Most of the doujin games we look at never make it onto platforms other than Windows. This week we take a look at Chiebura. Not only is Chiebura available on Xbox Live Indie Games, but it made its PlayStation Vita debut and is available on the PlayStation Mobile section of the PS Store.
Chiebura was developed by Nepia World, the long lost developer that brought us cute and innovative Mimizu Panzer. The Xbox 360 and Vita version was published by Mount Punch the company that brought us adorable Ruri Shot!!where you have to make a girl’s feelings reach a boy she likes by literally sending hearts to him. Chiebura continues this cute wacky tradition.
The game’s story doesn’t require any knowledge of the Japanese language since the entire story is told through a single text-less comic panel at the beginning of the game. The game begins with Chieri’s father being sucked up by a hot spring. Chieri and her cute pet bunny descend into the never-ending pit where the hot spring was, in order to rescue her father. As you can tell by the story it’s there just to setup the gameplay, which can be summed up as “pure fun”.
Chiebura is essentially a shooting game, where you must try and survive for as long as possible. Your score is determined by how many meters you managed to go down into the pit. As with other Nepia World titles the controls are quite different than what you might have come to expect. The entire game uses the D-pad and a single button. While her father floats in the pool of water, Chieri gets hurt by just touching the liquid, so she has to stay above the water level.
The only place you can fall onto is the head of Chieri’s floating father, which makes you bounce up pretty high up. Another interesting thing Chieri can do is wall jump. Wall jumping is done by moving Chieri into a wall, which will make her bounce quickly in the other direction, perfect for quickly dodging a barrage of bullets.
Since the pool of water is constantly drained and everything keeps going down, you must grab onto red points in order not to fall into the water. You use your pet bunny to grab onto secure positions, which remind me of pachinko pins. As the pool of water slowly goes down you will have to find new pins to grab onto since they all slowly go up, off the screen. Once these pins are totally out of view you will drop down until you find another object to grab onto. While latched onto pins pressing the D-Pad in any direction will move the character in that direction and fire in the opposite direction. These challenging controls are part of the fun and they don’t take too long to get used to.
Touching the water or getting hit by enemy fire takes one of your hearts. Lose all of them and its game over. In order to make things easier, collecting dropped fruit from killed enemies gives you experience. Collect enough and you will gain another heart. The amount of experience required for a new heart keeps growing, so the game is not too forgiving.
The only gripe I have with the enemies is that they are limited to only a few types. Enemies come in a couple of types including duckies, monkeys in tubs, turrets and a weird boss made up of multiple elements. Later enemies get more aggressive duckies become evil bloodthirsty jumping ducks. Every 25 or so meters the game throws another boss made of modules at you, every time bigger than the last. These usually aren’t too difficult, but if you take too long additional enemies will appear making the battle a nightmare.
Your saving grace is the fact that your bunny and the chain that connects you two when you grab onto the pins, can be used to as a shield for incoming fire. This is a lot harder than it sounds since you move in the opposite direction from which you fire and sometimes the bullets corner you and all you can do is wait for the hail of bullets to somehow end.
Chiebura has some sweet 16-bit graphics. Everything looks really cute and well animated. The screen can get quite cluttered with bullets, explosions and enemies flying everywhere, while the hundreds of fruit wait for you to pick them up. The music is also very retro, perfectly complementing the visual style.
Chiebura is a fun little title. The game is best played in short bursts, since it may get quite repetitive after a while. Chiebura is very cheap and just like other Nepia World titles, offers a different experience worth every penny.
Chiebura is available on Windows, Xbox Live Indie Games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation Mobile for PlayStation Vita and certified PlayStation Mobile Android devices.