|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Razorback Dev.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While the hair-pulling problems that arise frequently in the controls and collision detection are enough to drive anyone to sheer frustration, it's the brutal continue system that really hammers the final nail in the fun coffin. The game only doles out three measly lives from the beginning. When they're all used up, you have to purchase a single continue using coins you've collected on your mad dash through chaotic levels, and they aren't cheap.
Even then, assuming you can afford another go at it, there's no guarantee you won't eat it just as quickly and be stuck without enough cash to proceed. Running out of lives and money to buy continues gets you booted back to the beginning of the game, regardless of whether you were only part-way in or on the last level. Being forced to start over from scratch after you've poured a substantial amount of time into the game just feels absurd. This isn't the early 1980s; players dig a challenge but not being punched in the face and then kicked in the gut by one.
The game's visuals and audio are appropriately upbeat and engaging, featuring plenty of pastel pinks, yellows, and blues. A charming artistic style, amusing dialogue, and original premise help keep the game buoyant amidst the turbulent sea of gameplay failures, but it's sadly not going to be enough to save the experience from dragging players into the gutter of misdirected anger. The Chase is colorful, clever, and creative, yet it falters unnecessarily. Even with a static level-map, it's hard to focus on what dangers are coming down the pike on the top screen, while dealing with them on the touch screen where the action plays out.
The Chase's high level of creativity and uniqueness makes the fact the game is just painfully frustrating to play for any length of time a true disappointment. It possesses some fresh ideas in terms of concept, story, and gameplay but fails to deliver in the end. Masochistic players who get excited over an extreme level of unfair challenge might find some mileage out of this title. However, most folks who'd find themselves drawn in by the game's concept and presentation will likely be put off by its grueling unfairness.
CCC Staff Contributor