Review by Damon Plus
A surprisingly good game, just not very original
After a successful cartoon series released in early 90's, and some games in the 3 Nintendo systems, Konami decided to take Tiny Toon to the Genesis in 1993. At the time, movie or cartoon based games were either hit or miss. Would this game be as good as other Tiny Toon games released before it? Let's find out.
Story is a mix on two of the most used plots in videogames history: find the treasure+save your friends/girlfriend. Buster Bunny finds a map of a hidden treasure, and Montana Max wants it, so with the help of Dr Gene Splicer (whom you fight as the end of stage boss) he kidnapps all of your friends. Now you have to get the treasure and save them. Gets points for having the storyline explained in nice cutscenes at the start of the game, something not all games do. 6/10
While graphics in this game are not some of the best you'll find on the Genesis, they are very pleasing to the eye. There's not complex parallax layers, nor are there impressive rotation effects, but there's lot of colour on them, like what you'd see in a cartoon. Animation is pretty nice as well, with the best example being Buster Bunny, the main character. Its ears flap in the wind when he runs, or, when he's walking through a narrow passage, they bend against his head instead of being pointy as they usually are. The facial expressions are what you'd expect from a Looney Toon cartoon, and you'll find quite a lot of characters from the series too. The only flaw is that backgrounds are sometime quite bare-bones. Although they look as to what they want to represent and are very colorful, they lack some content at times. 8/10
As for the sound, there's some music taken directly from the cartoon, and some original music. They are mostly cheerful, upbeat, almost circus-like music, very appropriate for this type of game. Not memorable, but good enough. The sound effects are even more standard, with your usual jumping , bouncing, and getting and item sounds. 7/10
The controls are simple enough. With the D-Pad you move the character, starting slow, but getting progressively faster, and duck. The A button calls your helper (more on that later), while the B button does a sliding kick if you're running, and the C button jumps. You can jump against walls too. Controls are fine, but they are maybe the biggest flaw in this game. When you're running Buster gets pretty hard to control, but even worse is the jumping. Your jump has no momentum whatsoever, and, at the moment you stop pressing C, Buster will fall like a rock to the ground, and then,start walking slower than if you didn't jump before doing so. You can get used to it and it doesn't ruin the game, but it lacks polish. 6/10
Gameplay is nothing you haven't seen a million times on other platformers. Run to the end of the stage (which is marked by that Dodo bird) while avoiding being killed and fight a boss every 3-4 stages. You can kill enemies bouncing into them, doing a slide kick, or with the aid of a helper (a sort of special power you can use when you get 100 carrots, which are scattered through the stages). Levels take you to all of platform-cliche zones: Plains, Forest, Volcano, Ice... Still, they are very fun to traverse, and there's even some secret levels! The game is not really difficult aside a few spots until the very end, but it will take you a few hours to explore thoroughly, because it as more than 30 levels. You can return to previous levels to restock on extra lives if you want to 8/10
Replay value is pretty good. Aside of the mentioned secret levels, most levels have secret passages with extra lives and other goodies in them, which are entertaining to look for. There's also some elusive bonus zones that transport you to the Wacky world to get even more items. It also includes passwords to resume your game or replay your favorite levels (too bad the password stops working 3 levels before the final boss). The game is, in short, packed with content to entertain you for quite some time. 8/10
I',m amazed that Konami could cram this game in just a 4-Mbit cartridge (same size as Sonic the Hedgehog, btw) but, on the other hand, I wish they would've used a bigger size to include better backgrounds and other graphical touches, and then polish some control flaws.
Tiny Toon Buster Hidden Treasure doesn't add anything to the platform genre, but in the end, it's a good game worthy of being in your collection, moreso if you were a fan of the series. 8/10
Product Release: Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure (EU, 12/31/93)
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