There's no case too big, no case too small, and Capcom's called the Rescue Rangers back into action! Just when you thought you'd polished off Fatcat for good in the first NES Chip 'N' Dale game, he returns to drive our boys nutty once again.
Rescue Rangers 2 returns the whole gang for some top-notch platform action. Anyone who's a fan of the rodents in question and great action games in general should dust off their 8-bit for these chipmunks.
The Cat in the Fat
The Rescue Rangers were livin' the good life in the old tree house hideaway when Fatcat broke out of prison. Following this startling turn of events, the Rescue Rangers are led on a merry chase across town as they try to stop a time bomb, recover the stolen Urn of Pharaoh, escape from a freezer, save the local amusement park from destruction, and generally keep Fatcat's whiskers out of other people's business. It's multiple levels of 'munk mayhem.
A Chip off the Old Block
Rescue Rangers 2 picks up right where the first left off. There aren't many new techniques introduced, but the game play remains fun and humorous enough to warrant a play-through. Duplicating the setup of the last game, you can play alone as Chip or Dale, but you don't have to be a lone Ranger. You can also team up with a friend in the familiar two-player mode.
ProTip: Beware of enemies with forks. Hit them from below to avoid a ricochet.
Crate Balls of Fire
Chip and Dale have basic run, jump, and throw moves. Being chipmunks, they don't use fireballs, machetes, or even nuts to kill enemies. Instead, they grab Crates and hide under them for protection or toss them in seven directions as weapons. They can also collect Acorns for extra life energy and Stars for 1 -ups. The controls are tight, reliable, and easy to learn for players of all ages.
- Use the Baseball to enter this secret room in Level 3.
- Hide under a Crate when a Bee drops pollen. You won't lose the Crate if the pollen touches you.
- In the Western World, when you see a boulder at the edge of the screen, pull Left to slam on the breaks and avoid a big headache.
- Some enemies can be defeated just by hiding out.
Rescue 2's about as challenging as the original -- perfect for beginning or intermediate players, but a tad easy for anyone else. The game's not particularly long, but with only three continues you'll have to replay a few times to find all the 1-ups you'll need to beat the game. In two-player mode the game's easier because you have more firepower, but harder because you have to cooperate on which way to go. Together you'll live, divided you'll fall... into a pit.
Unlike some licensed properties, the Rangers remain completely faithful to the source material. Capcom went to great lengths to write a story that's straight out of the cartoon series. Supporting characters -- Monty, Gadget, and Zipper -- play their parts in bonus games and in the great cinematic intermissions between levels. You'll even notice some of the infamous cartoon villains in the game, such as the Robo-Hounds.
- Against this fiery boss, stay one step ahead by jumping up to each platform as it scrolls on the screen. Then tag the boss with Crates.
- To build up energy for a power throw, run continuously in one direction without touching a wall.
Rescue's graphics are some of the best around by 8-bit standards. You'll stay 'tuned in with lots of great-looking enemies that are smoothly animated, the cute protagonists, and a variety of wacky levels. The effect of the tiny Rangers in big worlds, such as the Kitchen and the Clock Tower, adds to the visual appeal.
The chipper music and cute sound effects also get the thumbs up. You'll hear lots of details, too, such as the evil Bees buzzing and the solid collision sounds. If you don't tire of Disney theme songs, hey, feel free to hum along.
- In the bonus game, try to lead the flashing Star by a few inches with the big Red Ball.
- The Ghost Boss appears on the left and right sides of the screen in patterns. Anticipate where he'll appear and move the other way. Run under him, grab the rocks, and then pop him.
The charm of Rescue Rangers is definitely its excellent Mario-style action, which is mixed with a cast of zany, personable characters. This game definitely isn't Cheap 'N' Dull.