Chenso Club is a 2D action platformer with roguelike features hoping to take your gaze away from the many, many, many other games in the genre, employing an over-the-top Saturday Morning Cartoon style, all-female cast and more than a bucket full of blood to go with it. Let’s jump in and have see if we can join the Club.
Chenso Club has a story in which aliens are attacking and your team just happens to be the planet’s first and only line of defence, fortunately, small girls equipped with chainsaws seem to have a knack for saving the world time and time again.
The story is told in a comic book style with static images and I’d be lying if I said I had paid enough attention to tell you what it was about, fortunately, this is an old-school kind of game in which you don’t need to be knee deep in lore to enjoy, the art is really well done in the cutscenes so I will provide props for that, otherwise it’s a tale that’s easy enough to ignore.
Graphically Chenso Club employs that lovely 2D sprite look that just about every indie game has had since Shovel Knight kicked the scene into overdrive, not an issue at all as it’s personally one of my favourite graphical styles and it’s really well done here.
The sprites are so fluidly animated that you can’t help but fall in love with them, they are all over the top, smack of that golden NES era look and of course when you introduce them onto your chainsaws plenty of the red stuff drops out.
The colour scheme used for the game also mimics Saturday Morning Cartoons in that it uses the whole rainbow and then some for one of the more colourful, violent romps you can find out there, it really does do a fantastic number on your rose-tinted glasses making it look like how you remember SNES game looking.
Chenso Club initially gives you one character “Blue” who’s an android with chainsaws and several difficulties in which to play through the game, being it’s got roguelike elements in you can expect every “run” of the game to be different from the last with it’s randomly generated levels.
The controls are brilliant with a pad and really responsive and intuitive, this is a game that rewards quick reactions with its platforming and mix of basic combat including that staple of every game nowadays “The dash with invincibility frames”. Basic combat is the order of the day here, not an issue with this when you promote the game as a 2D Brawler Platformer but it’s worth noting that you’re not exactly going to have to remember a combo list before going in.
During the levels you get the chance to break these up by accessing Bonus Games which are tests of your platforming abilities and further, these are really focused challenges and tend to stand out a little more than the stages which have a tendency to bleed into each other due to the “Random” nature of them.
At the end of the stage you get to pose for an in-game Social Media called Chirp, this gets you fans which allow you to unlock the chance to find more items on your runs (Remember this has those Roguelike tendencies after all!), again a nice little addition but I feel maybe it could have been fleshed out a little more.
Over the course of the story, you’ll unlock another 4 girls with which to tackle the game and they all play quite differently so it’s always worth having a go when you unlock them to see if you’re more of a melee or ranged kind of player.
While Chenso Club isn’t a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, it’s sadly outside of its look an average romp that feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. The game has a lot of comedy in it and the graphics and nods to other games and media shine throughout but it’s attached to flavour of the week roguelite gameplay and doesn’t offer anything other titles like ScourgeBringer or DeadCells haven’t already done better.
Offensively Average, Worth a go for fans of the genre only.
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