To be completely honest, this cute--and absurdly costly--PC Engine shoot 'em up wasn't even on my radar when I first considered which games to play as part of this month's #Shmuptember festivities.
After fellow blogger Retro King Simon (of Red Parsley fame) mentioned it in the comments section of this recent post, though, I decided I should give it a second chance.
You may be wondering why I needed to give it a second chance. After all, it's a fairly well-liked shmup among PC Engine fans--again, despite the astronomical price tags that tend to be attached to copies of it.
While that may be true, I've never really been a part of that camp--the one full of folks who fall over themselves to talk about what a top-shelf cute 'em up it is, I mean. (Admittedly, I have a feeling it's a small camp.)
Don't get me wrong, I've long thought of Magical Chase as being a "competent enough" smhup, but I've also long preferred playing similar games--like Parodius Da! and Coryoon and Air Zonk--to it.
Have I had a change of heart as a result of my most recent experience with the game? Actually, I have. I wouldn't say I now consider it to be worth its asking price (although even that could change in the coming months and years, especially given my history with such things), but I definitely find it a lot more appealing than I used to.
One of the main reasons for that is HuCard's art style seems a lot more cohesive than I remember it to be. In the past, I thought the design of the adorable, broom-riding protagonist (she is a witch, after all) didn't quite "fit" with those of the game's enemies or backdrops, if that makes sense.
Another is that I'm now pretty enamored with the "zippiness" of this colorful shoot 'em up's controls. In fact, I'd say Magical Chase compares favorably to both Coryoon and PC Denjin (Air Zonk) in that regard, and possibly even feels a bit smoother than those aforementioned contemporaries.
Now that I've come around to Magical Chase's considerable charms, though, I'm feeling kind of miffed. I mean, for the same amount of money it would cost me to acquire the Japanese version of this game, I could pick up copies of both R-Type titles, Parodius Da! and Hana Taka Daka!? instead--and still have a good chunk of change left over for a couple of cheaper chip-based titles.
The latter option seems far more desirable to me than the former at the moment, but who knows what will happen once I've filled out my PC Engine shmup collection a bit more?
See also: previous 'Second Chances' posts about Bubble Bobble Junior (GameBoy), Don Doko Don (Famicom) and Hana Taka Daka!? (PC Engine)