Thursday, September 13, 2012

VGR Tiny Toons (Nes)

Time for another licensed game adaptation review!
I already checked out Felix the cat, Samurai Pizza Cats and Back to the Future in the past. (zing!)
Here's one of my favorite series as a kid, Tiny Toons!!

Let's start from the first NES game.

VGR: Tiny Toon Adventures
From Konami
Played on Nes
Also available on /

Type Sidescrolling platformer
Year 1991

Tiny Toon Adventures was actually the very first video game adaptation of this show.
It was internally developed at Konami for the Nintendo.

For this first adaptation, Konami didn't try much.
They basically did a very straightforward and classic 8-bit platformer like there were many at the time.
The entire game actually looks and plays like a pretty decent Mario-clone. One of the better ones no doubt.

You play as Buster Bunny.

Buster has to traverse all of Acme Acres to save Babs Bunny - no relation! - from the evil Montana Max.
Max is hiding in his private Mansion. And you'll need various keys to open the way up to the final confrontation.

So the game's basically a big journey to collect keys on the way to Montana Max.
You will have to explore 6 different "Worlds" to reach them. With 3 acts each.
Starting in Hills, through a Forest, a Cave, the crazy twisted Wackyland, the City and finally the Mansion itself!
You'll face a big Boss at the end of each world and every now and then at the end of an act, the zany Elmyra as well. The Elmyra boss fights are kinda different from usual, the goal is to escape her deadly hugs and reach the Exit Door... once it appears! (so, really, more like a time survival)

Sounds a lot, right?

Fear not, because you are not alone in your quest!
Much like the above-mentioned Samurai Pizza Cats Nes title, you can select alternate characters to help you.
At the start of each world you can choose amongst Plucky Duck, Dizzy Devil  and Furrball.
And in the levels themselves you can swap from Buster to those by touching a special item you can find in all stages. It's the only item that respawns, so if you wanna go back to Buster just catch it again.

They're fully playable characters not just "strickers" aid.
Buster is the "all around" default character. Fast, quick and high jumps, better reach in the "gliding kick attack" you can do by pressing down rapidly during a run.
Plucky's a pretty standard character too, only he can shortly fly while descending, perfect for precise platform jumps.
Furrball's slower but he can sort of climb to vertical walls, not a really useful one to be honest.
And Dizzy and much slower and barely slides witch his run+down move but he's got a spinning attack, the only ability to use the POW meter. (it fills itself with time)

By trial and error you will understand how and when to use these characters, it's fun to play around and have a change every now and then.
And you can find new paths or easier routes during the levels, even if they're usually pretty simple and linear.

The game sounds like it's pretty short, but it isn't really.
The acts get longer and longer. Dying will always bring you back to the beginning, no checkpoints!
Also the game over will take you back to the first act!!

The game gets quickly harder and harder, it demands precisions, patience and a lot of trial-and-error like said above.
And also NO PASSWORD! Nor save! Ugh....

There's some items to help you, such as 1-up lives and a temporary heart that will grant you one hit off.
And you can find Hamton in some places, through a hidden door. In exchange for 30 carrots he will offer you a bonus life.

There's finally a bonus hidden Boss that will pop out from time to time.
Whenever you return to the map (from dying or in-between worlds), if you have a multiple of 11 number of carrots, Duck Vader will attack you!
And it's another way to win additional lives. (though I would have preferred hearts...)

The music is fun and catchy.
The theme song sounds great in 8 bits.

Overall, it's a fun little Mario lookalike.
Even the stages are quite similar in themes and graphics.

The game does get quite difficult in its second half.
It's one of those playthrough you have to do in "one sitting".
(fun fact: there's no cheat code for the level select in the Pal release!!! really!!) 

Anyway, recommended for platformer and Tiny Toons fans.

I give it:
 2 / 3 Bruces!

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