Chubby Cherub (NES) Retro Review


Chubby Cherub or Obake no Q-tarô: Wanwan Panic in Japan (literally Q-Tarô the Ghost: BowWow Panic) is a 1986 action game for the NES developed by TOSE and published by Bandai. The Japanese version was originally based on a manga called Obake no Q-Tarô (Q-Taro the Ghost) by Fujiko Fujio. Because most US players wouldn’t know this the original plot and the main character were edited out (Q-Tarô’s friends were kidnapped by burglars). The aim of the game is to make it to the end of the stage while eating food so you can fly longer and avoiding dogs (I’ll explain later).

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The title screens between the two versions were very different, the US version got a bland looking one like most older games while the Japanese version has a colorful animated title screen (note the music is different for some reason too). At this point I was already wondering who the weirdest main character was because Q-taro was a very strange looking ghost.

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Getting into the game i found the graphics ok (with barely any difference between the two) and the music surprisingly ignorable. The premise behind the game makes no sense even if you factor in Dogs are Q-tarô’s ‘1 fear as a ghost’ according to the manga. Even the gameplay itself is awkward, you keep your power bar up by eating randomly floating fruit but no matter how much you get you never have enough, in fact not only do you stop flying before the bar runs out but it goes down slowly even when you’re walking too. There are also parts in levels that need you to get all the fruit on the screen and without geing able to fly it gets incredibly boring and difficult. I couldn’t enjoy the game and ultimately got fed up even though i had missed a lot of gameplay elements (Heaven, Hell, Cats as enemies etc.).

Overall i didn’t enjoy this game at all especially with how awkward it felt to play (even if it was explained to you). I can’t recommend this to anyone but feel free to see if you can do better than i did.

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