Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2014
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Unga bunga!

The Good

Chuck Rock is one of several fun, single-player platforming games to be released under the Sega label in the early 1990s.

While Chuck Rock never ended up becoming as famous as a certain hedgehog and has largely been forgotten about, this game is a fun, well made, side-scrolling platformer in its own right.

The player takes control of "Chuck Rock" who lives in land that is perilous, prehistoric and -- in light of the mixture of cavemen and dinosaurs -- not historically accurate.

Mr. Rock is what one might call a "slacker", to use a once-popular phrase.

True to the slacker portrayal, Chuck is not well-spoken or well-groomed. He does not seem to have many career goals and his hobbies revolve around drinking beer, playing in a rock band with his pals (get it? A "rock" band in a prehistorical neighborhood) and spending private, fun time with his favorite lady friend.

Naturally, when someone decides to kidnap his girlfriend, he vows to rescue the damsel in distress with his beer belly and a series of well thrown rocks. Yeah, you read that right.

As you may have guessed, Chuck Rock is a platformer big on slapstick humor. It is not easy doing humor in a cartridge-based video game. This is one game that actually succeeds.

The dude caveman, has quite a few animated responses to his environment and, yeah, when the hero of the game battles the forces of evil with his belly, well, it is safe to say that this is not going to be serious game about the meaning of life or the human condition.

The Bad

The fault with Chuck Rock is that it does not breath enough originality into the single-player, platforming genre. Do not get me wrong; It is a very good game, but is not quite a great game.

While the levels and bosses are well-designed, the game could do with more of them. Chuck Rock first adventure seem a tad too short, and, frankly, the less said about the spinoff sequels the better.

The beer belly gut attack is indeed creative, even funny, but it is also a limited, short range attack. You cannot beat the game on "gut" instinct alone.

This means that, short of avoidance, you will have to find, pick up and throw a rock at an enemy. You can only pick up one rock at a time.

Yes, It is easy to pick up the rock. The animation utilized when picking up a rock is great, and it is nice to have different sized rocks. However, it is simply not enough originality in a side-scrolling action game.

The Bottom Line

Chuck Rock is a well-designed, single-player platformer set in slapstick world of slacker cavemen, angry dinosaurs and prehistoric villains named after real life pop stars.