Sachen Super Cartridge Version 4:


Review by Keith Erickson



Graphics: see below

Sound: see below

Gameplay: see below

Overall: see below

Beneath the cheaply printed unlaminated label and past the first few failed attempts at games lie a few quality titles that you've probably never played before.  Sachen, it appears, has arranged the games on this cart in order of quality, starting with the crappiest ones first and ending with a few real gems.  Let’s start from the beginning.

masterchunes.png (3435 bytes)Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu - If the controls didn’t suck so badly, this game would still stink. I don’t know who this Drunkard Hu guy is, but if you want to enjoy this game, follow his lead and get loaded first.  The worst thing about this crummy platformer is the control, any game that makes you press up to jump isn’t a game I want to play.  Basically, you jump around shooting bugs and pots to reveal the 8 yin/yang symbols you need to open the portal to the boss, who basically walks back and forth shooting at you (how clever).  Kill the boss and grab the key to go to the next level, which will have our hero doing the same bug shooting and yin/yang collecting, repeat until bored.

Graphics - 4 Sound - 4 Gameplay - 4 Overall - 4

Metal Fighter - A few poorly executed semi-clever ideas do not make a good game. The most clever thing about this lame shooter is the mini boss battles you must win to collect power-ups.  The game overall is a mediocre at best shooter wiith impossibly tough bosses.  No matter how hard I try to like it, I just can't bring myself to play this one for long.

Graphics - 4 sound - 4 Gameplay - 4 Overall - 4

Galactic Crusader - Go space butterfly, save the cosmos!  This game makes little sense, but at it’s core is a generic space shooter with a wide variety of weapons. When you start up the game you see a witch colliding with a butterfly, from there on you zoom through space blasting anything that moves.  The game's not much fun, but if you like Megamania, you might find yourself playing this one for a few minutes at least.  And again, like in Metal Fighter, the bosses are impossibly tough.

Graphics - 4 Sound -4 Gameplay - 4 Overall - 4

Auto Upturn - Weird, Weird, Weird. This is one odd game, and for some reason, it’s one of my favorites on this cart.  Take one of those classic sliding puzzles, and change the sliding element to a pick up and move the pieces around action, then add in enemies who wander around aimlessly that you have to avoid.  What you get is at best a mediocre game, but add on top of that a thick coating of weirdness and good graphics, and it becomes quite enjoyable.  In the first round, you play as a cat who has to avoid dogs wearing glasses and flying bones to put together a picture of…Uh, I’ll tell you when I figure it out. The next round, you play as Santa while avoiding monsters? And flying alien blobs wearing capes to assemble a picture of Santa in New York (this by far is the weirdest of all the levels).  Level three regains some sanity, as you play as a sailor assembling a picture of a ship while avoiding whales and squids.  As the levels progress, the game gets harder, in level 6, the puzzle pieces start disappearing, and in level 7, more pieces start turning invisible.  The great thing about level 7 is you play as a vampire avoiding priests and garlic while assembling a picture of a topless woman (gotta love all that crazyness).  When you start the game, you often have no idea of what the picture is that you’re assembling, pausing the game will show you what the completed picture will look like, but take a really good look, because the next time you want to see the complete picture, the palette will be darker and muddier, until it becomes far less helpful.  All in all, Auto Upturn is a fun way to spend a half hour or so, especially if you like games that are extremely weird.

Graphics - 8 Sound - 5 Gameplay - 5  Overall - 6

Magic Cube - A pretty good, yet extremely generic puzzle game.  Although this game borrows heavily from a number of titles, I’d have to say it most closely resembles Columns.  Magic Cube uses the 3-in-a-row vertical, horizontal, or diagonal matching scheme of Columns, Tengen Tetris’s Vs. the computer or other player competition, with a little bit of Dr. Mario’s kill the critters with matching blocks aspect into a pretty good (if not total rip-off) game.  As the title implies, your playing pieces are square and made up of a random grouping of colors.  Use the afore mentioned Columns matching technique to clear pieces from the playfield, while watching out for little creatures who pop onto the screen and can be eliminated by sandwiching them between 2 pieces of the same color for extra points.  Overall, Magic cube is a quality puzzle game with a lot of gameplay options that’ll keep you entertained for a good while.

Graphics - 5 Sound - 5 Gameplay - 8 Overall - 8

Super Pang 2 - They saved the best for last.  This is Sachen’s unofficial port of the popular Super Pang (Super Buster Brothers in the US).  Pang is one of those games I kind of suck at, yet always enjoy playing (just like Boulder Dash).  In Pang, you shoot harpoons at bouncing balls that break into smaller bouncing balls until they’re destroyed (kind of like Asteroids), the concept is simple, but the action is fast and enjoyable.  There are plenty of power-ups in the game that give you more firepower, or slow down the bouncing balls, also the varied level design adds quite a bit of fun to the game.  Though Pang is a game designed for 16 bit hardware, Sachen has managed to put in some really good background graphics, and kept the balls large and plentiful, though they do flicker and sometimes cause slowdown.  The only real flaws with this game are the sensitive collision detection (causes you to die a bit more than you should) and the occasional bug that resets the game to the 6-in-1 menu screen.  All in all, Super Pang 2 is a fun game that should bring you many hours of joy.

Graphics - 9 Sound - 5 Gameplay - 7  Overall - 8


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Last updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 12:59 AM