Chenso Club is a bizarre action adventure game from Pixadome, Aurora Punks, and Curve Games that follows a group of fighters set to save the world from an alien invasion! It has an oldschool look and feel about it while also applying some modern day gimmicks like social media.
So does Chenso Club entertain and get the likes that it so desperately wants? Or does this one fail to appeal on social media? Let’s find out!
Chenso Club opens with a wonderfully done and cute comic that introduces the concept of the game, our first hero, and the impending alien invasion. As you play, you begin to unlock more heroes to help you along the journey, and one of the fun concepts of Chenso Club is that you can try and tackle the heavy mission alone or you can do it with a friend.
Each chapter takes you through a series of rooms before confronting the boss at the end of a stage, and when you defeat a boss, you are then tasked to walk a red carpet to receive notoriety as the paparazzi is trying to take pictures of you. Likes and shares increase your popularity which caters to your run in some ways, and this is a fun little twist on the video game hero storyline, as it is not simply go from Point A to Point B. It also includes some silly side stuff that actually does compliment the story in ways.
Overall, Chenso Club‘s storytelling and characters are a lot of fun. The comedy is pretty solid, and the poking fun of social media and harvesting likes is a nice jab at modern day culture. Where the game shines most is in its comic-style panels, as this is an adorable way to quickly and easily tell its story without bogging down the player with tons of information.
Gameplay-wise, Chenso Club is an oldschool action platformer in many ways. Movement is a big sluggish, but you can dash in any direction and use attacks, both light and special, on the ground or in the air. On top of the normal actions, your hero can go to the shop or the Cool Bus for a chance to buy or win powerups that will assist you on your journey. What makes Chenso Club more interesting, however, is the strange rogue-lite element that takes all of your powerups away from you if you die.
Interestingly, though, your progress carries over, meaning if you beat a boss and unlocked the next stage area, you can start your next run from there. All unlocks also stay unlocked despite any deaths, which does make this experience a bit more casual than your average rogue-lite. The combat, in general, is not so hard, even on higher difficulty levels, and enemies frequently drop orbs and hearts that refill your health. It is worth noting that you use your health to purchase powerups from the shop, so that is a nice yet risky tradeout. Thankfully, health can be replenished quickly if you carefully take out enemies.
A lot of details kind of slip under the radar while playing, so right when you think are you getting the swing of things, Chenso Club kind of throws a curveball at times. Some things work really well while others just don’t, but I do appreciate the game for trying. There is honestly a lot going on despite the simplicity of actual gameplay, and I would have preferred a bit more refining on some of the side quests and such.
Boss fights are a mixed bag for me. While some are incredible and feel like proper bosses, others can be a bit underwhelming and lack the proper challenge that others have. Controls can feel a bit sluggish, too, so on certain bosses where hazards exist, moving away from said hazard can feel like an impossible task because of the slow movement. Thankfully, many of the bosses are super-fun, and their comic-strip introductions are usually quite entertaining.
The game looks amazing, as the sprites for characters, enemies, and levels look really good. The heroes, particularly, have a strong yet adorable look to them that is visual pleasing. Sadly, however, there are some framerate issues here and there, and I kept running into a visual glitch during the paparazzi section where my pets’ photos would just be blank. Not sure what that was all about, but strange nonetheless.
One area where Chenso Club really does shine, though, is in its fantastic soundtrack! Every level and area is full of life thanks to the stellar music that compliments everything on screen, including the silly stuff like the Cool Bus. Each area has its own unique music to go along with the theme, and bosses, including mini-bosses, usually get their own songs to give them some attention as well.
Chenso Club is a fun game that has a whole lot going on, and unfortunately, I think that is what hurts it the most. As an action-platformer, the title performs quite well, but the addition of so many side-quests, gigs, and silly things can distract away from the actual gameplay. The visuals, for the most part, look amazing, but there are random moments that seem to suffer and need some more polish. Boss fights are a mixed bag of great and so-so, and the soundtrack is the only area, in my opinion, without blemish.
Those problems do not mean that Chenso Club is a bad game. Quite the contrary, this is a solid title with loads to do, and the accessibility in regards to difficulty is a great means of allowing more players to enjoy the title their way. The story is a bizarre yet amusing one, and the comic panels used throughout are fantastic.
Hopefully over time, Chenso Club sees some patches to address some of the more unfortunate problems, but as it stands now, this is still a game that anyone can enjoy, laugh at, and be challenged by.
Story is cute, simple, and fun
Some amazing boss fights with solid humor
Variety of playable characters and co-op mode
Framerate issues and a weird bug during paparazzi section
Some side quests feel unpolished
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.