Review by Bizenya79

Reviewed: 08/18/08

A Solid Platformer.....

On the surface, Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa might not seem like a game worth more than a passing glance. After all, it's about a baby (yup, an infant) who works his way through colorful world oversized candy, toys, and kindergarten supplies, battling an endless onslaught of enemies with a rattle as his only weapon. Sounds a bit lame, doesn't it? Well, maybe...but the fact is that Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa is actually a remarkably satisfying and worthwhile game.

Let's break it down:

Story: 5 out of 10

Well, there's not much to the story here, really (of course, given the nature of the game, and the era in which it was released, story isn't exactly of utmost concern). In a nutshell, though, we play as Prince Upa, of the Akuyo Kingdon. He's charged with the task of saving his world from the evil advances of the demon Zai. Beyond that basic information, however, we're told practically nothing else. Additionally, Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa features no plot development of any kind -- no cut scenes, no narration, no dialogue or additional characters, etc. Once you start the game, it's straight action from that point forward.

While a degree of story might have enhanced the experience a little, that's really not a reasonable thing to expect out of a cutesy platformer released in 1988. Plus, given the fact that this is a Japanese import title, it may be for the better that there's no plot development -- if other import titles available on the Wii's Virtual Console are any indication (like, say, Do Rae Mi Fantasy), the inclusion of any cut scenes here would have been left untranslated, anyway. Bottom line is you're an infant prince who has to stop evil. Good enough.

Graphics: 7 out of 10

For the time and the system that gave us Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa, the graphics here really aren't bad. Colors are vibrant, and the sprites are all clearly defined with nice, fluid movements. I did find the game a little lacking in terms of the enemy and environment variety, though. You'll see the same sorts of creatures over and over again, and their designs could have been more creative. Considering the fantastical nature of the title itself, some more inspired enemy designs would have been appreciated. Instead, what we get are Eggplant Wizard-looking floaty things, and giant pigs that mimic Birdo from Super Mario 2. All in all, however, the visuals in Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa are just fine.

Sound: 6 out of 10:

The music of Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa is well-suited for the nature of the game, and occasionally catchy. However, it's also highly-repetitive, and can start to grate a little after extended periods of play. The sound effects are simple and cutesy (me like the rattle sound). Generally, a little more effort could have gone into the audio of this game, but like everything else about it, it's good enough.

Gameplay: 7 out of 10:

OK, so Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa is an Up-Down/Left-Right sidescrolling action platformer (it plays kind of similar to Chip 'N Dales Rescue Rangers, for those of us who remember that Capcom gem from back in the day). Fairly standard for its era, although the game does offer a greater level of depth than many others of its genre, thanks to the clever ways in which we can interact with the enemies we defeat. See, when Prince Upa hits a foe with his rattle, that creature will be temporarily stunned, and start to float away. For a few moments while this is happening, we're able to use the immobilized enemy as a platform, which is often essential to progressing. You can also use stunned enemies as weapons, to be launched at others, lending a degree of variety to the combat aspect of the game.

Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa is divided into seven or so main worlds, each further divided into three or four levels, at the end of which is always a boss. Although this is a very simple game, it can (and does) offer some real challenge in later levels, once it starts throwing more enemies at you and the platforming hazards increase. You'll find yourself using a fair number of the (thankfully) infinite continues later on, and the possibility of frustration does set in once you've grown tired of having to replay the entire level each time you lose a life. Still, if you keep trying, you'll make it through, and even start to enjoy the trial and error grind.

Controls are mostly responsive and comfortable (although the Prince does have the annoying habit of sliding just a few more steps than we'd like him to), and the game seems to work just find with any of the controller options allowed by the virtual console.

Overall: 7 out of 10

All in all, Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa is a well-made, fairly innovative platformer that offers a satisfying amount of action, and enough variety, to stay entertaining for a respectable-length playthrough. Not quite as lightweight as it may at first appear, this unusual import title could well be worth the Wii Points, time, and memory blocks, whether it's for the curious, or fans of its genre. Give it a chance.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Bio-Miracle Bokutte Upa (US, 06/09/08)

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