Chenso Club is an action side-scrolling brawler, the club consists of five members who are trying to defeat aliens that have overtaken a castle, it’s really that simple the game does feature a few storyboard segments and attempts a bit of humor but some grammatical errors and poor overall writing honestly had me mashing through most of these scenes in a hurry, I feel like they might have you doing the same, the jokes fall flat and while this group of unlikely heroes had potential to be fleshed out and realized, the game misses the mark in that department so the story here is not going to be the strong point, this can be forgiven however as let’s be real you aren’t playing an action side-scrolling game for the storyline so long as the gameplay is fun and enjoyable.
While there is some fun to be had in Chenso Club the gameplay loop ultimately gets pretty stale and boring rather quickly, the game is to its credit very easy to pick up and play and does actually allow for two players, it’s broken up into five different worlds which are then broken up into some randomized levels and while the idea of each run feeling different is nice Chenzo Club ultimately ends up feeling all too familiar in a hurry, gameplay mostly consists of jumping, falling through platforms and attacking enemies, you do have a dash which allows you to go through certain obstacles like blades and then of course your standard light attack along with a more powerful attack that needs to briefly be charged depending on your character, there are also plenty of power ups and collectibles along the way like shields which will allow you to take more damage or a boomerang to throw. Your goal in the game is to go from room to room clearing out the enemies and then moving on to the next room that’s basically it, rarely will your platforming skills be tested, challenge is going to come from the four different difficulty options that are presented these range from a complete cakewalk where you have 200 blood to a very solid challenge so credit the developers for having options.
Sometimes adding to the challenge are optional fortune tellers that can make levels more difficult netting you a greater reward this can range from making a room dark and difficult to traverse, to boosting enemies making them harder to take out, you collect blood from fallen enemies which can then be spent in random shops that are also scattered across the levels and this blood acts as your health so you won’t necessarily want to buy everything that’s available as death in Chenso Club will mean going back to the start of a world, as you go from room to room you might also come across a groovy cool bus and hopping in leads to bonus rounds and this is actually where your platforming is tested just a bit more, these segments were honestly more fun than the main game.
Chenzo Club also features an interesting concept where you are on a social media app called Chirp, at the end of each level which usually ends in a not so thrilling boss encounter, you’ll have to pose for pictures in order to gain followers, this minigame is sort of lame and it has you fighting off paparazzi, trying to frame yourself perfectly, it’s just not that fun. As more follows you on Chirp however you will be able to unlock more and more abilities in between levels so at the least it’s an interesting concept even though I didn’t love it I did like how each character in the game feels fairly unique from one another and yes you will need to unlock these characters it’s not difficult to do especially if you’re playing on the easiest difficulty but whether you’re a stealthy ninja or you’re wielding a fire hose, characters are limited in their move sets but it was fun to switch it up from time to time, between the different characters who feel different enough another aspect of the game that kept me going for this review were the visuals which are fairly nice throughout with solid colorful pixel art on display, some creativity did go into the enemy designs which are definitely a little on the weird side but that’s cool and the animations of smooth, sound design is also upbeat and fun with a quirky soundtrack that goes heavy on the electronic drums and some frantic melodies it suits the overall vibe of this title quite well, sound effects though did not stand out to me too much so that’s a little bit of a missed opportunity.
I’ve listed quite a few negatives but actually Chenso Club is not a terrible game, it’s a turn your brain off mindless experience that is a little light on content but it does offer up some fun in short bursts, it’s not going to take you long at all to unlock everything in the game and while co-op is a nice feature I was ultimately not that upset to see my time with this game come to an end, maybe wait for a deep sale on this one.