Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Bonk's Revenge (TurboGrafx-16)
This is the second in the Bonk/PC Genjin series of games, which were actually based around a character from comic in a PC Engine magazine (the name's a clever pun, see, as genjin means caveman). So this guy was basically Hudson's own Mario or Sonic, the mascot for their console. Though weirdly this is the first in the series to be exclusive to the system, as Bonk's Adventure came out on like four other formats. I played it for the site a couple of years ago on an Amiga, where it was called BC Kid just to confuse things even more for no good reason.
Oh shit, I was so distracted by the difficulty select that I didn't even notice that the moon's been blown in half! Maybe that was the twist ending to Bonk's Adventure that's gotten Bonk all fired up for revenge in this one. Probably not.
I wish I could say this was a new record for me, but the truth is I've done worse. I remember spending the entirety of one game post locked inside a cupboard.
Plus now I know these sleeping yellow flowers are called 'floret sprung' apparently, so I don't have to refer to them as 'bouncy yellow springy plants' anymore.
A WATERFALL OR THREE LATER.
This dinosaur asshole midboss can use his fire breath all day though and he's a good shot for a guy staring in two directions at once. The annoying thing is, I'm sure I could take him out easily if I could just get my falling headslam attack to consistently land on target. My aim is terrible though and when I screw up and hit empty floor Bonk is left as a sitting duck for a second while he recovers, while this guy stomps over to set my ass on fire.
At least now I've learned that losing a life doesn't kick me back to the start of the level. I could continue right where I left off during the boss fight.
I'm blaming this one on the game though, as I totally pressed the jump button and nothing happened. It's not the first time I've had this problem either.
Interestingly though, unlike the fruit, these fries and burgers don't actually restore any of my health. They're still making me hungry though.
Weirdly the boss dinosaurs in Bonk's Adventure would be freed from their mind control after a fight and would become your friend. In this they just flicker from existence all together. I guess these guys are just plain assholes then.
I wonder what the deal with that blue hiragana-face over there on the left. I get the feeling there's some secret message encoded into it, but I dunno.
You know, I think I've finally figured out what these creatures are meant to be. I thought they were small dome-headed monsters at first, but they're actually newly hatched dinosaurs with half an eggshell stuck on their head! They're just innocent little dino babies! It seems that Bonk's thirst for revenge has driven him to send the dinosaurs to extinction: no survivors.
Okay, I think I've figured it out. It seems I have to wait a moment after landing before I can jump again, so if I press the button too early nothing's gonna happen and he'll just stroll off the edge. I need to train myself to wait for the landing sound effect to play before hitting jump again. The game basically plays the same as Bonk 1, so I suppose I must have had the same issue in that as well, though I don't remember it bothering me there.
Aha, it turns out the second platform only moves down AFTER I've jumped over to it, so I have to make sure to not overshoot something that won't even be there until I'm airborne. I guess it's a good job I got all that practice after all.
But I'm more patient now than I was back then and I'm sure making my way back through these three levels won't take long. There's nothing really that frustrating in them that I'm dreading to replay, but nothing that interesting either. They're just kind of there, in my way.
A FEW LEVELS AND A SUCCESSFUL BOSS FIGHT LATER.
Oh wait, it seems they're not so innocent after all. If they catch Bonk sneaking past, they latch on and start draining all his life with a kiss, like some kind of succubus. And annoyingly those cherries don't count as fruit it seems, so they don't restore health.
To be completely brutally honest, Bonk's Revenge bored the shit out of me. It's slick, well made, it looks good, the music ranges from tolerable to catchy, but it seemed utterly resistant to my attention. I had to continually pause the game due to a sudden urgent need to do some housework, or browse the internet, or stare at the wallpaper etc. and I can't pin down why that is. I definitely didn't find much about it to whine about. Maybe I've just been worn down by all these games to the point where I can't find joy in a simple unspectacular early 90s platformer any more.
Well I suppose if they'd put in a world map and save games, that might have helped keep me hooked. Even if it was just to show me my progress and let me attack the game in sections instead of having to finish it off in one sitting, while my interest drips away with every new level.
Want to share your opinions about Bonk's Revenge, the Bonk games, other things halfway related in some way, or just want prove to the world that you're one of the few that made it to the bottom of this post? Feel free to leave a comment.