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The Adventures of Bayou Billy (NES) artwork

The Adventures of Bayou Billy (NES) review


"Since itís a widely accepted fact that when it comes to action games we American gamers are veritable supermen compared to our nerdy, Dragon Quest-loving Japanese brethren, Konami laid the foundations for such future translations as Castlevania III, Contra: Hard Corps and Devil May Cry 3 by reprogramming Mad City so that it would be impossible to play. I mean not even CAPTAIN N can beat this, and heís a GAME MASTER."



No discussion of memorable Nintendo games would be complete without The Adventures of Bayou Billy Ė thereís little shortage of steaming loads on the NES, but itís not every day that you run into one thatís been intentionally driven into the ground by its own development team. Since itís a widely accepted fact that when it comes to action games we American gamers are veritable supermen compared to our nerdy, Dragon Quest-loving Japanese brethren, Konami laid the foundations for such future translations as Castlevania III, Contra: Hard Corps and Devil May Cry 3 by reprogramming Mad City so that it would be impossible to play. I mean not even CAPTAIN N can beat this, and heís a GAME MASTER.


You see, instead of tinkering with the AI or something clever, Konami just gave all the enemies about six times more health Ė imagine a beat Ďem up where you fight nothing but bosses, and there can be three of them at any given time. Oh, and you only have three moves at your disposal: a punch, a kick, and a jumping kick. Even if you can avoid getting pounded in retaliation, which isnít going to happen since your opponents donít recoil or show any other signs of discomfort after being struck, it takes *forever* just to knock out one generic thug and get to the next screen. You simply cannot make it out of a level without losing all your lives and being forced to start over again.

Why do you hate America, Konami? Why do you hate FREEDOM?


But this isnít just a frustrating excuse for a brawler Ė you also get a pair of driving scenes that consist of swerving back and forth to avoid poles on either side of the road while helicopters drop missiles on you. Not only did Konami discard the life meter in favor of instant death for daring to graze anything on the screen, but they drastically reduced the time limit while simultaneously making both courses about three times longer than their Japanese counterparts. Since you donít have time to slow down and actually steer, and yet canít afford to hit anything since youíll have squandered any chances of having extra lives thanks to that army of bosses in the previous levels, itís easy to see why even the mighty Game Master would swallow his pride and call NINTENDO POWER for help.


PROTIP: Play OutRun instead.

Ironically enough the original Mad City is actually really easy since the enemies can only absorb two or three hits before expiring and the driving sequences are so much shorter. The early bayou stages even feature a different layout that lets you just wade right through those gator-infested pits instead of trading blows with them for ten minutes. As a typical red-blooded American Łbergamer, I was able to clear the entire game in one go. Graphically this version is also a bit different as the enemies use a different color palette and the driving stages actually have trees and lamp posts instead of squat wooden poles just sticking out from the grass. But more importantly, the typically kidnapped damsel Annabelle sports a full-length dress instead of her familiar halter top and cutoffs, marking the lone moment in Nintendo history that a game was more revealing in America than Japan. Too bad our version omits the alternate ending where you can ditch that bimbo and go hunting for crawdads instead.


Of course the Japanese version is still too much of a bland, extremely limited beat Ďem up to be a lost classic or anything; it just starts to resemble an actual game instead of a portable torture device when you can go toe-to-toe against a lone goon without collapsing in a heap or exploding into a fiery ball of misery every three seconds. Take my advice, N-man Ė forget about Annabelle and concentrate on wooing Princess Lana away from the well-tanned clutches of Simon Belmont. That swamp hussy just ainít worth it.


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HEY, GAMERS! If you enjoyed this game for some reason, see also:
Exile II (TurboGrafx CD)
Original game balance improved by Working Designs in order to make it literally impossible to complete.

Rating: 2/10

sho's avatar
Staff review by Sho (January 19, 2008)

Sho enjoys classic video games, black comedy, and poking people until they explode -- figuratively or otherwise. He also writes a bit.

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