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Chakan: The Forever Man Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 64%
Chakan: The Forever Man
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Chakan: The Forever Man Chakan: The Forever Man Chakan: The Forever Man Chakan: The Forever Man
  • Review Score:

  • B-
How hard is too hard? I always have to ask that whenever I play a good chunk of the games from the third and fourth generations. That particularly sucks since those generations had some truly awesome games that are hard to appreciate due to their outright insane level of difficulty. It always hurts when I have to put a game in that category, and having to put Chakan: The Forever Man into that group is even more torturous than trying to beat it.

Based on a comic book, Chakan is about a warrior who got too cocky about his success, even saying he could beat Death himself. Sure enough, Death took that as a challenge and appeared, promising eternal life if Chakan won. Chakan succeeded but missed the fine print on the deal that made him a supernatural bounty hunter for all eternity. Despite the story sounding like a blatant rip-off of Ghost Rider, it did provide a solid premise for the game and allows for some amazing atmosphere for the time.

Chakan (Genesis)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The visuals are excellent by Genesis standards. The levels have a ton of detail and are very atmospheric. I loved the feel of the levels in the air and water realms. The animations are impressive as well. Chakan's spinning sword slice looks just as awesome as Luke's similar move in the Super Star Wars games. Even the soundtrack works wonderfully, providing the perfect creepy mood. I even get chills in the lobby.

I wish I could just rate this game based on the look and feel; it would've been an easy "A". However, the gameplay has to be counted, too. Chakan has plenty of tools at his disposal. He could swing his swords in any direction. He can find other weapons like a sickle and a sledgehammer. He can mix potions to heal, slow enemies, or do various other things. He would seem to be unstoppable. Unfortunately, the game was designed to be as cruel as Death's deal. One death sends Chakan back to the lobby. All three stages of each of the four realms has to be beaten on one time limit. Chakan moves so slow that making jumps becomes a royal pain and trying to dodge attacks becomes a nightmare. Worst of all, there is no save feature whatsoever. Perfect runs that I saw on YouTube (HOW THE HELL DID THEY DO THAT???) clock around two hours, and we're expected to beat the game in one sitting? Was Sega insane?!?

Even though I am generally averse to remakes of classic movies and games, I say Sega should remake Chakan. The game has incredible atmosphere and a ton of awesome ideas, but it's so ridiculously hard that few people will truly appreciate them. This game actually makes the Ghosts & Goblins games look like a cakewalk! This game is worth checking out for the hardest of hardcore players, but most people would have an easier time dueling Death for real.
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