thirds being a lovely platformer in the same style, and a puzzler.

Thanks to the latest Callus, now we can all play this beautifully designed trio on our PCs. The first thing that strikes you is the graphical style. There are some beautifully coloured and detailed backgrounds, and the enemies are fabulously hand-drawn, in a cute, yet quite unsettling way. Typical of this is the bosses who are mostly representations of the signs of the Zodiac, but when hit too many times turn into nasty versions (see the Gemini pics below)

Music is standard Capcom 'organ' drivel, fairly tuneful, but I really do hate the instrument sounds the musicians use. Sounds just like Christmas did in my house when I was 12 and got a Yamaha keyboard and talentlessly plinked and plonked through to Boxing Day.

'Nuff about that though, as the game itself is a difficult and immensely playable beast, similar in style to Konami's Parodius series. It features 6 or so stages, each with a half-way boss, and the last stage makes you fight most of the buggers all over again, culminating in a fight to the death with a sun-headed chappie, who seems to be awfully small for a final boss.

Your weapons are a bit limited, but you do have a series of clingy-onny shiny things which allow you to fire smart-bombs pretty regularly.

Right, it's dead late and I can't be bothered telling you any more about it - go and have a peek at the pics below...

SCORE: 8/10

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See what I mean about them being a bit disturbing? Not cute at all really. Must say it's a nice change from Parodius's fluffy penguins and chickens.

I like this bit. Small touches in a game can elevate the fun: These Moons turn into crescent versions and finally disappear when shot at.

Bloody hell! Did Jules Verne design this game? The Grandad of the Moons you previously wasted appears in armour to give you a beating. Turns into a right nasty Moon before it dies.

Green gremlins stuck to spikey planks. Ah, yes.

Brilliant bit this. 'Gemini' Twins roam around your character, and if you get enough hits in, they turn into....

THESE!!! Horrible spitting gargoyley twins....blech!

Notice the addons behind your bum... these loose off the big shots when fully powered up. This level ends with...

Crab Bloke, who runs around the screen and spits wee crabby things at you. Lovely shading, great boss designs.

This is the nasty version of 'Sagittarius'. He loses his horsey body and goes all skeletony and angry.

I just realised that Callus only allows 99 screengrabs:( So there's no pics of the last level then. Here we have springy slinkies with skeleton faces, watch out for their bounces! Your character has a sort of shielded protection at this point, comes in quite handy for taking a couple of unavoidable hits during the later stages.

THE END! Another day, another princess saved. She doesn't look very happy though. Bet she wasn't allowed out for the toilet all the time she'd been imprisoned. Must be bursting for a pee. (I really shouldn't drink during weekdays.)


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie