Let me preface this article by declaring that I am in no way, shape or form a Pokemon fan. I missed that train by a couple years.
I tell you this for two reasons; first, I am of the opinion that Pokemon is childish and boorishly repetitive in terms of game-play and content. Having said that, I believe it understates my gushing over PKA CHU and highlights it is not due to some fond memories of the Pokemon series, it is in fact purely based on howamazing and extensive this Super Mario Bros. hack is.
I hope my stated disdain for the Pokemon franchise will also excuse any potential in-game characters or items which I don’t recognize. I have played through this entire game and I can honestly say I only recognized Pika Chu himself (itself?), and even then only after you get a mushroom (or this games equivalent of, it’s like a cupcake or something) and turn into Pika Chu. In small form you appear to be a hamburger with feet.
Nestled on a pirate cartridge under the name PIKA, the game was a pleasant surprise. Considering the load of total crap that populates most multi-carts, finding a gem amongst the slime is always a bonus.
This game actually is quite an impressive hack of Super Mario Bros.. The enemies have all been replaced, even the King Koopa’s at the end of each level have new, some-what more sinister sprites. All the power-ups are new (save for the stars) and all seem to resemble pastries with faces. Most of the background tiles have been swapped out and many of the colors are altered.
The levels remain the same as you remember them (cosmetic changes not with-standing) and the game plays almost the same. I say ‘almost’ because the game is over clocked to the max. The speed at which the game plays and the music’s tempo is at least doubled. This gives the game a panicky edge that makes it all the more fun.
Not the most groundbreaking game, or even hack but interesting none-the-less.