Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu
Release Date: 1989
Developer: Joy Van
Publisher: Color Dreams
Oh yay, Color Dreams is back with another unlicensed title in the form of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu. Shiva, God of Destruction, has cursed your village with evil spirits. Your best friend, Master Hu has turned to the bottle to drown his sorrows after his inability to defeat them. This leaves it up to you, Master Chu, to save the day. This can be played one player or two player simultaneously.
There are ten rounds of action. In the first seven, you have to find eight symbols of harmony hidden throughout the level. I say hidden, because even if some of them are out in the open, most everything else must be shot before appearing. Master Chu can shoot… I dunno, a fireball or something, by pressing the A Button. He can also try to block incoming projectiles with his fan using the B Button. The trick is to shoot constantly, so you don’t miss one of the hidden items.
There are other items to collect, such as the scrolls of knowledge which turn your single shot into a double shot and then a triple shot. The amulet of invulnerability is helpful, especially when a symbol is above some damaging fire. Pearls and living ginseng will replenish your health. The sacred box will grant an extra life, and the flaming key of freedom sends you on to the next level. Of course, you have to defeat a boss in order to unearth the key, but they’re not terribly hard.
The last three rounds have you fighting bosses. Round eight pits you against three consecutive evil elf bosses. Round nine does the same thing, but with an enchanted stone head. If you lose all of your lives on these rounds, you’re sent back to round seven to try again. After you try a couple times, you’ll figure out the pattern to kill them without difficulty. Round ten has you kill a couple more of the elf bosses before fighting the stationary statue of Shiva, which shoots fireballs at you. Once you collect the final key, it’s the end.
Hey, the graphics are pretty good. There’s a lot of detail. The animations are decent, I like Chu’s cloak blowing in the wind.
The music is pretty good, the downside is there are only two tunes. The sound effects aren’t overpowering, except the amulet of invulnerability.
There’s not a lot of gameplay variety. Levels are short and they follow the same rules they set.
This isn’t a difficult game, but it also isn’t unfair. I got through without using all of my continues.
Fun Factor: 2.0
You know what? I had fun playing this and I don’t care who knows it.
Overall Grade: 1.7
Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu earns a C-. Color me surprised, Color Dreams ported over a decent little game! Give it a shot, it may even be better with a second player.