Tiny Toon Adventures – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date (NA): December 1990
Reviewed by FrozenMallet
The Tiny Toons animated series ran for five years, from 1990-1995. Some might look back on the cartoon show to be an easy way to capitalize on the recognition of the Looney Tunes brand by just creating younger versions of the cartoon icons to make a fast buck. Maybe it was born from such an idea but what came out of it was a quality show. Tiny Toon Adventures was produced by Steven Spielberg in an executive role and during its run won several daytime emmys, mostly for music. The characters may have been inspired (or ripped off) from the original Looney Tunes cast but many of the shows creations became original characters in their own right. I remember the child version of myself coming home after school, sitting in front of the TV, drinking Kool-Aid and eating cheesepuffs by the fistful. All the while giggling like a… well like a child version of myself, I guess.
Like anything popular during that time there was a licensed NES game and what else could it be but a platformer? Was this game just some greedy cash grab, developed just to prey upon unsuspecting fans of the show? Well, not really, but the game does show some aspects of being rushed. Buster and Babs Bunny are the main characters on the show and one of the reoccurring villains is Montana Max, the super rich kid who shows how what a great guy he is by being a shithead to the majority of the other characters the majority of the time. So Montana Max decides he is going to kidnap Babs Bunny because he is into bestiality. Nah, according to the instruction manual Montana is pissed because Buster won the student film making contest and to get back at Buster Montana Max kidnapped Babs Bunny.
First some positives, When you start the game up you get a choice between three different partner characters, each with their own unique abilities. Unfortunately whichever partner you choose you are stuck with them until you finish the third level of the stage you are on so if you choose the wrong character for that given stage you either have to tough it out or wait until you have lost all your lives to reevaluate your partnership decision.
Plucky Duck (based on Daffy Duck) can slow his falls by flapping his wings, very useful for difficult jumps. Plucky can also swim without sinking and tapping the jump button like most games control their swimming. He swims like he is wearing the Frog Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3.
Furball (based loosely on Sylvester) can grab onto walls and jumping by pressing the A button will cause Furball to climb the walls. I find Plucky and Furball to be the equal in usefulness for most of the stages though Plucky is the obvious choice for the swimming levels.
Dizzy Devil (based on the Tasmanian Devil) just sucks. Dizzy has a spin attack that can be used to defeat enemies or to break through certain walls which can both be nice in some situations but Dizzy doesn’t jump nearly as high as Buster or the other partner characters and in platformer jumping is the best asset to have.
The other problem with the partner system is you can only change character by finding an item that looks like the Pixar ball. Once you change characters you’re stuck until you can find another one and its not like these things are all over the place there is only one per level sometimes not even one. Castlevania 3, also from Konami came out the same year as this game. Castlevania 3 let you change on fly whenever you felt like it. It was so much more convenient that way and it didn’t leave you with a feeling that you had to commit to a characters abilities and full of dread about making the wrong decision because you didn’t know what obstacles lie ahead.
Tiny Toon Adventures is a short game, there are only six stages split up into three stages each. At the end of the second level in each stage there is a short mini-boss battle against Elmyra which is nice to include another main character from the show. You don’t defeat her, you just avoid her until the exit door shows up so you can escape, not that the game tells you that of course. The levels are all colorful and have their own distinct look. Each character has its own unique idle animation that reflects aspects of that character. For example Plucky will cross his arms and tap his foot impatiently waiting for you to get back in the action again.
The control is solid and never had me thinking that any deaths I suffered were anyone’s fault but my own. I wouldn’t call Tiny Toons a hard game but there are a few spots that I would call tricky and will provide some satisfaction after completion. The real shortcoming of this game is the length with only 18 levels. With all this being said Tiny Toon Adventures is a solid platformer that manages to be different enough from other games in the genre. I would suggest giving this one a try for some short term amusement.
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