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RELEASE DATE (NA): February 7, 1993 GENRE: Platformer
// review by SoyBomb

Channel your inner bunny.

Does anybody below the age of, say, 25, actually vividly remember watching Tiny Toon Adventures? I do, though it won't rank as my favourite cartoon of the 1990s. That honour goes to... uh... ah, who am I kidding, there weren't any great Saturday morning cartoon series in the 1990s. Okay, maybe Garfield & Friends and Duckman. Anyway, for those of you whose memories are having difficulty stretching back to that era (or for those whose memories were still congealing during that timeframe), let me fill you in on what these Tiny Toon Adventures were all about. They're basically the descendants of the great Looney Tunes characters of olde (though it's not explicitly stated) who are attending Acme Looniversity, being educated in becoming the next generation of Looney Tunes characters. Of particular importance is Buster Bunny, the star of the show, who generally keeps his cool and serves as the voice of reason among the other nutbars in the group. There's also such cartoonish deviants as Babs Bunny, Plucky Duck, Hamton J. Pig, and Dizzy Devil, among others. The main villain in general is Montana Max, a more greedy version of Yosemite Sam with a heart of coal and a wallet of gold.

This game is another in the slew of Tiny Toon games that flew out of Konami's studios like the Bunny Plague of 1991-1994. And if I have to say anything about this game, it's that nothing in particular stands out. This is a very standard platformer with nothing pushing it across the finish line over the rest, but nothing holding it back from being enjoyable either. You play as Buster Bunny who travels across various terrains in search of hidden treasure. All the generic tapestries are there: lava areas, winter scenes, grassy plains, and let's not forget those dreadful water levels. You can't leave a level until you find and touch the dancing Gogo Dodo, a feat both simultaneously exciting and perverse.

I will be one to admit that Buster's adventure is not entirely a cakewalk. Some obstacles may have you tossing objects around the house like Saturday evening at Donkey Kong's private villa. Though most of your troubles will be attributed to level design or the critical placement of enemies, Buster seems a tad slippery at time (not just on ice), resulting in a few less than graceful lengthy falls. On the plus side, he was also programmed to look upward, displaying a pleasant visage in the process. I like it when rabbits are happy.

By land, air, and sea, you've got to collect carrots for the good of toonkind!

The game itself is rather difficult, it's true, though nothing here compares even remotely to the final stage of Tiny Toon Adventures for the NES. Oh, don't get me started on THAT one! But no matter what, you know that the development team at Konami was trying to metaphorically wedge a snake down my shorts with their overall game design, as was the norm for a Konami game. They're always putting platforming trickery into every nook and cranny, whenever possible. Konami and Capcom were always known for this back in the day. It's odd, however, to note that boss fights are, perchance, the easiest aspect of the game.

Buster's Hidden Treasure looks about as wacky as the television show, though the sprites and environments both look refined. We're even treated to a cute map screen, something all platformers sorely need, in this reviewer's humble opinion. The Genesis' "blast processing" power still could not afford us the luxury of transparency in its graphical abilities, though, so we get its inbred cousin, "only filling in every other pixel to create the illusion of transparency", instead. This sure makes underwater adventures look downright embarrassingly awful. Somehow, Sonic the Hedgehog did it well (likely by avoiding underwater transparency altogether), but the bunny gets the shaft. What a shame. The music and sound effects are also comical; TTA's soundtrack often includes remnants of the show's theme song, which is a nice touch (and which proves that someone developing the game had actually seen the show).

Considering how terrible film and television tie-in video games have historically been, it's impressive how high the level of quality is when a game is licensed to Konami (or Capcom, back when they actually committed to such projects). And I say that the game is difficult, and it is, but it's still an excellent platformer and most assuredly a completable game. If I can finish it, anyone can. Plus, the game allows you to snag a password whenever you lose all of your lives that drops you off exactly where you were before. I doubt you'll find this game laying in the streets or available in droves, but if you check your local used game shopatorium, hopefully you'll come across this gem and dust off your Sega Genesis to test it out.

It's Tiny Toon Adventures! Come and join the fun .... and now this review's done! (Yes, I know I used that line in another Tiny Toon Adventures review.)

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