Tiny Toon Adventures (NES) review
"For example, the fourth one consisted of little more than a brief series of jumps while dodging some sort of dog that occasionally sprinted at my character. After I got my timing down, so I’d avoid the dog’s charges, I realized it only took me about 10 seconds to do that entire part of the level. And, to be honest, it wasn’t much shorter than any of the other four areas."
I’ll be honest with you. I never watched more than a scant handful of however many episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures were made because I felt that series was just some lame attempt to exploit the popularity of the legendary Looney Tunes for a new generation of people. Therefore, I might not be the most versed on the subject matter for Konami’s Tiny Toon Adventures video game for the NES, but I can tell you one thing -- no matter what level of quality the cartoon possesses, this game doesn’t do it justice.
I didn’t really see much (if any) of the wacky, zany personality that cartoons of this sort tend to have in this game. Instead, I found myself playing a pretty generic platformer that seemed to start out wanting to be a clone of Super Mario Brothers, but apparently decided that was a bit too lofty of a goal and set its sights a bit lower.
Taking control of one rabbit, my job was to rescue another rabbit from the clutches of some spoiled rich kid named Montana Max. At the beginning of each of the game’s six worlds, I could choose one of three helpers who seemed to be the dopplegangers of Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat and the Tazmanian Devil (but with names like “Plucky”, “Furball” and “Dizzy”). Obviously, each of the three had their own useful attributes, but for most of the game, I was more than content to use Furball since he could jump higher than the others and could also climb walls -- two very useful attributes in most (if not all) platformers.
Initially, I felt I was playing Super Mario Brothers with only a few minor alterations. My rabbit traveled through grasslands and caves collecting carrots which could be traded in for extra lives. Hitting power-up balls resulted in one of two gifts -- either a heart that allowed him to absorb one hit from enemies without perishing OR the ability to transform into his partner for that world. Oh yeah, regardless of if I was controlling the rabbit or his friend, my primary way of attacking foes was by jumping on their heads. Nope, never done that before....
But after going through a couple of worlds, I stopped being reminded of Super Mario Brothers on a regular basis and started “fondly” reminiscing of those golden days of my gaming career where I seemed to play a inordinate number of old-school platformers that seemed insufferably cheap. In the fourth world, which took place in various locales around a random city, enemies seemed to pop up with absolutely no warning, making it nearly impossible to avoid getting hit on my first time through virtually every screen of at least the first two levels.
And that seemed tame compared to a few of the sublevels of Montana Max’s mansion. Sliding under rows of lethal spikes wasn’t a particularly difficult task on its own, but did become a bit on the annoying side when I also had to contend with a horde of knife-throwing security guards. It also wasn’t much fun riding an elevator up a shaft while dodging money bags being fired out of cannons, as there really wasn’t any time to figure out whether I had to jump or duck to avoid getting pelted.
Still, regardless of how generic and/or cheap moments in Tiny Toon Adventures could be, the thing that bothered me the most about this game was simply how short it was. The first four worlds are nothing more than three short levels followed by a forgettable boss fight. After that, Konami apparently felt the need to really tighten things up, since the fifth world seemed to be nothing more than one three-part level with no boss and no real goal other than retrieving five bird dolls in order to move to Montana’s mansion.
For the final challenge in a game, Monty’s pad is a real letdown, as it’s only five extremely tiny sub-levels and a boss fight. And when I say “extremely tiny”, I mean it! For example, the fourth one consisted of little more than a brief series of jumps while dodging some sort of dog that occasionally sprinted at my character. After I got my timing down, so I’d avoid the dog’s charges, I realized it only took me about 10 seconds to do that entire part of the level. And, to be honest, it wasn’t much shorter than any of the other four areas.
Simply put, there isn’t much to Tiny Toon Adventures. It’s an overly short game marred by a lack of originality and by much of it just not being much fun. While I must admit I have a certain soft spot for many generic platformers of the NES era simply because the Super Mario Brothers style of play was both addictive and easy to pull off, this game just didn’t satisfy me.
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (December 22, 2006)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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