It’s been many years since I watched The Powerpuff Girls but it was one of those shows that I always looked forward to enjoying with my sisters. We loved it so much that we would reenact different episodes and take on the roles of this trio. It worked out perfectly since there are three of us and we each had a favorite Powerpuff girl. What does any of this have to do with videogames? My little story just happens to be the perfect segway to Chenso Club, the game we’ll be looking at today.
20+ years later, I sit down to play Chenso Club, a brand new platform game, and I instantly think of Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup as I’m introduced to this new group of fighters. Just like the original monster-fighting superheroines, the Chenso girls are cute but fierce, each of them equipped with their own unique weapons and abilities to fight the aliens who are threatening the world. I wasn’t sure if this would be a cheap knockoff of the cartoon I loved so much as a kid; fortunately it isn’t. Chenso Club literally means “chainsaw club” and the name alone told me that this would be a bloodier, messier, and more gruesome experience without taking away the cuteness appeal.
Chenso Club functions very much like other 2D platformers in that it asks us to destroy monsters, collect lives, improve our skills, and make it to the next level. I felt like the keyboard controls were a bit awkward at first and struggled to find the coordination when performing an attack while jumping, but after a few rounds of fighting, my fingers started to adjust to the mechanics. I especially enjoyed the blood of my enemies flying everywhere after each attack. The developers do not shy away from the gore and, maybe I’m wrong for saying this, but I have to admit that it’s more enjoyable than watching enemies disappear in a cloud of smoke.
One thing I did notice with the gameplay is that it’s a little buggy. I defeated all the aliens on one level and tried to move to the next one, but my character kept regenerating in the level I had just completed. Thankfully, the level was easy enough, so, once I had shut down and restarted the game, I re-completed that level and was able to continue. There also seems to be some lagging, which is frustrating when you’re about to perform an attack, only to realize that you completely miss and end up colliding with an obstacle instead and lose a life. To be fair, these are minor issues and I’ve seen plenty of AAA games with more severe bugs. This being said, I hope the devs are able to tidy things up and resolve these minor problems soon.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of different heroines to choose from and I love that they each have a unique look and fighting style. Blue is an android who fights with a chainsaw, Carmine carries a hammer that packs quite a wallop, Alice has ninja-like agility plus a hookshot multi-tool, Plum possesses witchy powers and a powerful broom, and Molly is the clunky firefighter that uses water attacks. I love how unexpected these characters are and it’s hard to pick a favorite when they each contribute in their own special way. Perhaps one of the best aspects of the game, which I have not yet had the chance to try, is the co-op mode. Who wouldn’t want to team up with their friends in real-life and play together as these monster-fighting chicks?
I feel like a game isn’t well-rounded unless there are good sound effects, and Chenso Club succeeds in delivering a fun electronic soundtrack with a mix of pows, whams, and other acoustics. If you have experience playing Super Smash Bros. or other brawlers, Chenso Club is worth checking out. It’s available now on Steam and available to play on Windows. This isn’t a game for the unskilled, and with the current gameplay, I would recommend it to more experienced players. Saying this, if you’re not afraid to get your ass kicked while kicking ass as one of the heroines, then by all means put yourself through that torture.
Gameplay - 7/10
Plot / Writing - 7/10
Design / Visuals - 8/10
+ Challenging, cute, and bloody platformer with a mix of unique characters
+ Great music and sound effects
– A few bugs that impact gameplay
– Controls could be improved so they feel less awkward
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