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Cho Aniki
Ai Cho Aniki

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Bakuretsu Rantouden
Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko

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Otoko no Tamafuda
Seinaru Protein Densetsu
Zero Cho Aniki

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Cho Aniki: Otoko no Tamafuda (超兄貴 男の魂札) - WonderSwan (2000)

Cover

Cho Aniki makes its first handheld appearance with Otoko no Tamafuda, an RPG for the WonderSwan. The title roughly translates to "Man's Tamafuda," which is apparently a weird made up word, a combination of the word "tamashii" (soul) and "hanafuda" (a Japanese card game.) Which almost makes sense, given that all of the battles are card-based. Without knowing Japanese, it's really hard to figure how the battle system works or even remotely how to play the game - seemingly, you draw cards, use them to counteract your opponent, and hopefully attack them.

There are several protagonists to choose from, including Idaten, Benten, Adon, Samson, Yaemon (that train-with-a-face), Hikaru 17 (a new character), as well as Sabu and Adam. The game seems to take place in outer space, and you wander the galaxy in search of foes. Naturally, the trademark sense of humor is all over the place - this is probably the only game where you can prance into bathrooms and talk to the people whilst they are using the urinals. Also particularly amusing is a menu option labeled "Feelings *heart*" where your characters will ramble about nonsense, like how much they want to see a Cho Aniki anime or their opinions on bikini briefs.

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Otoko no Tamafuda (WonderSwan)

Otoko no Tamafuda (WonderSwan)



Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu (超兄貴~聖なるプロテイン伝説~) - PlayStation 2 (2003)

Cover

Masaya packed up its bags during the 32-bit era, so "The Legend of Holy Protein" was made by X-nauts, a team of former Masaya members, in collaboration with shoot-em-up development team Psikyo. If you've played any of their other titles like Sengoku Ace, you can expect the similar competant, yet somewhat unremarkable gameplay. Still, after the disaster of the PlayStation/Saturn game, it's nice to have a title that's at least somewhat enjoyable. There's some sort of plot that revolves around the Holy Protein, who tell our favorite bodybuilders about some magical item that will stregthen their muscles even more.

You actually control the Protein, which is floating glob of some kind - Adon and Samson still float by as your bodyguards, and this time you can even pick from a variety of formations to defend yourself with. Additionally, by rotating the right analog stick, your characters will dance and slowly build up an attack meter that allows them to shoot the ultimate weapon: The Men's Beam. The graphics are completely terrible, although I wouldn't doubt that the totally amateurish look may be intentional. The music is somewhat dull compared to previous games, and the excessive sound effects are quite annoying. The early stages lack the imaginative craziness we've come to expect from the series, but it picks up as you get further. This time around you'll find a Mona Lisa that fires lasers out of its eyes, a statue that pisses lava, a tribute (??) to Alice in Wonderland in form of an agitated crossdresser, and an incredibly ugly nekomimi (cat ears) maid. The most amusing parts are the insanely silly paintings in between levels, and the gloriously silly intro, which is animated with the same professionalism as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and features a rocking song about "pumping it up". While it's not as wacky as Ai Cho Aniki, it's probably the most well-balanced and playable of the series.

Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu (PlayStation 2)

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  • Global A Entertainment

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  • Tomoya Miyazaki

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Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu (PlayStation 2)

Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu (PlayStation 2)

Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu (PlayStation 2)


Additional Screenshots


Cho Aniki Zero / Rei Cho Aniki (零・超兄貴) - PSP, PSN, Android (2009)

Japanese Cover

Not content to let the Cho Aniki series die off, a company called Gung-Ho Works got the rights from NCS/Masaya and created Rei Cho Aniki (which translates to "Zero Cho Aniki") for the PlayStation Portable. It first it might seem like a remake, but that's not entirely true. But it's also not a completely new game either - it seems like more of a tribute to the series as a whole. Although each of the five stages are technically "new," they take themes and many of the enemies and bosses from previous games. Although this was probably done for the nostalgia factor, or just to introduce new gamers to how strange the Cho Aniki games are, it feels awfully uninspired. The point of the Cho Aniki games is to see how much progressively weirder they get - why bother if you've seen most of it before? And the new stuff really isn't all that interesting either. An underwater skeleton pirate? A flower with a face? We've seen weirder. The graphics aren't anything special, but they're also a step up from the cheapness of the PS2 game. The music faithfully captures the spirits of the older games, at least.

You once again play as Idaten and Benten, like the original, although each of them has different option types - Idaten has Adon and Samson, while Benten has two creepy angels called Mika and Eru. (Combined together, they're supposed to spell "Michael" in Japanese kana.) There's also a third unlockable character, an elephant man named Shouten. Each character has their standard rapid fire weapon, as well as a limited supply of bombs. The Men's Beam from some of the other games returns too. Fallen enemies will drop little colored muscle men that add to your score, which reaches into the trillions.

One of the biggest problems is that the enemies simply take too many hits, especially with the weakest weapons. It's acceptable on Easy Mode, but that only lets you play the first three stages. The levels themselves wander between being poorly designed, flooding the screen with nearly unavoidable bullets (make sure to figure out where your hit box is!) or simply being boring. Overall, it's not even up to the level of the first Cho Aniki game, which is the one it seems to most closely want to emulate. It's a better PSP shooter than, say, Sengoku Cannon, but it's still very mediocre. Cho Aniki Zero was released on the US PSN courtesy of Aksys.

Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)

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  • extreme

Publisher:

  • GungHo

Director:

  • Tomoya Miyazaki

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Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)

Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)

Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)

Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)

Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)

Cho Aniki Zero (PSP)


[Related Game] Wings of Wor / Gynoug - Genesis (1991)

Japanese Cover

American Cover

While there's nothing out there quite like Cho Aniki, the closest is Gynoug, a Genesis shooter also made by Masaya. Known as Wings of Wor in America, there are a lot of graphical similarities to the first PC Engine Cho Aniki games, including the bizarre disposition of shoving human facial features on machinery. Which makes sense - the same graphic designer worked on both titles, although Gynoug is somewhat more gruesome. It's a slightly better game too, with some rather impressive effects for Sega's 16-bit workhouse, although the lack of decent music does hurt it a little bit.

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  • Manabu Takasugi

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Wigns of Wor (Genesis)


[Related Game] Gem Smashers / Pazunin: Uminin no Puzzle de Nimu (パズジンー~うみにんのパズルでにむ~) - Game Boy Advance (2003)

Japanese Cover

Gem Smashers is a fairly innocuous Game Boy Advance puzzle game developed by Frame Studios Interactive and published by budget house Metro3D. What does this have to do with Cho Aniki? Well, when it was released in Japan, the developers changed the little gem guys into colored variations on Uminin, that strange little man with the weird face that pops up in the Cho Aniki games as a mascot character. How incredibly bizarre.

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  • Frame Studios Interactive

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  • Metro3D

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Pazunin (Game Boy Advance)


Related Articles


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Cho Aniki
Ai Cho Aniki

Page 2:
Bakuretsu Rantouden
Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko

Page 3:
Otoko no Tamafuda
Seinaru Protein Densetsu
Zero Cho Aniki

Back to the Index