Are you one of those people that like hard work? Are you one of those people that always focuses on work and has little time for anything else?....Or, are you that guy or girl that would rather have fun and worry about the pains of life later? If you fall into the former, you're screwed in the world of Cacoma Knight! If you like having fun, then Cacoma Knight will welcome you with open arms. This game deals with the peaceful and busy land of Bizyland being warped into "Lasyland" by the evil Wagamama, as she gains the power to do this by an evil magic mirror. Once Wagamama gets what she desires, the mirror gets what IT desires and whisks Princess Ophelia of Bizyland off into the mirror world, splitting her very being into pieces that you must retrieve. The only people who are unaffected by Wagamama and the evil mirror are people who play all day...people like the King of Bizyland and the three protagonists (Jack/boy, Jean/girl and RB93/robot)...and if the princess' pieces aren't found before the next full moon, she will stay trapped in the mirror world forever! With its quirky anime characters and wacky (though simple and fairly pointless) plot, it's strange to think that this game actually came to North America. Made by Datam Polystar in Japan (people who made and/or published games like Cotton, Keeper, Makeruna, etc.) and published by Seta U.S.A., Cacoma Knight looks like a strange bird amongst other SNES...but once you play it, you might get the feeling of déjà vu.
The game is fairly quirky just like Kendo Rage (also published by Seta U.S.A and developed by Datam Polystar) and the opening is done in anime form just like Kendo Rage. The intro is nice and the art style is cute, though it isn't surprising coming from Ano Shimizu. Ano Shimizu's art is seen in numerous other games besides KR and CK and the style is easily recognizable. Once you get pass the intro scenes, the game doesn't look like anything special, though the colors are bold and abundant. The game setup may also remind some gamers of another game...the classic arcade game, Qix. As you're probably aware, Qix was never a looker in terms of graphics, but thankfully, Cacoma Knight doesn't look like Taito's 1981 game. You are actually on a field rather than just drawing lines through space and things are more presentable. CK has some simple fantasy tunes (and stuff you would hear at the circus) that play as that suit the levels in which they are used, but aren't too memorable. The sounds effects are so-so and once the power goes off on your SNES, the tunes and sounds may also disappear from memory. While cute and appropriate, I felt that they lacked the lasting power needed to stick with me. The visuals are good for a Qix-esque game and so is the audio and if you liked Qix, CK shouldn't disappoint.
If you have played the classic Qix game or other versions of it, then you have essentially played CK, as this game almost seems like plagiarism except with cute characters instead of spaceships and other unidentifiable things. The king gives you a piece of magic chalk and with it, you must draw in dead pieces of the land to revitalize it once more. You reveal hidden power-ups inside of treasure chests when you unearth them from the pictures and the game gets progressively harder with each level. The game has seven areas and each area has 3 stages for a total of 21 stages (Japanese game has 6 areas and 18 stages total). The power-ups in the game are like destroying all enemies, speed up, 1-ups, invincibility, fairies, and extra time. You will also find scattered pieces of Ophelia in treasure boxes during the course of the game. However, this may sound strange, but I have gotten all of the pieces in the U.S. and Japanese version of the game (as well as purposely avoided her pieces) and they seem to do nothing...no change in ending or anything.
To finish a stage, you must recover a certain percent of the stage. You will encounter enemies...both ordinary and strange. Heck, if two floating hands that clash cymbals as they chase you isn't bizarre, I don't know what is! You will also encounter things like owls, clocks, and...a couple of things I don't even know what the heck they are. Enemies circle the boundaries of the screen or move around in other ways to get in your way. You can destroy enemies by placing a border around them. Each character plays differently from one another, with Jean being the easiest to use, Jack being the middle man, and RB93 being the most difficult to use. The three heroes also have different endings from each other, though the endings are short and not too interesting in all honesty.
If you are a Qix pro, then this game can be beaten EXTREMELY fast...in about 25 minutes or less. Thankfully, the game has a 2-player mode so you can play with or against a friend and it's cheap. Cacoma Knight isn't a revolutionary title; In fact, there is a good chance that you've already played it if you've played Qix. In that regard, you aren't missing much, if you are missing anything at all. However, sometimes it's nice to see an old game get a face-lift...whether it be in graphics, audio, gameplay, or story. In this case, it has a quirky atmosphere that the simple white lines in the original Qix simply didn't have. If you liked Qix, then you should like Cacoma Knight.- Written by Vyse the determined -