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The Chocobos... They're Out There.

  • Dyhalto
  • 02/29/2016 02:32 AM
I never had the pleasure of playing the original Chocobo Panic, and Chocobo Panic X-MAS was an enjoyable enough game.
Chocobo Panic Space, though, is on a completely different level. It's right up there with Nebulus as fun factor and sheer excellence go. If another entry into the series ever came onto the scene, it'd be a tall order to outdo this one.

Visual: 5/5
Perhaps a signature move of koaangel's, the game once again opens with another fantastic animated opening sequence. Surpassing it's predecessor in every way, we're treated to a full prologue explaining the theft and subsequent scattering of the Aqua Nebulon Kingdom's magic gems, and her citizen's desperate plea to a cadre of Space Chocobos to retrieve them.

Level design leaves behind it's pleasantly competent roots and enters the realm of unadulterated genius. Not only is each stage radically different in it's theme and structure, but they're all functionally brilliant. More to be said there, in the Gameplay section.

No mere Pac Man clone ever looked this good.

Audio: 4.5/5
Another great selection of music. Fitting into the space motif is a number of tunes lifted from Metroid, Turrican 2, and Gokujyo Parodius. Okay, maybe that last one is more Chocobo theme oriented.
One thing the observant player might notice is a few tracks shared between this and the later released Nebulus. Both games take place in the same universe and, as such, recurring areas feature the same BGM. It's a nice way to offer throwbacks between the two.

And what seems to be another of koaangel's staples, there's even a sound test. I wish it gave us the original source of music though, instead of just "BGM01... BGM02".

Storyline: 4/5
The plot is fairly simple, and it gives the premise of collecting gems a genuine purpose.
It turns out they're an energy source for the Aqua Nebulon Kingdom. A couple of pint-size crooks try to steal them all, but wind up accidentally scattering them throughout the solar system instead. The Princess then sends a distress signal to a group of space faring chocobos who obviously had nothing better to do.

In space, where time is relative, every night is Saturday night.

Thereafter, a brief description is provided at the entrance to each stage, but otherwise the storyline goes into a deep freeze until the ending.

Gameplay: 5/5
You can't really call this a Pac Man clone anymore, despite the game description trying to categorize itself as such. It's more a puzzle game than anything else, complete with a couple of serious head scratchers. Often, you'll need to plan your route in order to avoid getting surrounded on multiple sides by an assortment of enemies more clever than the series' predecessors.
For example, the Choco Coins (power pellet equivalents) were gratuitous in the previous game. You could beat most of the boards without ever using one of them. Here, they become a substantial part of the strategy. If you don't keep in mind where the enemy respawn is when you knock some out, you'll wind up dumping a bunch of them on top of some gems. Similarly, you'll leave one available for later when you need to plow through a linear, well defended pathway into the next region.

And unlike the previous installments where difficulty levels simply added more foes to avoid, Chocobo Panic Space opens color-coded doors specific to each difficulty that intertwine some previously traversable areas with exclusive new ones. It's an ingenious way of recycling the same map, but maintaining the element of exploration.
And I'm sure it took an outrageous amount of pre-planning to make it happen.

Overall: 4.5/5
This is another one of those games you could find yourself going back to after a few years. It's inviting, challenging, and most importantly, fun as hell.

This is a typical ice sliding puzzle. If anybody can figure out how to get to that red block, help a brother out =)


Pages: 1
Thank you for this nice review!

A hint to get to the red block:
Some blocks can be moved by the chocobo
Pages: 1