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Bokosuka Wars (NES) artwork

Bokosuka Wars (NES) review


"You stand alone in strange forest, all area devoid of color except for the few trees and shrubs ahead. You set upon your quest to kill the irritating Lizard King who boggles his eyes at your kingdom. Hark, a gremlin-foe ahead! You charge the weak-looking beast and clash swords. The gremlin quickly fells you. You are dead. In hell, a giant Lizard King chases you around with his pennant and walking cane chanting, ''WOW! YOU LOSE!'' 

 "



You stand alone in strange forest, all area devoid of color except for the few trees and shrubs ahead. You set upon your quest to kill the irritating Lizard King who boggles his eyes at your kingdom. Hark, a gremlin-foe ahead! You charge the weak-looking beast and clash swords. The gremlin quickly fells you. You are dead. In hell, a giant Lizard King chases you around with his pennant and walking cane chanting, ''WOW! YOU LOSE!'' 



Welcome to Bokosuka Wars. 



If that introduction didn't make any sense, don't worry: you're not missing much. Bokosuka Wars introduces you to a world where you release captured friends by slamming into trees and feeble minions kill your hero in a single blow. 



The object is to survive a six hundred meter gauntlet of nasty, unidentifiable creatures out for blood. Sure they stumble around aimlessly, but their PCP addiction gives them super-human strength which they demonstrate when you try to go through them. You play the part of the Blue Ninja, the best hope of the obviously inferior kingdom. Oh, there were other great warriors, but they were all turned into trees by that tricky Lizard King. 



Luckily, you can reclaim your lost friends by bumping into trees and other pieces of landscape. Randomly, a tree will suddenly change into a loyal soldier readily to fight and quickly die for your cause. Besides the Blue Ninja, heroes include naked peasants who are weak but plentiful and useless knights who are stronger but few. Don't worry about gathering too many peasants since any foe in the stage can slaughter about fourteen of them without breaking a sweat. Maybe wearing clothes would help avert quick deaths. 



Battles begin when you make contact with an enemy. Only you can start a battle, so waiting around just causes the trolls to wander around a bit and look at you funny. Battle victory is (very) random, so you can lose the first battle or plow through the entire stage without a scratch. 



Should you lose, and oh will you lose, you will be sent to hell, doomed to be chased around by the mean Lizard King for all eternity. Are you up to this daunting task? No? I don't blame you. After all, there are 180 foes to vanquish, and any one of them can turn your heroes into a heap of skulls at the flip of a coin. The army of the Lizard King is three times as tough as any L.A. street gang and twice as ugly. Not helping is the fact that the enemies become more difficult (and drunker!) as the meters dwindle down. 



Unfortunately, while the hamburger-faced gremlins are drunk, so are you. Your army is as responsive as a governmental representative is to your letter of complaint. While I'm not too keen on the politics of this planet, I cannot help but notice most altercations are caused by accidentally bumping into enemies, causing a brawl. Perhaps if both sides stopped the consumption of drugs and alcohol, the Lizard King and whoever pulls the Blue Ninja's strings could resolve their problems peacefully and without the use of violence. Sure that line of thinking does not make for interesting gaming, but neither does Bokosuka Wars. 



Why's this world so important, anyway? With nothing but a vast wasteland with stumpy, ugly heroes and stumpy, ugly villains, turning the knights into trees is an improvement. And perhaps it's the LSD, but nothing seems to animate. Rather than walking, everyone teleports a meter at a time. While quite trippy, it gets disorienting after a while. Have a bottle of Tylenol ready. 



I'd hate to live in a world with two pieces of music that are four seconds long each. Understandably, I'd hate living in the world of Bokosuka Wars. While it's cute that the music is medieval-sounding, I can't help but think these pieces were used as torture devices, perhaps a ploy by the Lizard King to get the Blue Ninja to stop his advance before he goes insane from repetition. Or perhaps the Blue Ninja himself hums the tune, constantly forgetting he sings the same four bars over and over again. That would explain the high death rate of his allies: they'd rather go to hell than hear that tune one more time. Sounds in this world are equally boring and bland with cheesy battle effects and not else. Yell curses at the Lizard King when he boggles his eyes at you if you want some sound effects. 



Perhaps ASCII meant to convey a social statement with Bokosuka Wars. Maybe the Lizard King isn't so evil after all. Humans start all the fights while the Lizard King plants trees. It could be the captured peasants' fates are to plant more trees for the Lizard King. The Lizard King just wants to make a lush, green world out of this black, barren wasteland and the humans prevent him from doing that! 



All joking aside, be glad Bokosuka Wars is tucked far away in obscure Japanese memory. If this game and a few others like it were released in the United States, the NES could have quickly suffered the same fate as the Atari systems. Bokosuka Wars is no fun to play at all, and if you happen across it, just play it for the ''WOW! YOU LOSE!'' screen.

Rating: 1/10

whelkman's avatar
Community review by whelkman (May 26, 2008)

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