I hope you came into this review feeling hungry!

- Mr. Chin's Gourmet Paradise [Repetitious Action Platformer] -

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U.S. Game Box Front

Side Image 2

If These Three Men Were Put In An Eating Contest, I'd Have No Choice But To Bet On Chin...He's An Eating Machine!

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After Eating Tons Of Peaches, Mr. Chin Sets His Eyes On An Even Bigger Prize!

-General Information-
Region(s): U.S.
Year: 1990
Publisher: Romstar
Developer(s) and Others: Romstar
# of Players: 1
# of Saves: none
Fan Translated: No
Other Info: While this game stars Mr. Chin just like Thunder & Lightning on the NES, the two games play completely different from one another.
Quick Game Overview: Available HERE.

You guys remember Romstar right? Yeah...of course you don't. Actually, some of you may be familiar with their name, but do you guys remember a man by the name of Mr. Chin, a little fellow from China? You could catch Mr. Chin in action in "Thunder & Lightning", an Arkanoid/Breakout style game where the tubby little guy would run back and forth across your screen carrying a little stick over his head. His mission was to use the power of the "Demoe Ball" to break down obstacles in his path to escape the 30 "Walls of Regret" and continue along his merry way to taste the world's most delightful delicacies. Well, leave it to the guys over at Romstar to take a liking to the goofy guy and make him the star of yet another game.

Mr. Chin was known for having quite an appetite, but in Mr. Chin's Gourmet Paradise, you get to see his legendary eating skills in action. One day, Mr. Chin hears about a strange and rare fruit known as a momo. The funny thing is: The momo has a long and complicated history behind it. Momos have been so heavily crossbred with other fruits and vegetables that they have become living creatures with a bad attitude! The scientists at Livermore Laboratory have developed a special weapon known as a "Demoe Beam" that can turn the wild nuisances into...delicious peaches!? As crazy as that sounds, they do turn into peaches ("Momo" is Japanese for "Peach") and you want to know something else? Unsurprisingly, you must then consume your foe! Why would Chin come all the way from friggin' China just to zap angry mutant creatures into gourmet peaches? After all, the Demoe Beam is not meant for public use and it is illegal for anyone (other than laboratory members) to actually use it...but Mr. Chin doesn't care. He steals the Demoe Beam and uses it to turn poisonous little fiends into grub. None of this story is actually mentioned within the game itself, but you gotta love just how little sense it makes.

Being an old Game Boy game, the lack of colors doesn't suit Mr. Chin quite like his simple, yet effective NES self. While the game isn't an Arkanoid style game, the game manages to provide less for the eyes to absorb. The backgrounds in the game, while cute and somewhat charming (with animals and simple city structures and such), is also very simple in design. While I like Mr. Chin, I can't just ignore what I see in front of me; The game design seems a bit lazy and I'm fairly certain that while they weren't experts, Romstar could have brought more to the table than they did. However, it isn't all bad. Mr. Chin himself possesses a nice run cycle. It's quite amusing watching him scurry left and right trying to avoid being cooked by the momos. The game has a soundtrack that is suitable for the game, but it is lacking in variety, just like T&L was also lacking in variety. What little MCGP has, it is effective enough to serve its purpose, though the title theme is pretty neat.

The point of this game is to feed Mr. Chin's insatiable appetite by turning all the momos on the level into...errr...momos (or peaches as stated before). To do this, you must use the Demoe Beam, which is a trap that you set. You can't just fire lasers at everything in sight. Instead, you must lay down two mines that are on the same elevation and you must try to sandwich the momos. For example, if you are on an even elevation and you lay one trap in front of the enemy and one trap behind him, you will activate the Demoe Beam and that enemy (or group of enemies) gets zapped. You don't have to set the traps right in front of the baddies either...BUT the traps must be on the same elevation. So long as you do that, one trap can be on one side of the screen and the other can be on the opposite end. Some stages come with traps that are already partially set up; You just need to lay the other trap (two traps are needed to use the Demoe Beam). Once an enemy is zapped, they will turn into peaches for Chin to eat. One thing that you must be careful of is that you can't set traps in air unless you are close to a platform or something when you setting the trap and you must also be facing the same direction as said platform. You can also hold down the button used to lay traps to set the trap, and release the button whenever you are ready to activate the beam. You can even move around while holding the button to avert danger.

MCGP isn't about getting a top score; This is made obvious because your score isn't really a score. Your points are presented in Kcal (or Kilogram calories)! With that being said, you will be doing a LOT of eating and Chin has a mouth that's wider than a great white shark. Kobayashi and Chestnut have nothing on Chin when it comes to eating...because during the course of my playing, Mr. Chin had consumed over 6.5 MILLION Kcal worth of peaches in one day! While you start the game with only a couple of lives, the game has a few cool snaggable items that will be of great use to Mr. Chin as he eats himself into the Guinness World Records. In order to find these items, you have to get into Mario mode...Okay, I know that was lame. What you really need to do is to jump up and hit blocks above you. If you hit the blocks with your head enough times, you can break them and items may appear. You can get an extra life, an item for invincibility, an item to instantly turn all enemies on-screen into peaches, and the ability to fly. Chin doesn't drink Red Bull to "give him wings" to soar into the air, he eats something that looks like a stack of pancakes and apparently, it's so delicious that he can float through the air and defy all logic. Flying is useful because it allows you to break blocks quickly as well as evade enemies. The game also has bonus rounds every two stages where you can just stand in one spot and the incredibly delectable foes just dance straight into Chin's belly while he racks up a dangerously high Kcal rating.

The game does require a deal of planning and strategy, at least the first eight levels anyway. You don't want to break too many blocks as it can work against you in your planning of setting up your Demoe Beam. There is also a pipe at the bottom of the screen that you can use to get back to the top of the screen in a flash (Where is Mario to complain when you need him!?), though the enemies (who move at different speeds) also have access to the pipe. While the game is a load of fun for the first hour or so, the game begins to lose its appeal after a while since the scenery begins to look really similar...because after the first eight (twelve if you count the bonus stages), everything repeats! I can understand this; I've seen this happen plenty of times in games made back in the 80's. The game just seems to loop in this fashion forever. Therefore, in theory, the game is very short if you beat the first set of eight stages. I've tried to beat this game, but to no avail. I gave up after beating the game TWENTY times in a row. If you count the bonus stages, that's 240 stages. It's regrettable that I couldn't see any credits, but I can honestly say that I tried...hmm....I might try again someday.

If I had to make another one line synopsis for this game, it would be: "Prepare to eat peaches for all eternity". That's really all you do. Thankfully, the power-ups, while typical, help to make the game a more enjoyable time waster. I expected a little more (visually) for a Game Boy title in 1990, but I suppose that early Game Boy games didn't tend to put a focus on graphics. I just have to thank my stars that the game isn't as simple in design as some other early GB titles like Flipull or Kwirk. The game only has a handful of tunes and they may only sit with you for about three runs through the game. Simply put, Mr. Chin can be fun to play in short spurts. I tend to play games like the classic Donkey Kong (the 80's versions) for short periods of time for the same reason; it gets old when played for long periods of time. Is Donkey Kong still a classic? Sure it is. Mr. Chin's Gourmet Paradise isn't the greatest game ever made (I personally prefer T&L), but it is another Romstar title that grabbed my attention and is worthy of mention.

- Written by Vyse the determined -

Game Screenshots

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Video Sample

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