Thursday, May 9, 2013

VGR Tiny Toons - Buster Busts Loose!

And here's the fourth final Tiny Toons episode from Konami!

VGR: Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!
From Konami
Played on Super Nintendo
Also available on /

Type Sidescroller platformer
Year 1992

Back in the early 1990s, Konami wasn't just a company that kept releasing big selling action games (Contra, Castlevania, Rocket Knight, etc.). They were also one of the rare ones that used to not only develop good licensed titles but made quite a name for themselves with lots of really fun, really good hits.

Amongst those were the Tiny Toon Adventures videogames.

Buster Busts Loose! is actually their fourth Tiny Toons game, after two first good episodes on the NES, namely Tiny Toon Adventures and Trouble in Wackyland, and a really great Buster's Hidden Treasure on the Megadrive. This time, developed exclusively for the SNES, most of the staff from the Sparkster series still on team behind it.

The game is essentially a follow-up to those previous titles, it builds upon many ideas from the past games while adding its own spin.

This time there's...not really an on-going plot.

The story is more like a succession of little sketches (the stages), episodes told via little animated cutscenes using the in-game characters.

"Buster Busts Loose!" starts with Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny - no relation! - talking in front of Acme Looniversity.

When Busters finds out he's going to be late for his class and runs away. Babs tries to warn him about a bunch of animals loose on the school..but it's already too late!


As you can see, it's no award-winning storyline. The plot here is merely an excuse for the levels one after the others. Sure the exchange between characters can be funny and are in-character. But it's more of a disjointed scenario.

After that Buster runs from one situation to another.

There are 6 stages supposedly each 6 different cartoon adventures. You start at the Loonversity and then jump into an Old West movie, a mansion in an Horror Movie setting, a Football game, a Sky level to finally arrive in a Space Opera epic.

Levels end up with a boss fight, and the stages themselves are often punctuated by sub-bosses.

The game plays like your usual sidescroller. With it's own gimmick.

While Buster's Hidden Treasure was sort of a Mario Bros 3 clone, this SNES episode is actually closer and more inspired by Sonic. Which is kinda funny when you think about it.

Buster can jump - although it won't hurt your enemies. He has a kick attack while jumping.

The entire gameplay is based around the Dash you can perform with the trigger buttons. By crouching quickly while running you can hurt enemies, slide under small passageways and even throw elements from the stage such as barrels. You can also reach higher places that way by jumping after a dash.

Buster Busts Loose! feels a lot more straightforward than the previous title. There's only 6 short and simple levels played one after the other.

Thankfully they can be quite tricky.

The stages are designed around several scenes. If you play on easy it will skip the later parts (the sky stage is missed entirely!).

Each level contains its own little difficult points. So you might lose a lot of times whenever you reach one of those parts.

That's where enters the WHEELS O' GAME!

Between levels you can decide a minigame amongst 5 different ones through a "roulette" wheel. It's also the part where you sort of-get to play as the other Tiny Toons in a way reminiscent of the second NES game. While some like Plucky's bingo are more of random simple games, Babs' minigame is actually a real playable Pac-man clone. You get various tries through the stars collected in the main game itself. And always end up scoring several more lives.

It's a very funny enjoyable experience.

The game looks fantastic! The sprites representing the characters are recognizable, huge and colorful!

The music sounds great and really represents the tone of the animated series.

The sprint mechanic is really original. The difficulty here and there can be annoying.

The football field stage is a nice change of pace and really help you breath though... if you are able to get through it without much trouble. It really seems like Konami wanted to make a full sports game out of Tiny Toons. (and they did!) But it seems a bit out of place here and is a bit tricky.

Using the kick in the air as sole attack can be a bit annoying to use, even once the game mastered.

The minigames are a great idea. They're fun. And help this really, really short game.

Overall, it's another great Tiny Toons game!

Probably not the best, but it tries many things to change things up. The little stories capture the tone of the show. And bring Buster from the schoolyard through the movie sets/genre parodies.

The game is full of little details to notice. Such as the neat little Back To The Future or Star Wars references.

While the 1st one on the NES was more of a traditional platformer and the Megadrive one offered exploration and huge levels not that far from the Mario Bros/World series, this episode on the SNES is a short easy fast paced sidescroller.
I give it:
2 / 3 Bruces!

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