Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #103 : Bucky O'Hare

Title : Bucky O'Hare

Publisher : Konami

Genre : Action Platformer

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $40-$50

There was something about anthropomorphic, comic super heroes that was insanely addictive for a nine year old. Hell, I'm still hooked on the Ninja Turtles and I'm thirty. It doesn't matter though,I'll happily admit to my addiction any day. They're bad ass. Completely, and utterly bad ass. As you may have guessed, I made it a point to own as many comics as I could based on these heroes. My Ninja Turtle comic collection exceeds the hundreds, thanks in most part to my parents buying these "bulk" comic books at the local store, which had a slew of random comics in them. Luckily, a lot of these random comics happened to be the Ninja Turtle ones.

Then something else came in one of those bulk packages. It was Bucky O'Hare. When I first saw Bucky O'Hare, I didn't know what to expect. First off, he scared crap out of me. Secondly, bunnies didn't really do it for me. But then I started reading it, and it was like combining Star Wars and Ninja Turtles. It actually reminds me a lot of Star Fox. Same idea, technically. Anthropomorphic space fighters. 

Can't go wrong, right?

Bucky O'Hare took off, but not as strongly as the TMNT. Of course, that meant a game had to be made. Any excuse to milk off a successful comic was pretty much a given. Enter Konami and their expertise at making action-platformers.

I managed to play this game as a kid after renting it from my local video store, but I can't remember if I ever beat it. Hell, I haven't seen a copy of this game in ages. Well, all that is about to change.

Time to give those Toads a taste of their own medicine.

Guess what? Another kidnapping! Bucky O'Hare's crew has been taken by the terrible TOADs and is in need of rescue! You'll control Bucky as he journey's through multiple worlds, and rescues his crew members until he faces off in an ultimate showdown against the Toad Army! Epic, is it not?

The game follows the traditional action-platformer format. Run around, jump around, shoot enemies, and avoid obstacles. Easy enough. You've got your standard life meter, and also a power meter which increases as you shoot your weapon longer. Of course, you don't want to keep spamming this, as you'll end up overheating your gun. At least that prevents you from just rapidly tapping the fire button.

Alright, so now that you've got the basics down you can pretty much assume this is going to be like every other platformer. Well, Konami at least tries to change things up a bit here by introducing the ability to switch characters as you rescue them.

Think of it as Mega Man. After you rescue you a crew member (by beating the level's boss), you are able to switch characters during the subsequent levels. And you're going to need to. Some obstacles can only be solved by switching characters and using their special abilities. It's just like Mega Man switching weapons, or using Rush. But this time you're switching out characters completely.

It's also a lot like Mega Man in which you choose which levels to face in any particular order you want. But like I said, getting past these levels depends a lot on which crew members you've rescued, and what abilities you have. Some can blast through walls, others can fly through the air for a limited time, while another has upgraded weapons. It's enough variety to keep you interested as it doesn't force you to just blast through enemies with Bucky's pellet gun.

Just like Mega Man, this game is seemingly impossible the first times you play it. It's frustrating to the point where you just want to give up and cry. Enemies swarm you, and they seem to hit you no matter how hard you try to dodge. There are always moments where you back yourself into a wall and your forced to just try and blast your way through, or randomly switch to other characters in hopes that you could escape.

Relentless....but it's a good thing. The challenge is there, and it forces you to replay and learn the levels and the enemies.

As you progress, and rescue more characters you'll eventually find yourself on the Toad ship....where everyone gets kidnapped again. It's like playing through the entire game, as you fight through the Toad Army and rescue your characters again.

Surprisingly enough, this is one of the better action platformer games you're going to find on the NES. The game requires actually requires quite a bit of strategy, and it's highly reminiscent of Mega Man. How can you go wrong with a Mega Man clone, that's ACTUALLY done well?

It's visually appealing, the music is addictive, and the character designs are pulled straight out from the comics. Sure, it may not be as hardcore as Mega Man, but this is a great introduction if you want to to prepare yourself for the challenge that is playing as the robot in blue.

Pick it up. It's worth it.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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