Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure (GEN) Retro Review

I remember as a young lad, running home so I could have my mid-afternoon snack and watch an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures on the telly. It still is a very good show, and it makes me feel bad for children growing up now with such a low quality of good television shows for their age group. Nonetheless, here's a classic retro review of Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Sega Genesis. Konami does what Segagain doesn't. Or something like that.

A better game than Super Pluckio Bros.
All screenshots by SuperPhillip.

In the early nineties, Tiny Toon Adventures was all the rage with elementary school tykes and even older folks. Coupled with great humor and a cast of likable characters, the show did well enough to be immortalized in the realm of syndication. And like any money-making franchise video games followed suit from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the SNES and then to the Genesis where Konami's Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure takes place.
When a secret treasure is rumored to be hidden within Acme Acres, Buster Bunny decides to go on an adventure to find it. However, he's not the only one after this hidden gold. The rich mega-millionaire Montana Max catches wind of the treasure and goes off to discover it before his rival can. Who will recover the treasure first? Well, who am I to spoil the biggest secret in gaming?

Buster slides into home plate!

Buster's Hidden Treasure doesn't break the mold of a platforming game. I'd even go as far to say that it's a cross-breeding of Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog. Buster begins his quest in the verdant bluffs of Acme Acres. By reaching Go-go Dodo at the end of each stage he opens up another level. Some areas have a hidden exit which will open up an alternate path for Buster to follow. After four or five stages Buster will come across the villainous Dr. Gene Splicer who has brainwashed many of the blue bunny's buddies. By hitting Dr. Splicer on the head multiple times with Buster's jump and avoiding attacking Buster's brainwashed buddy, the pal will snap out of his hypnosis state and the boss battle will be completed. These boss battles feel a lot like a bout with Dr. Robotnik. Each battle has a different invention and attack that needs to be avoided.

Normal levels (which there are twenty-something of) will take Buster from rolling, expansive green fields to a water mill inside of a forest to a volcanic cavern to the bottom of the ocean floor. There's a lot of variety here, and it's all welcome in Buster's adventure. The pacing of the game is perfect as well. Players will start off in easy levels, but move onto some dastardly-devised stages. Most enemies can be defeated with a simple jump on the head. If Buster gets enough speed his feet will agilely cycle as if he were Sonic the Hedgehog. Buster is also an acrobrat. He can leap off walls as well as crawl through narrow passages.

Every hero needs a life, right? Hearts are the life supply of Buster Bunny. He starts off with three in each level. Collect a bell inside a bubble (don't ask me what the hell a bell is doing inside a bubble for) to add an addition heart to Buster's supply. This will stay with Buster until all of his lives are gone and the player continues. Collecting carrots (which are plentiful in Buster's Hidden Treasure) to gain the ability to summon a Tiny Toon Adventures supporting role to purge the screen of all baddies. Little Sneezer the mouse, for example, takes one huge sneeze to blow away all of the enemies in sight.

From grassy plateaus to haunted pirate ships, Buster explores all.

Graphically, the 2-D graphics are clean, colorful, and nice to look at. Buster has several animations tied to his sprite as do all of the other sprites in the game. The soundtrack is very good, and I'd be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn't be humming the tunes after an extended play session. Get... out... of my head... Can-can... theme!!

Speaking of extended play sessions, that might be a good idea. Because the game has an absolutely horrid password system. It's sixteen letters, and the interface isn't that terrific. It's more of a hassle than anything which makes one wonder why a battery save wasn't included with the original cartridge.

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure might not be the most original platformer out there, but it's damned fun. There's a good number of stages to play through, the difficulty is just right, and it's in my opinion one of the best cartoon to video game adaptations available for the 16-bit era, and easily the best Tiny Toon Adventures game ever created. Fans of the old cartoon will love this title, and even those who never watched a single episode and can't even tell apart Buster and Babs Bunny (no relation) will enjoy the game. That's a wrap.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10]

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