Chester Cheetah - Too Cool to Fool
At a Glance: There are plenty of reasons to hate Chester Cheetah. Despite delighting children for years with hip catchphrases like "Aiaiaiaiai" and "Fuck the police, comin' straight from the underground", not to mention his killer shades and a fresh attitude so in-your-face it'll make you sneeze orange powder and shit skateboard parts, Chester never quite managed to win the hearts of the American public. Also, the snacks he advertises have contributed to a growing obesity problem, one that can only be solved with strategically placed cluster bombs at Jerry Springer tapings and furry conventions. And as if that wasn't reason enough to hate Chester Cheetah, this awful sidescroller gives you another one. It claims to be the fastest, most radical game around, a statement that is two parts exaggeration and one part lie. It's like calling The Legend of Zelda a gripping medieval fantasy psychological drama about the dangers of going alone and the importance of taking this.
Platform: SNES (Download Emulator here - 395k)
Download: Download ROM here - 368k
Game Plot: Well, since this game is based on a hip cartoon mascot whose appetite for snacks is surpassed only by his sheer volume of 'tude, you have to expect that the only text in the game will consist mostly of forced slang and unnecessary rhyming. Chester Cheetah, who's so cool he listens to Tool at school and drools in fools' pools, delivers on that expectation by explaining the plot, which doesn't do much to justify this game's utterly unjustifiable existence.
Chester Cheetah, here!
I'm righteous kitty from the heart of hip city.
But right now I'm being held against my will in Four Corners Zoo. Like, squaresville.
I just don't dig this bonus gig.
Even though Chester complains about being held against his will in a zoo, for some reason you start the first level out relaxing on a bench in the park. The game begins after you watch some guy named Mean Eugene running away with a motorcycle on his back. Apparently this motorcycle belonged to Chester Cheetah, since the entire game is a quest to find the motorcycle, piece by piece, and reassemble it. I thought it was pretty strange that a cheetah would use a motorcycle instead of just running everywhere, but upon starting the game I discovered that Chester Cheetah is the slowest fucking cheetah in the universe. This throws his whole advertising career into question - how do we know his allegedly fast movements in his commercials weren't done with special effects, or with prerecorded movements of a completely different cheetah? This doesn't really have anything to do with the game, I just thought it was interesting playing a sidescroller starring the Milli Vanilli of the snack food industry.
Keep in mind that not all video games based on unrelated products from huge corporations are bad. M.C. Kids is the best example of a corporate propaganda game that should have been terrible, but somehow ended up being really good. This left me with a small ounce of hope that this game might turn out to be playable, but that hope shriveled up and died after the first minute of plodding through the perfectly flat level with an occasional pause to attempt Sonic the Hedgehog's "shake a finger at you" pose.
The gameplay is very slow and boring, mostly because you have the walking speed of a crippled hobo on stilts and you take a three-second break to shake your head and make your trademark "Aiaiaiaiai" noise whenever you get hit, but there isn't anything overtly terrible about it. The items are a different story.
Weapons: Your first powerup is an electric guitar, which is the worst powerup since that arrow thing in Snake Rattle and Roll that reversed your controls and made you dive off a cliff. When Chester grabs this guitar, he immediately starts kicking his foot, hopping around, headbanging and generally rocking out hardcore. He becomes invincible during this time, which might be useful if you could control where he went. But you have no control over Chester Cheetah during this time, so you pretty much just watch and hope he hops into the enemies you want to kill. His skills get even more impressive in level three, when you can pick up a guitar while riding across the water on a floating hippo. You even get to watch him hop back and forth and fall right off the edge and into the water while you sit there, completely helpless to do anything! Rock on!
He can also grab sunglasses, which reveal more cheetos for him to eat, and a pair of running shoes, which allows him to take off running and actually build up some speed. Neither of these items are as bodacious or as tubular to the max as the guitar, but they compensate by not making you fall into the ocean.
Enemies: Chester's deadly foes include roller skating turtles (who move faster than he does), bouncing springs with sunglasses, wolves who attack you with silverware, porcupines that you can jump on and kill, snakes with mohawks and giant ants who float through the air on balloons. So basically they listed every single animal they could think of and decided on how each one should act while pounding down shots of vodka and rubbing alcohol.
Number of Levels: There's one level for every motorcycle part you need to find. And let me tell you, nothing compares to the thrill of fighting through a beach level full of alligators and giant dive-bombing ants in order to collect a pair of handlebars.
Number of Bosses: There are sub-bosses sprinkled through a few of the levels. You don't have to fight them though, you just need to sit there and avoid their attacks, and sometimes walk to the right edge of the screen, and the boss will give up and go away.
Defining Moment: Was it the way Chester shattered like glass every time he touched the water? The boxing kangaroo that trapped me against a nearby tree, forcing me to reset? The porcupines that hurt you if you touch them from below but die if you touch their spiny backs? All worthy contenders, but I'd say the most magical part of the game is watching your character play the guitar while committing suicide by jumping off a hippo. If Nintendo had taken note of that concept and incorporated it into a few of their first-party games, they'd still be winning the console war.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).