Review by Truck_1_0_1_
I'm Mobo, Who the Hell Are You?! I'm Robo, Who the Hell Are You?!
Every now and then, you play a game that you have heard of, but have never played. A game you have seen, but never experienced. For me, an example of such a game, is the Bonanza Bros. My first introduction to the Bonanza Brothers was back when I was maybe five or six, where I read about the game in an old (and awesome) Sega code book my uncle had owned. Fast forward to 2006 (when I was sixteen going on seventeen), I won capsule toys of Mobo and Robo on Shenmue, wondering just who the Hell these guys were. Finally, when I first plopped Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing into my laptop, I was able to finally play as the brothers, albeit not in their own game, thus I went out and purchased it. The Bonanza Brothers would never blow any other games out of the water, however the incredibly solid and fun game play, in addition to its graphical quirkiness and sound, ensure that this game is a Sega Classic and it will be for years to come. The aforementioned game play will tell you more.
Game play: 9/10
Oh so close to perfect is the game play in Bonanza Bros., that it is a shame that it could have been better. To begin, Bonanza Bros. is a stealth-esque game where you must sneak around and collect treasures and valuables, without being detected by the various different guards, completing the level by reaching the exit. At your disposal is a gun with unlimited ammunition (though it will not kill an enemy, it will incapacitate them for a small period of time) and your brain; use it wisely! Many a time, gamers have rushed into a scene and have been knocked down, wasting valuable time and lives. The key is stealth; use your brain and assess the situation before making your move and you will complete the game in no time. Why the game is not perfect is due to slight hiccups in path-finding, as well as the fact that some commands do not function immediately when inputted (many a time I have shot the gun in time, only to have the enemy shoot me first, when he was really not even close); perhaps it is merely an issue with my copy, however it does detract from the game play somewhat. The game play is superb, as well the story is... differing.
Bonanza Bros. has two different, distinct stories depending on which localization of the game you are playing; In the Japanese version of the game, the Brothers are thieves who are out to steal the treasures for their own gain. In the Western versions of the game, the two are testers for a security system and making your way through the levels is the method of testing this system (presumably made up of guards and dogs). While the latter makes sense for the game, the former has a few inconsistencies; to begin, a security system is effective with proper surveillance, thus if someone is shot as they are in the game, who is to say that the system is not effective? Regardless, the Western story makes for an interesting take on things. Graphics are next.
While not amazing by any stretch, the graphics in Bonanza Bros are good graphics indeed. The locations all roughly appear to be similar, with only minor changes in obstacles found in the levels, as well the enemy characters are all similar with only palette swaps being the major differences. The Brothers themselves are the highlight of the game, with their unique, stocky, almost Lego-esque look, as well as the many movements they perform, such as hiding behind doors, interacting with obstacles or swatting flies if standing in the same spot for too long; simplistic, but it works! As do the sounds.
With a superb soundtrack and great sound effects, Sega had a winner with the sound in Bonanza Bros. The music in-game is also highly simplistic, yet the tunes are catchy and fun, as well as the fact that they fit the game to a T. The sound effects are nothing special, with sounds for the door opening, the gun shooting, the alarms going off and dogs barking, among others, however there are two particular sound effects that are just brilliant; the Brothers speech. Two voice samples (or what appear to be voice samples) are in place for the Brothers, for when they are hit (which can sound like a curse for human feces) and for when they pick up the treasures (a laugh that is simply iconic). Great stuff, though the game takes a hit for replay...
Replay ability: 5/10
You can finish the game in half an hour, that is all there is to it. While this was good for its time, as well as the fact that it is classic Sega in terms of game structure, for today's gamers it is nothing special and there is not much to do other than bettering your score. Replay is a bust.
Buy or rent?
If you can rent the game, this would appear to be that type of title, however if you are a true, blue Sega fan, you would be crazy not to buy this classic.
While nothing overly special or significant, the Bonanza Bros. have made their mark on the video game world with this game. Sega reviving the characters for Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing was a fantastic move by them in my opinion, as well as really whetting the fans appetites for more classic Sega characters in future games. While Bonanza Bros. is far from a perfect, groundbreaking game, it is truly a Sega Classic. "Ehehe!!"
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Bonanza Brothers (US, 05/16/91)
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