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Title: Bonk's Adventure
Rom Player: Hugo
Reviewer: ItalianStereotype

Synopsis: Every system or company of any note has a mascot. Sega has Sonic, Nintendo has Mario, and XBox has...the Master Chief, I guess. It's no secret that mascot games sell, so every company tries to create their own little franchise. Way back in the days of the Turbo, Hudson Soft (famous for Adventure Island, Bomberman, Bubble Bobble, and many others) attempted to take on the genre with Bonk's Adventure.

Bonk's Adventure is a colorful, side-scrolling adventure about a prehistoric caveboy on a mission to save the Princess Za of Moonland from the evil King Drool. In a move similar to Square's release of Final Fantasy, NEC hoped that Bonk's Adventure would bring the company from the brink of financial ruin. The game proved a smashing success, but did not enjoy a long life due to the failure of the Turbo.

Gameplay-The controls in Bonk's Adventure are quite simple to master. They're always quite responsive, if also a bit on the stiff side. Perhaps one of the most appealing factors of Bonk's Adventure is that Bonk is INCREDIBLY endearing. Instead of using a gun or an axe as a weapon, the lad uses a powerful, but very cute, headbutt to dispatch his foes. Endearing, but not nauseating.

Graphics-Crisp and extremely colorful, both the environments and the sprites show the full capabilities of the Turbo Grafx. The separate stages are all quite detailed and action animates smoothly.

Music-Quite memorable. Almost as much as Super Mario or Legend of Zelda, in fact. Had this game survived longer and been on a different system, people would probably be humming Bonk's tunes to themselves to this day. Most of the tunes in this game are lively and upbeat, but there are also a few somber tracks included. Quite excellent, overall.

Originality-2D platformers really aren't original. They're basically the same puzzles with a different storyline each time. What's worse for Bonk's Adventure, the storyline follows the tired "Princess is kidnapped, save her quick" formula. This doesn't really detract from the overall feel of the game, however.

Overall, Bonk's Adventure is one of the best Turbo games available. Along with Splatterhouse and Blazing Lazers, Bonk's Adventure is among my favorite games for this tragic system. Unfortunately, this is a VERY difficult game to find. If you own a copy, consider yourself quite fortunate.

Best Cheats: Nothing Entered

Game Play: 8
Graphics: 9
Music/Sound: 8
Originality: 6
Overall Rating: 9

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