Tiny Toon Adventures (1)

Genre: Platformer
Year: 1991
Developed by: Konami
Published by: Konami
Platforms: NES
Feeling Like: Invading my TV

If you’re a side scrolling run and jumpy game on the Nintendo Entertainment system, you’re in one of two camps; those that try their hardest to copy Super Mario Bros. 3 and those that try something else. You won’t find any on the 500 that tried something else. Why bother perfecting upon perfection?

Tiny Toon Adventures is unabashedly an attempt to copy a great formula, but mixing in a few touches from the wildly popular television show. It’s worked before and it works here. Aside from the giant sprites, there are more than a few extra touches that made me smile. You’ve got Buster Bunny’s sass on display when he leans up against a wall, a la Bugs. Plucky’s Pluckiness and hilarious ineptitude when he slams into a wall full tilt. Furball always looks worried, but can climb walls. Dizzy Devil is the absolute best and tornadoes his way through everything. The cartoonish violence serves the cartoon atmosphere splendidly.

I really can’t get over how much it’s copying of Super Mario Bros 3. The second level is a desert? Check. Floaty, quieter theme music for the swimming section? Check. A POW meter? Check. Bonus areas rewarding you with extra lives if you collect a certain amount of coins carrots? Check. Hold B to run? Check.

Tiny Toon Adventures (2)
There’s no way they didn’t do this on purpose.

It has its own charm in the audio department. Oh, not the soundtrack. God no. The Tiny Toon theme will be replayed over and over until you’re ready to invest in some ear plugs and never take them out. But the sound effects are REALLY crisp and hold up. Noises are made when you: kill an enemy, jump, change directions while running, hitting a boss, the final blow on the boss, death animation on a boss, a vulture saying “nope nope” after each level (which probably took up half the cartridge’s memory), changing buddies on the menu, selecting buddies on the menu, collecting an item, enemy owls fluttering by, popping a balloon and many, many more. The list goes on an on. I’m smiling as much as Dizzy Devil when he’s leaping to a new platform. Ear to ear, baby.

Looking back at a few of the more recent games I’ve talked about, it puzzles me why Tiny Toon Adventures is as high as it is. I hadn’t thought about this game in ages. However, looking back, it’s a well constructed game. It’s not long, it embraces the hilarity of the Tiny Toon universe, it’s got some solid mechanics, the challenge ramps up appropriately, the controls are fine AND it could be beaten by 8 year old Henry on a weekend. It’s dated, sure, but it’s one of the finer platformers on the NES.

Some of the bosses leave a little to be desired and I have no idea why the stages are laid out as they are, but overall it’s Tiny, it’s Toony and it’s a little looney. Good enough for me.

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