Review by Kartman

Reviewed: 01/06/04

A mildly addicting little game, for a little bit at least

I first played Bionic Battler about 10 years ago, actually, not long after I first got a Gameboy. For some reason or another I found it addictive at the time, though I can't remember a whole lot about it now. Anyhoo, here goes.

STORY: 3.2/10.0 ''Cheesy apocalyptic sci-fi in all its glory...I-I-Iii-Iii..think!''

While I can't remember the story too well, I think it had to do with robots taking over the world, and you had to dispose of them by fighting them in close-quarters mazes underground, but I may be mistaken. It might've been a post-modern interpretation of a Shakespearian work. Okay, bad joke.

GRAPHICS: 7.8/10.0 ''First person...wooo...''

The game is played from a first person perspective and actually looks sorta like an early Wizardry title...though those are two entirely different genres. The top half of the screen shows your actual view in-game, while the bottom half displays an overview of the maze you're in. It also shows your current health and energy levels and whatnot. The display is effective though the in-game graphics can get confusing, especially since you really can't tell who's in front of you (friend of foe) until you're about 2 squares away. In addition, if the person in front of you is an enemy, it's hard to tell if it's facing you or facing away (crucial if you don't want to get caught in a health-depleting slugfest). Otherwise, the graphics are probably the strongest part of the game.

SOUND 5.7/10.0 ''Beep boop...beep boop in your ears...''

Sound effects are really what drags this score down. While the sounds during gameplay are halfway decent (standard punch/missile explosion sounds), a beep sound when you're nearing another 'bot in the maze, and so on. The part of this that is bad though is just that god-awful sound your character makes when he walks to/from the ''battler's'' hangar, a steady beeping sound. Ugh. I could've done without. The other weak point is the main theme music, which is a bit catchy at first, but gets a bit annoying after some time.

In-game though, you can select what music you want to hear during gameplay (Disco, C & W [a country-sounding tune] or a Japanese rock-style tune). I prefer either the disco or the Japanese tune. Or if these don't suit you, you can play with the music turned off.

GAMEPLAY 5.5/10.0 ''Can you say redundant? Say it with me, kids!''

The game has five difficulty levels, the difference between which is the size of the maze and the number of opponents you face (from 3 up to 7). You can also play with ''Option'' turned on. All this means is that you get two 'allies' who will go after opponents with you. The problem with this is that the AI in Bionic Battler is, to put it, sub-par. Usually within the first minute of a fight (especially at level 3 or up), they'll be wiped out, though they may sometimes drop a foe for you. Still, don't count on winning with much of their help.

Your attacks: limited to a punch or a missile you have to charge up to fire.

This game is quite challenging though, which saves it from being total crap. With large mazes and a few recovery items sparsely scattered around, winning at high levels can be a real test of skill (with some luck thrown in for good measure). The problems with the graphics can add to the difficulty though, but not in a good way.

REPLAY VALUE: 2.0/10.0 ''Once you've seen it, you've seen it all.''

As for extras, this game has all of and every bit of nothing. Once you've finished all five difficulty levels, you've done it all...

THE BOTTOM LINE
If you find this game at any game store, it probably won't cost more than a couple dollars, which is about as much as I'd pay for it. It's fun for a little bit, at least, but nothing you won't finish in more than an hour or so.

The total from above ratings is 24.2/50 (48.4%).
GameFAQs equivalent: 5/10

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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