noiseredux vs.

Posted on May 6th 2010 at 06:58:58 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Game Boy, Hudson

Back when the 16-big Wars were in full rage, there was the Sega Army and the Nintendo Army. Meanwhile, a rather awesome and little-known troupe became a fatality. It was known as the TurboGrafx-16. The system was impressive, but could never seem to make a dent in the American market. Without much fanfare it was soon delegated to electronic stores' cut-out bins. Around this time I was able to convince my mom that we were fools to not own a TurboGrafx-16 at such a price. She surprisingly agreed and console came home with us.

Now in these days there was no eBay; no Amazon. Back then most of us got our games from one or two local chain stores that had limited shelf-space. So even if you read about some amazing and exotic game in a magazine, either your store had it or you were shit out of luck. Unfortunately for me, I was never able to find most of the TurboGrafx games that made me want the system in the first place. Sure my Genesis was stuffed to the gills with Sonic games, and my SNES had more than enough Mario. But finding a Bonk game seemed impossible -- never mind Air Zonk!

Luckily as the TurboGrafx petered out it seemed a lot more lucrative for Hudson to start porting some of their more popular franchises to more successful consoles. Which is why we happy Game Boy owners were blessed with a magnificent port of Bonk's Adventure in 1992.

Bonk's Adventure for Game Boy is really an amazing version. The game is not a full-on port of the TurboGrafx title. Instead, it takes cues from the original and incorporates them into a brand new game. The levels are all pretty much based on the original's levels, but offer enough variety to keep fans interested.

Playing through Bonk's Adventure it's almost amazing that the franchise didn't catch on in the US. Even if the TurboGrafx failed, a game like this could have really made its home on the Game Boy and sparked a whole series -- as made evident by this release. One can only assume that the game just managed to slide under everyone's radars at the time of its release. Which is too damn bad. The graphics are quite impressive on the little screen. Though they keep the cutesy and simplistic art style of the original, there's also just as much subtle detail thrown in. The enemy characters and Bonk himself are varied and have expressive animations. Everything is visually rather amazing.

A great little gimmick to the gameplay is the power-ups. Bonk will eat pieces of meat that will turn into different Bonk-variants. Be it an angry punk or a Frankenstein's monster, or even a tortoise. The whole presentation is extremely impressive and shows an amount of effort put into a portable port that was generally not seen at that time. The game is not terribly long, but it is challenging enough to keep you from beating it too quickly.

Two years later Hudson released a similar port of the sequel, Bonk's Revenge, which I've yet to play. But based on how great this game is, I certainly plan to. Bonk's Adventure is highly recommended. Do check it out if you get the chance.

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