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Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck – Sega CD

Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck – Sega CD

Chuck_Rock_II_Son_of_Chuck_coverPlatform: Sega CD

Developer: CoreDesign, LTD.

Publisher: Virgin Interactive Games

Release Date (NA): 1993

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck. Chuck Rock II is the successor to Chuck Rock for the Sega CD, although both games would see a Sega Genesis release. I could go on for days about Sega’s blunders with the Sega CD, one of the many is releasing the same game for the Genesis AND the Sega CD. Chuck Rock II for the Sega CD is a true sequel as the story of Chuck continues to move forward even though we are playing with Chuck Junior as the main character. You will notice new things, old things, confusing things, and frustrating things in this classic Sega CD platformer.

After Chuck rescued his wife Ophelia from the rockin’ lady’s man Gary Gritter, they decide to settle down and make sweet sweet chuck 2 4baby-makin’ love. After that night of bangin’ like cavemen (see what I did there?), Ophelia gives birth to their first and only child, Chuck Junior.

Chuck Senior has a cushy job making automobiles out of stone and he’s pretty damn good at it too, even starting his own car company creating Rockettes. His competitor, Brick Jagger, sees how good he is at building cars,  so he orders his goons to kidnap Chuck. Being a chip off the old block, Chuck Junior hears about the kidnapping and says “goo goo gaga” which in baby talk means “I’ll be back… with my dad.”

Join the little stinker as he hitchhikes on dinosaurs, swings through jungles, and intimidates tigers. Pout. Throw tantrums. Scream your lungs out. If all else fails, hold your breath until you’re blue. If that doesn’t work, give ‘em the old one-two with your trusty club. It’s amazing what you can get away with when you’re still teething!

Before we even begin playing Chuck Rock II we can tell that this game is highly similar. If you remember, in the first Chuck Rock game, Chuck’s wife is kidnapped and it is up to Chuck to traverse the wild prehistoric lands to go save her. Being the Neanderthal that he is, he is armed with a giant belly (used for attacking enemies) and brute strength which is used to pick up rocks and strategically place them in the proper locations. In Chuck Rock II, however, Chuck Junior is now armed with a club, which is much more enjoyable and easier to use than a bursting potbelly.


chuckrock2--article_imageThe first thing I noticed with Chuck Rock II was the beautiful graphics and animation style. Not too dissimilar from the 1st Chuck Rock yet different enough to really get your attention and wrap you up in the game. The full separation of background from foreground is done exceptionally well and helps create a unique 3D visual appearance to a somewhat standard 2D side scrolling platformer. Somehow, they were able to take the above-average graphics of the 1st Chuck Rock and make them even better with Chuck Rock II. Appropriately detailed with rocks, stones, shrubs, trees, lava, dinosaurs, and plenty of other extinct insects, each level is unique and can hardly be compared to any other platformer for a 16-bit system of the time. The graphics are crisp and detailed to a point that you might feel like you are playing this on the Sega Saturn instead of the Sega CD, and that is likely due to the fact that this game came out nearing the very end of the Sega Genesis’s life and all of its alien-add-ons. These attractive graphics added some welcome eye candy for me as I started playing Chuck Rock II for the first time and lasted all the way through the end. But it didn’t stop with the full use of Sega CD’s color palette or its inspiring detailed animation. The CD-quality audio is a marvel in and of itself.

Prior to the title screen for Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck, we are provided with a lengthy introduction video (exactly 3 minutes and 5 seconds chuck 2 3long). This introduction video is exclusive to the Sega CD and Amiga CD32 versions of the game as it features full-motion cartoon video and a complete verbal narration, both of which would be nearly impossible for a cartridge to handle. The video is really funny and is one of the better ways to introduce the story to the audience. The quality is fantastic and I’m sure Sega CD owners were pleased to have something that owners of the Genesis cart did not have!

