KID CHAMELEON / Sega / Genesis

Kid Chameleon is the story of some virtual reality arcade game that starts eating children. So Michael J. Fox has to go in with his bad ass and sort it all out.

It's actually a pretty cool platformer. It seems on the simplistic side, but the level design is pretty good and I liked the different characters you transform into.

There's a pretty good range. Michael J. starts out with only the ability to grab onto ledges and jump on enemies heads, but changing into the other characters gives you all sorts of different powers. There's a knight, a rhino-man, a samurai, Jason Voorhees, a birdman dude, and some rockin' death tank that spits out skulls among others.

I'd like to expand on the rockin' death tank, if I may. This is clearly one of the better characters to be seen in platform gaming. It's like the tank from Blaster Master except 10x more awesome.

Each character has a certain number of hit points, some are faster than others and can jump higher. And each has some sort of special ability - the knight climbs walls, the rhino-man busts through walls when he gets a running start, the samurai can do a downward thrust attack in midair a la Link in Zelda 2, and so on. Unlike most classic games this is one where you really need to look at a manual or something ahead of time, because it's not immediately obvious what each characters powers are or how to use them, so you can be standing there in front of a dead end wondering what it is you are supposed to be doing if you don't know how to use all the guys in advance.

There's also like 100 levels and they're pretty varied. In the old days on the actual Genesis, I think this kind of worked against the game because there was no way to save or continue. So people would get bored or fed up - 100 levels is really a LOT to tackle in one sitting.

Now with the Wii and emulation and stuff it's a non-factor since you can save on the fly and pick back up at any time. So maybe this game will get more of a fair shake now than it did then.

I think this game actually could do with a sequel, and it would work really well in a sort of Metroid/Castlevania : SotN style with big non-linear worlds that you explore, and like get different powers to access different areas and such.

We can hope. Maybe the fan community will want to take that one on. Anyway, this one isn't as good as the Mario games on here but it's really an interesting platformer. If you've Marioed yourself out and run through the other big names and are still hungry for some platforming, I do recommend you check this one out.

I think it's better than any Sonic game ever, at least. Do you ever see Sonic driving around in a death tank shooting exploding skulls at people? No, you sure don't.

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