I can certainly see why Ben gave ChuChu Rocket! a 10. From what I know about Ben, ChuChu Rocket! has everything he would want in a game: originality, style, intense gameplay and a focus on gameplay over everything else. However, no matter how innovative the gameplay and concepts, the feeling I had while playing ChuChu Rocket! was close to what I felt while playing some other ground breaking titles like Sony's PaRappa The Rapper. As with these breakthrough titles, it seems their creators spend so much time focusing on tightening the gameplay that they don't focus as much on the game's length, and this only hurts the game. And while more apparent in PaRappa The Rapper, ChuChu Rocket! certainly falls to a similar affliction in terms of replay value.
The game's length for instance, is bound by the levels or playing fields that I could choose from. After a few hours of playing time, they began to repeat themselves, and it got worse the more I played. The other options available like the Puzzle and Stage Challenge Modes were fun, but were also over rather quickly and once completed there was little reason to play them again. And while the Puzzle Edit Mode is a very competent solution for players like me who would have liked more levels to play on, I don't have the time to create my own levels and this sort of option has never really interested me. The saving grace in this regard is that the game can be played online and given the simple graphics and objectives, it is the perfect vehicle for those who have been waiting to try out the modem that shipped with your Dreamcast. It is true that there are lag times, but they are the same for everyone. So in that regard, each game is played on a level playing field.
Aside from these negatives, I must reiterate that I agree with Ben about the ChuChu Rocket!'s finer points. It's amazingly simple gameplay, premise and objectives result in complex strategic elements. Such a break from the norm is rare these days and I certainly wouldnt mind a few more games like this being released on the Sega Dreamcast. In the end, ChuChu Rocket! had personality, it had style, it had solid online play and it came in under a $30 price tag. That certainly makes it a must buy in my book.
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