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Chester Field for the NES

A retro review.

Chester Field: Ankoku Shin e no Chousen is an Action Adventure game developed and published by Vic Tokai, which was released in Japan in 1987. North America never saw an actual release, but thanks to some proactive gamers, there has been a translation by Aeon Genesis.

At first glance, Chester Field looks like a Zelda 2 rip off; this is a reasonable assumption. Both games were released in Japan in 1987, and Zelda 2 predates Chester Field by about 6 months, however, side scrollers of that age all kind of resemble one another, and I doubt Vic Tokai was busy duping Nintendo itself.

At any rate, if you don't hit start right away, you get to read a rather detailed prologue about the events, which lead up to the hero's appearance on the island of Chester Field. Detailed or not, it all seems rather mindless and boils down to the following:

Once upon a time, there was the kingdom of Guldred. Someone killed the king, so a group of knights are sent to the island of Chester Field to ask the king’s friend for help. Everyone dies except for a young knight….

What is there to say, really?

Hit the start button, and check out this guy decked out in purple; that's the hero.... You run from left to right and whack bees and crawly squid things with your sword--presumably on your way to find the king's friend. Farther down, you find this wrecked ship. Inside are only enemies.

This begs the question: Is it the hero's wrecked ship? I’ve been through this boat a few times, and it seems a maze. Maybe there’s something in there somewhere, but I’ve never found anything of value. Then, you make it to what I can only guess is a town.

There are three buildings and numerous plant enemies that shoot balls at you, but you can only enter two buildings. One has a useless, old man, who tells you to fight enemies for money and experience--really, like what else are you gonna' do? One building has this knight, though.

You gotta’ love the typo.

He, or she, is just as useless as the old man, so you keep going right, and then everything falls apart; you find yourself in an area with platform jumps, all of which have enemies. You fall in the water, you die. That’s it. Game over. You’re back at the beginning.

That’s the farthest I’ve ever been. One time, I collected enough money, metal, to buy a different weapon, but it didn't have much of an impact especially since the damage received and deadly jumps aren't affected by a new weapon.

The good-

Well, the graphics are decent. The music is okay. The controls are fine, but the phrase this is far from the worst game ever made is hardly a compliment.

The bad-

This game is boring and too hard right off the bat. It's also uninspired, at least at the beginning; I, personally, can't find a reason to continue exploring. The animation is a bit lacking, and bees hardly make for enemies, plus, as was stated, the jumps are irritating as all get out, and all at about 3 minutes into the game. 

I can imagine spending 50 bucks on this thing when it was brand new, I mean, assuming it had been released in North America at the time. I’d be pissed, but probably, I’d keep playing to at least get past the platforms.

The best I can score this game is D-. It’s playable…to a point. It isn’t a total failure like some other games, and if you have the chance to play it, do yourself a favor and pop in Zelda 2 instead—better music, graphics, and you can actually get magic, and skills, and items.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Stay tuned for a few more reviews!

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