What was the greatest franchise that
started as a comic book in the 80's, became a cartoon, and was later turned
into a video game by Konami? If you answered something other than Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles, you're a fucking moron. Irregardless, this article is
about Bucky O'Hare, a green anthropomorphic rabbit who followed an identical
path yet found much less success. The cartoon hit the airwaves in '90 and
only lasted a single season. Despite being just another flash-in-the-pan
cartoon, it spawned a lot of merchandise. I distinctly remember owning a
Bucky O'Hare sweatshirt in '91, (and contemplating taping a letter F over
the B). The video game version of Bucky O'Hare was released for the NES in
1992 by Konami, and this fact continues to confuse me. As the video game
savvy are aware, '92 was also the year Konami released one of the best SNES
games of all time: Contra III. To me it seems rather asinine to push a game
onto a system that was all but obsolete. Actually, now that I think about
it, why am I reviewing Bucky O'Hare when I could be reviewing Contra III? Or
TMNT for that matter? Maybe we'll find out along the way.
A long time ago in a parallel universe
called the aniverse, some guy was getting bitch-slapped for forgetting the
day he and his wife got married. Meanwhile, Bucky O'Hare's crew went and got
themselves fucking kidnapped, so now he has to go rescue them. As you can
see, I've effectively summed up the opening story in the two above frames.
You really don't need any more than this. Hell, in this, and many other
games, you don't even need a fucking story. Just push start and shoot
everything that moves. The only games that even remotely need a story
lead-in are RPG's, and half the time, they don't. They just give you clues
and bits of the backstory as you go along. In Bucky O'Hare, four of your
crew have been captured and taken to different planets.It doesn't matter
which order you rescue them in, so I'm going to start with the first planet,
the Green Planet.
Despite being yellow, orange, and brown
on the level select screen, the inappropriately named Green Plant is really
only green at the stratospheric level. You see, after you land on the
surface and fight past a few toads and turrets, you come to the base of a
tree. This is no ordinary tree however, this is the legendary tree of Babel.
Though the tree reaches all the way to heaven, you are forced to get off
sometime before that point. High above the planet's surface we find the lush
forests that give the Green Planet its name, but are inexplicably invisible
from space. From here you have to do some platform jumping, being careful
not to fall in the water, because let's face it, unless you're on Venus or
something, any water that far above the surface is going to be fucking cold.
At the end of this section you come upon waterfall which you must freefall
down. What the fuck is this? I don't think I need to go into detail about
the meteorological implications that this makes, but I highly doubt there
would be that much precipitation, that high up. At the end of the freefall,
Bucky hits the ground running and moves on to the next section. Now I've
thrown rabbit over waterfalls, they don't just land and go about their
lives, but whatever. The next section showcases flying toad ships which fire
what I can only assume are sperm heads and tails, due to the shape of the
ships. If you get past the ships without being inseminated, you reach the
boss of the Green Planet.
The boss of the Green Planet is an
android of some sort that summons and throws meteors at you. Needless to
say, getting hit by a meteor really messes your shit up. Fortunately, this
guy is as accurate as a WMD report, so if you stand right next to him, you
won't die. Next the boss will run into the side of the screen, stunning
himself and raining rock shards on you. This is the only time you can hurt
him, because the people at Konami thought it was a good idea to teach kids
to shoot people in the back. After you pump enough rounds into this idiot,
one of them lodges itself in the base of his spine and paralyzes the
Up next we have the Red Planet, but don't
expect to see any little green men. Here you'll fight fire, lava, spikes and
shit, along with the toad squad. I suppose the toads are sort of little and
green, but they aren't men, they're some boss toad's bitches. This level is
another in a long line of games that have pits of lava spitting fireballs at
you. Who's idea was this in the first place, and what were they smoking?
Does this ever really happen? Somehow I doubt it. Anyway, after going
through some screens that eeriely remind me of other games, you have to ride
over some spikes on top of a big green ball with white spots on it. Next
comes the second boss.
The boss of the Red Planet is the green
blob you rolled in on, which turns out to be a machine. One might wonder at
this point why the pilot of this contraption went out of his way to help
you, when he could have just left you to cross the spikes alone.
Unfortunately, I will not take the time to analyze toad psychology, not
today. This boss, like the last, has very limited offensive prowess. He
tosses a bouncy wart at you, and shoots easily-dodged lasers. The only thing
you have to be wary of is when he converts back into a ball and tries to
steamroll you. Even though you have to jump to shoot the pilot, it doesn't
take that much to kill this guy. Onward we go, to the Blue Planet!
Remember when I said that it didn't matter what order you do the levels in? Well, it turns out I lied. If you try and do the Blue Planet before you do the Green Planet, you're going to find yourself shit out of luck. You need Blinky's weapon to break the ice blocks to progress through this level. Therefore I would like to apologize for any inconvenience this false statement may have caused. Though frankly, if you read the first two paragraphs of this article, then stopped, went to play this game, attempted the Blue Planet, then got stuck and pissed off, there is something seriously wrong with you. My apology is rescinded. As you may or may not have guessed, the Blue Planet is an ice planet, and ergo it is covered in ice. You know, that stuff in every platformer that causes you to skid instead of stopping and lands your ass in a pit. Anyway, to make a
long story short, after a schizophrenic journey through Battletoads and Megaman 3, you come upon the third boss.
The third boss is an alligator in a sewer. Like those before him, he doesn't have a very diverse attack set. He jumps, lands, and fires a missile. At least I think it's a missile. It had better be, or else we're getting into the realm of anthropomorphic furry porn, and that's not a place I want to go. The croc-boss does have one other form of offense though. As time goes on, the room fills up with sewage, and after four missiles or so, he'll fire an ice beam, that freezes the water with you in it, and pushes you further toward the ceiling of spikes. (That coincidentally aren't above the boss). This is actually pretty bad news, because this guys take a fair bit of mustard to kill. But never fear, kill him you will, and then you're on to save your last crew member.
The Yellow Planet is like a really bad acid trip. First off, the level scrolls from right to left. Whoa. Secondly, you fly through space riding on the back of an asteroid. Lastly, while riding the carts, the world goes by so quickly it can cause headaches, nausea, and seizures. (And not the kind where the cops come and take all your drugs, the other kind of seizures). This is probably the funnest level of the first four, and so far as I can tell, doesn't blatantly rip off any other games. Some parts are pretty annoying, like having to ascend moving toad ships, where mistiming a jump can mean falling back to the beginning. Other than that, if all goes well, you'll come face to face with our next boss.
The final enemy of the Yellow Planet is a toad tank sort of thing. Like most tanks, this thing is pretty impressive. Its main attack fires a wave of six bullets and a homing missile at you, and good fucking luck dodging them all. Before you can any damage to the tank though, you have to destroy the satellite dish on its head. You can achieve this same effect by placing your home satellite dish on your head. It makes you invincible. Try it for yourself. Once the dish is gone, you basically stand there and shoot at the blue turrent on bottom, ducking into the hole when he charges at you or projectile vomits at you. Once you bust up the turrets, all he can fire is the missile. Just drop into the hole, switch to Jenny, and use her psycho-kinetic ball to fry its eyes. Then rejoice! You've saved your crew! Or have you?
These and many more exciting answers are waiting for you!