Chuck Rock (Mega Drive) Review

By Athanasios 12.02.2021

Review for Chuck Rock on Mega Drive

Chuck Rock was one of those dime-a-dozen platformers that attempted to steal some of Super Mario's fame - yeah, and a little bit of Sonic's too. The reason? Like with the rest of its "ilk," Core Design's creation (yeah, that Core Design) simply failed to understand what made its more popular siblings become the classics they still are. Read on, and learn all about the adventures of a worthless caveman, and his quest to save his cavelady in distress, as Cubed3 travels to the past to take a look at it.

Initially a title for the - awesome - Amiga line of personal computers, you aren't missing much by playing a port of Chuck Rock on, well, pretty much any 16-bit platform. The only thing that this lacks is the original intro - maybe due to memory constraints, but more probably because this cut-scene shows dear Ophelia showing her sexy behinds to the players, as she bends over to take care of her laundry. Massive leaf bra included. While that happens, her hubby Chuck is hitting the bottle (thrice) while watching TV (don't ask), while an aroused… err, Caveman Elvis, or whatever his name is approaches Ophelia, and does the old club-in-the-head-and-kidnapping maneuver.

Screenshot for Chuck Rock on Mega Drive

Anyways, the game begins, and the kick-ass title theme starts playing; which sounds very… Mega Drive, by the way. You know, with that unique, "dirty" rock sound the system had. The rest of the OST isn't that catchy, though. It is just a generic fusion of funk and rock, with a little bit of Stone Age jungle vibe thrown in - and, in all honesty, the same can be said about the audio-visuals of Chuck Rock as a whole. This won't impress anyone. It's one more caveman-themed platformer (there are many), with a forgettable hero, a forgettable cast of enemies like lizards, mammoths, and even more lizards, and a bunch of… okay-ish, and stereotypically Jurassic locales.

Gameplay-wise, gone is the speed that can be usually found in the genre. Chuck isn't exactly in a hurry. He slowly walks from left to right, belly-hitting or jump-kicking his foes when necessary, which, make no mistake, is nowhere near as fun as stomping, hacking 'n' slashing, or projectile-throwing. Not only that, but the reach of Chuck's, otherwise impressive, set of abs, makes the whole thing extra annoying - as if the weird, unreliable hitboxes weren't aggravating enough. If you think that's there's a way to avoid confrontations, think again. This is all there is to be done here…

Screenshot for Chuck Rock on Mega Drive

Oh, yeah. The chubby hero can also pick up rocks of varying sizes and throw them at enemies, but these are mostly there to add a paper-thin layer of exploration, as these boulders can act as platforms that can help him follow a different route, avoid a number of enemies or traps, or simply reach a place where more points can be accumulated. Is there any incentive to do all this? Not really. Apart from the whole process being boring as hell, points are gathered way too slow, so you are better of going straight for the finishing line of each stage, and not spending any time with "exploration." On one hand, though, you'll probably need those 1-Ups, although this is definitely not one of those 'Nintendo Hard' video games.

Screenshot for Chuck Rock on Mega Drive

Some trial-and error-is to be expected in most retro platformers, but Chuck Rock is a bit too trial-and-error-y for its own sake, although far from the worst of its kind. The reason? It has you do a bunch of leaps of faith, deal with levels that are more annoying than challenging due to the way enemies have been placed around, with smaller critters occasionally blending in with the background. Generally, between trying to damage animals with Chuck's silly belly-hit move, or trying to stomach the boredom and aggravation that are the levels, this just isn't fun to play.

The best example of how boring this is how, while a tiny, super short adventure, it feels like it never ends. The blame should go to how each "world" is divided between four smaller acts… although there's really no reason to, as they aren't that different from each other. In other words: artificial length. Chuck Rock runs out of steam incredibly fast, and just keeps on offering the same few things it has to offer for an hour or so. Sorry to those who grew up with this, but Ophelia's sexy behinds, or enormous leaf bra isn't worth the trouble.

Screenshot for Chuck Rock on Mega Drive

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Chuck Rock doesn't do much to stand out from the rest of the generic, caveman-themed platformers. The short range of the protagonist's "attack" is enough reason to stop playing this, and the second-rate level design makes things even worse. Better try the, equally generic, but far more enjoyable, Joe & Mac, for some Stone Age fun.

Developer

Core Design

Publisher

Virgin Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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