Friday, 31 July 2015

Go! Go! Cosmo Cops! (DS)

So first you should know that I rotated all the screenshots for this post, as it's one of those rare DS games that's played with the console on its side. It also has a left-handed option, which a few games omit, making them a lot less comfortable to play (though it's been so long, I can't remember any of the offending games. I guess they can't be that good if I don't remember them and I haven't bothered to re-play them at any point). Go! Go! Cosmo Cops! is a game built around a gimmick, and that gimmick is pretty similar to the PS2 game Chaindive: your characters have grappling hooks which can be attached to dots around the stages (though in this game, the dots look different to match the theme of each set of stages, which is nice).

Unlike Chaindive, though, the game centres entirely around the hooking gimmick, with almost all of the player's movement throughout the stages being done in this manner, as well as all combat. There's other differences too, of course. The most obvious is that the game is completely controlled via touchscreen, in a manner so simple and obvious that you can probably work it out from looking at the screenshots. There's also the concept of slingshotting. Using the touchscreen, it's possible to hook onto one dot and then simultaneously onto a second, then pull your character back and let go to send them shooting off.

Skillful use of the slingshot move is something the game really wants you to learn: it's by far the fastest way to travel across the stages, and it's the way to defeat enemies and bosses. The developers really go to town with the basic concepts of the game as it goes on, too. It starts off easy and simple, but more and more obstacles get added as the game goes on, and by the end the player will be facing some sadistic tests of skill, timing and dexterity.

Pretty much every kind of trap related to the whole grabbing/climbing/slingshotting set of mechanics that you can think of will be thrown at you at some point. It starts out with lots of stationary dots with a few enemies here and there, and goes on to stages featuring shifting tides of deadly lava, looping spike-covered trains to maneuver between, and even things that are a lot more difficult than they sound, like sets of moving dots going very quickly between rows of spikes. There's also a couple of weak vehicle-based stages, one with a submarine, the other with some kind of futuristic space-hopper thing to break things up, but they're instantly forgettable. A nice little touch is that the game allows a choice between a male and female character, and the choice is entirely aesthetic.

Go! Go! Cosmo Cops! is an okay little game, it's worth picking up if you see it cheap, but don't go out of your way to find it or anything. Also, a little bit of trivia: though it's a Japanese-developed game, it only saw release in Europe, though all the text and graphics for the Japanese version are hidden away in the ROM, and I believe there's a hack available to make them usable (though since I was playing on a real cartridge, I haven't tried this).

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