Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout review - Nintendo Entertainment System
When cartoon characters look in their mailboxes it leads to certain peril, courtesy of an exploding parcel or some concealed predator.
Perhaps then, Bugs should have known better than to check if any of his pals had sent him a fiftieth birthday card. However, what was contained within his postal receptacle was far worse than any number of speech-impeded hunters with loaded shotguns. It was in fact, a party invitation from the Bugs Bunny fan club. Unfortunately, the organisation forgot to invite any of Bugs' Loony Tunes pals and they seem to have taken extreme offence at this lack of attention, raising arms against the hapless bunny.
Now it's up to you to guide Bugs across the platform landscape of the Loony Tunes world in an attempt to reach his birthday bash. This is made somewhat more difficult by the legions of angry 'toons after your fluffy hide, from the more popular ones like Yosemite Sam and Tweety Pie (!) to lesser known foes such as exploding clocks and bubble-blowing soup tins (well, that's what they look like anyway). Can Bugs make it to his goal and get blown out before he gets blown up?
What the Mean Machines staff thought
The prospect of a Loony Tunes game generated much excitement around the office. As it was loaded in, first impressions were good, a nice title screen and story intro featuring loads of cartoon characters were the first things to be seen. Sadly, once we finally reached the game it turned out to be a shambling platform attempt. The animation and scrolling on Birthday Blow-Out are ridiculously jerky. The sprites are badly defined, indeed unrecognisable in some cases, the music is ghastly and there are only a few effects to speak of - and they're crap. What's worst of all is the gameplay. The response time is so slow and the collision detection so poor that any semblance of playability is crushed. Not only this, but Bugs is also highly deficient in the difficulty stakes too. None of the stages pose much of a problem and it's a cinch to notch up thirteen or fourteen bonus lives by the end of each level. A very poor example of an overworked NES genre and a sad loss of a potentially hilarious and entertaining license.
I can imagine that the programmers were after something that would appeal to the younger games player here. After all, the game itself is rather simplistic. When it comes down to it, all you do is run around the platform environment dodging (or beating up) the meanies and collecting carrots. This wouldn't be too bad if the action was fast, fluid and fun, but Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blow-Out is slow, very jerky and extremely boring. Considering that this is a cartoon licence, graphics are very important. Unfortunately, what we have here are mournful, misshapen sprites and Lego-style blocky backdrops. The sound is also a forlorn debacle, boasting sad effects and horrendously twee music. The only good point about the game is the presentation. At least here the graphical representations of the cartoon characters are fairly close to the originals. Other than that, Bugs Bunny is a shallow, completely unenjoyable game that you'd do well to avoid, even if you're an ardent Loony Tunes addict.
Have your say about this review
Audrey - 11 Nov 2008, 15:21 GMT
Has anyone made it past Yosemite Same in stage 2 round 4? He moves faster than the bunny and has guns. Meanwhile, the bunny has no where else to go, can't move fast enough to hit the guy, and when the bunny is shot, he blinks too long and cannot swing his hammer to defend himself. How in the world are you supposed to win?