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Ai Cho Aniki

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Released: 1995

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC EngCD/TurboGrafxCD

Publisher: Masaya

Developer: NCS

Submitted by: Alley Kat

Ai Cho Aniki is an infamous, but little played game from the tail end of the PC Engines life. The game is a bizarre side scrolling shooter, where the player controls a grinning, oiled bodybuilder, Adon, whilst his equally oiled brother Samson is relegated to featuring only in the cutscenes.

To get the bad news out of the way first, the games unique control mechanic is probably its worst feature- Adon has various types and directions of firepower, accessed by using button and D-pad inputs reminiscent of a 2D fighter. Its an interesting idea, but initially frustrating and never quite succeeds in feeling completely comfortable.

Having said that, its still possible to have a lot of fun with this game, simply because its so utterly, completely insane.

Giant snowmen, semi humanoid steam trains, cherubs, giant wooden puppets, disembodied heads of various kinds, refugees from the Sistene Chapel, giant women and, of course, grinning, oiled, posing musclemen of every variety inhabit the games beautifully drawn levels. The utterly hatstand visuals are well complimented by an excellent, often fairly camp soundtrack.

Ai Cho Aniki is highly recommended to lovers of Japanese bizarritude, camp nonsense and offbeat video games in general.

Do the muscle!