Friday, 4 October 2019

Ucchannanchan no Hono no Challenger: Denryu Iraira Bo (N64 review)

Developer: Yuke's
Publisher: Hudson
Released: 1997

Ucchannanchan no Hono no Challenger: Denryu Iraira Bo is a six course puzzle game that was only released in Japan.


Battling against the clock, your job is to guide a stick through the maze without touching the sides or hitting obstacles in your path. The analog stick controls movement, while the A or Z buttons increase your speed, and prior to each course you can select different sticks with varying attributes (e.g. the red stick affords you three mistakes instead of the usual one). The courses are well designed with a number of memorable sections to test your hand-eye coordination, and although they're tough, the short length of each lessens much of the frustration; in turn, this provides you with the motivation to continue and the fact that all six courses are unlocked from the get-go is great for more casual players. The red stick works wonders here, as while it disregards your final score it allows you to learn the tricky areas before progressing onto the one-hit sticks. The addition of gigantic bosses is also a neat touch to make you feel part of a bigger world rather than simply moving from A-to-B! The N64's analog stick does a good job of affording you extra precise movement for tight corridors and I like the ability to hold A or Z for extra speed, as it adds a risk-reward element where you put yourself in harms way to attempt a best time. The collision detection is spotty though and you can slightly clip through walls with differing results in terms of failure or continuing. However, the game's main issue is that there's not enough content to keep you occupied for more than a couple of hours; ideally, there should be triple the amount of courses, and even the split-screen VS. mode can't save them from wearing out their welcome.

Ucchannanchan no Hono no Challenger: Denryu Iraira Bo is an entertaining title with a great sense of humour and unique challenge, but it's severely let-down by a lack of content. While the stage design, concept and controls are all top-notch, you're ultimately left wanting more without feeling satisfied with what the game actually has to offer.



Random trivia: The original PlayStation was home to another game in the series called Irritating Stick (1999).

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