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LONG BLOG

Remembering Japan System Supply.

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Oh. Hey. Look at that! It's a game you might actually have played!

Chameleon Twist came out in 1997. As such, it is one of those very interesting games that only really could have come out in the heyday of generic 3D mascot platformers. In Chameleon Twist, you play as one of four differently-colored chameleons that have fallen through a magic portal into a world full of the same levels that are in every other 3D platformer. In order to make the game more interesting, the chameleons have also been turned into weird, badly-rendered humanoid creatures with long, prehensile tongues. You can run and jump, but your tongue stretches so far that you can use that to cross large gaps or pole-vault into secret areas. Something something Gene Simmons reference goes here.

Your primary method of defense is to lick up enemies with your tongue and fire them back at larger enemies. In fact, that is basically how most of the boss fights are done. The game itself is mostly a bog-standard 3D platformer, with all of the common flaws that early 3D platform games have (camera desperately needs to be analog, and the environments weren't exactly breaking any new ground, even back then). The tongue mechanic is also one that is very tough to get the hang of since it is something that would work much better in a two-dimensional game. Having to judge depth and space based on when and where you use the tongue to snatch enemies or cross a gap is very much a trial-and-error affair.

Despite the flaws, Chameleon Twist is a unique game, and it gets a lot of credit for being so. It's a game that, despite the flaws, is very near and dear to me, since I used to rent this game a lot. In fact, my copy that I own today is an ex-rental. Chameleon Twist was popular enough to get a sequel, which was aptly-named Chameleon Twist 2. Aside from some updated character models, the game was more or less an expansion pack to the first game.

This series would make an excellent comeback on the 3DS as a game in the style of Kirby: Canvas Curse, but since JSS is no longer around and I'm assuming that Sunsoft owns the rights to Chameleon Twist, they hold the fate of this very interesting franchise.

So, what happened to Japan System Supply? Hell if I know. This is just one of those companies that seemed to drop off the face of the earth. One thing is for sure, though: They clearly weren't afraid of taking chances.
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About Titannelone of us since 6:02 PM on 08.12.2013

Hey. I'm Titannel. I am a production specialist for a news station. I also enjoy the video games. I particularly focus on retro video games, though I collect for pretty much everything, against my better judgment..Anyone who can decode my banner wins fifty bonus points. For what? Eh.

Oh, what's that? You want a shorter description? Here's one:

"Production Specialist. Amateur filmmaker. Creative Writer. Real human being. And a real hero."