Soundtrack and Audio

Chuck Rock II is possibly most famous for its odd slapstick humor and solid gameplay, but almost nobody can forget the music in this game, no matter which system you played it on. The Amiga CD32 and the Sega CD most notably had the best end of the deal with a full CD-quality soundtrack from beginning to end while the cartridge versions of Chuck Rock II unfortunately were left with MIDI chiptunes. Aw, so sad. But not us, right? We’re one of the lucky ones and we’re playing Chuck Rock II on Sega CD! Each level has its own unique blend of music appropriate for the level layout. Often defined as “acid jazz”, some of the music sounds more like it belongs on “Music from the Keys of Florida” compilation CD being loaded with steel drums and whatnot. But the “acid jazz” soundtrack has some serious funk and a really special feel to it. There’s a sense of “this isn’t just any platforming game” whenever you begin to play and the music is largely responsible for that feeling.

chuck 2 6Not working in the sound effects’ favor is the sound Chuck Junior makes when he jumps. He gives out a little baby “yelp” EVERY… SINGLE… TIME… and it’s just insanely annoying. But other than his jumping, the sound effects are pretty solid albeit pretty standard and ordinary. You get the sound you expect when you bash someone with a club or when a giant dinosaur walks across the screen. Overall, the music and sound (less the baby yelp-jump) is pretty exceptional and provides some memorable moments, even if the songs aren’t incredibly catchy.

The Gameplay

Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck plays almost identical to Chuck Rock, except some of the controls have been adjusted to fit to Chuck Junior’s size, abilities, and his club-use. Chuck Junior does not use his belly at all like his old man. Instead this little tyke is wielding his trusty wooden club and it must weigh about twice as much as him because he drags it behind him everywhere he goes. The controls are exceptional, actually, they’re damn near flawless.

Simple and straightforward with the 3 button scheme, C-button makes him jump. Jumping is instrumental in all platforming games, but the ability to change directions mid-air is extremely useful and we ultimately owe a huge deal of gratitude to Super Mario Bros. for making that a popular scheme. The B-button makes little Junior swing his club. He cannot, however, swing his club upward or anything like that, but when he is in the air, he can swing the club down. The A-button makes Junior put his club on the ground and balance on itchuck2 vertically. At first I was confused by this but it actually serves a pretty unique purpose. Chuck Junior is too short to do much of anything, such as ducking or climbing onto things. So via the A-button, he can climb on top of his club and then climb on top of animals to ride around on, like a prehistoric spotted pig (Nerd Bacon style, thanks Core!). The benefit to riding the pig is you don’t have to jump over spikes, the pig just walks right through them.

There are some levels that are unnecessarily difficult due to the high volume of enemies consistently attacking you out of nowhere. Sometimes Junior just can’t swing his club fast enough, so he might be able to take out the first enemy in a line of enemies, but the 2nd one right behind him always gets a hit in. This is wildly frustrating when you have a lot on the line (low life meter and no lives left). There’s almost no way to avoid being hit at times.

In Son of Chuck, there appears to be less emphasis on the rock puzzles and more on just traditional platforming. Nobody is complaining about that, but the puzzles did add some neat variety to a generic genre of gaming. It gave us a chance to solve some puzzles, which is always rewarding, and not just to run and jump. Chuck Rock II still provides these puzzles but less often. The end result is some impressive platforming at its finest.


Chuck Rock 2 - Son of Chuck-2Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck is truly a marvelous platforming game. The platformer genre was feeling pretty worn out and tired by the time 1993 rolled around. Atari Juguar and Jaguar CD, Sony Playstation, Panasonic 3DO, and Sega Saturn were either already on the market or were nearing their release. The next generation of consoles promised to usher in a new era of fully-rendered three dimensional graphics. So 2D platforming was on its way to being a thing of the past. Core Designs already had a formula from their 1st Chuck Rock game and they saw an opportunity to create something unique and to cash in one last time before cartoony 2D side scrolling platforms were completely forgotten.

The result is a visually pleasing and enjoyable platformer. Chuck Rock II really packs a punch with its beautiful graphics, stunning CD-quality audio and music, strong platforming elements and all of that paired with a really simple yet solid control scheme. One of the biggest flaws of the platforming genre is a lack of variety. Chuck Rock II sees more than enough variety and they really deliver one of the best platforming games I’ve played in a very long time. I personally don’t think it could ever beat out many of the Mario games or Sonic games, but it deserves a spot among the top 20 best platformers and definitely deserves a spot among the top Sega CD titles ever released. Unfortunately Chuck Rock II would be almost entirely forgotten as time went on, but there are a number of people out there who have very fond memories of watching Chuck Junior come into his own as he travels the dangerous world in which he lives in order to save his father. Core Designs… You guys did a great job.

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry


Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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