Posted on December 11th, 2008 in Axel Night, Flashback, SNES, Video Games by Axel Night

I’m Axel Night.  This is Flashback.  No relation.

System: Super Nintendo
Year: 1993
Company: Konami
Genre: Action Platform

If you get caught in the net on the forced scrolling train, just dash to rip through.

If you’ve ever played a licensed game, you probably learned not to play licensed games.  For every Goldeneye 007, there are enough Last Action Hero and Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game quality titles to weigh down a hydrogen blimp in what would be a spectacular explosion infinitely more entertaining than any of its plastic victims could have offered.  So, if you learned this early enough, you never played Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! for the SNES.  You poor, deprived bastard.

As a cartoon, Tiny Toons was amazing.  You got a mixture of smart, sometimes edgy, popular culture; a self-deprecating  parody that didn’t take itself too seriously; and old fashion Looney Toons slapstick that could be enjoyed by children and adults alike.  As a franchise of games, most ranged from good to great over several platforms.

TTA:BBL does not stand out as grossly ingenious or challenging.  Yet, what it is is fun.  If there were a list of games that developers must play before being allowed to write a single of code, this would be on there.  To describe the level and boss design, I would use the word sublime.

Sublime (as by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary)

  1. elevated or lofty in thought, language, etc.
  2. impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.
  3. supreme or outstanding
  4. complete; absolute; utter

I do not use the word lightly.  The western train sequence is intense.  The haunted mansion is like a Rube Goldberg machine.  One of the levels has you trying to score the winning touch down during the last minutes of a close football game. 
One part has you jumping rope before you continue on, just because.  The bosses too are more than hit and dodge, and are creatively put together.  The experience is short, but never redundant. 

Buster’s dash ability makes up a good portion of the challenges in the game.  He can break into short bursts of speed which he can use for offense, mobility, or to scale vertical walls.  Segments will have him dashing over pits and back and forth between walls, among other obstacles, while picking up items that replenish his dash meter so that he doesn’t have to pause (which he often can’t afford to).  Buster is very agile, and a successful run through a tough chain of dashes is extremely rewarding.

You’ll probably beat it in a few days, if not in a sitting, but in that time, you’ll have learned something about how a game should be made.


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