Oh lord I think I am in love! I honest to god love classic arcade games in their original format. I did at the time and as an aging grump bag I can really appreciate the difference in quality between home conversion or simply what was happening in the arcades. Bucky O’Hare is an arcade game that I don’t think got a home release, and I certainly can’t find one that is the same as the arcade version. There is a NES game, which i also love, but that is a Mega Man like platformer. Anyway, Bucky O’Hare the Arcade Game…
Bucky O’Hare is a side scrolling Beat ‘Em Up, but because you actually use a gun some people may consider it a run and gun. Me being the voice of reason that I am declare it to be a Beat ‘Em Up. The reasons for this is that you get a health bar, something Run and Guns usually lack, but also Bucky never descends into a hellish bulletstorm. All projectiles are slow-ish moving meaning you can easily navigate your way through the shower of bullets, and bosses while take on the form of giant bullet sponges, they are never a coin eating monstrosity that will fill the screen in bullshit for you to deal with.
With the typical 8 levels for an arcade beat ’em up Bucky is no different. However, Bucky adds just enough level variety to stop the monotony sneaking in. As well as some levels scrolling up and down opposed to side-to-side, there are also fast paced vehicle levels, as well as a number of sub-bosses. You never really settle into the routine of killing endless waves of the same enemy over and over, and you’re never really more than 2-3 minutes from fighting something suitably epic.
Something about the Toad’s attacking a Rat Planet, and then you blowing up the Toad Star. All the characters are there, Jenny, Bucky, Blinky, and Deadeye are playable characters. The useless Willy appears in cutscenes as “the help” and will occasionally appear in game in the background to interact with gubbins on screen. While each charcter is effectively the same, there is enough visual difference between the attacks and special weapons for them to look different. It means you won’t argue over which character, unless you have a thing for Jenny (I have a thing for Jenny) you haven’t lost as soon as you start picking a certain character (like I do with Skate in Streets of Rage 2).
On top of this fans of the TV and comics will be impressed with the enemies who appear. Al Negator, Toadborg, Air Marshall and Komplex all appear as bosses, as well as some that were designed for the game (or at least ones I don’t recognise like the Spider Boss).
Oh man Bucky looks good! Not to harp on about it too much, but Christ the Arcade was miles ahead the 16bit generation. Bucky looks the freaking business, clear, defined, chunky, and almost as good looking as the actual cartoon.
On top of this, the audio is great too. Remember those terrible digitized voices you got in the 16bit generation? Sunset Riders (on SNES) was one of them where no matter how many times I hear the voices I still can’t quite tell how what the voices say. Yes there are subtitles which mean you can just about tell, but the voices were atrocious in all most all examples. Here, crystal clear. The characters sound like the characters, and you don’t need to read the subtitles to understand the happy-hap.
Bucky is on the easier side of arcade games, and for me, this is a good thing. It isn’t too easy, so you’re not patronised too. But it isn’t a Space Harrier twitch reflex insanity-athon. 8 levels and roughly 40 minutes long, Bucky is just right. Oddly though, the earlier levels were the hardest. Maybe I just got in the zone and was able to dodge like a mad man, but I was able to plough through most levels relatively unscathed. To put it into context I probably used 15 credits to beat the game, with 3 lives a credit clocking in at roughly 45 loves that isn’t too bad considering it is an arcade game. I died once on level 1, about 7 times level 2, and then roughly 30 on level 7 and 8. So the difficulty does actually ramp up at the end, but level 3 – 6 were a relative breeze.
I loved Bucky the Arcade game, it is simple premise, chock full of enough Bucky references and lore that a fan will enjoy it. At no point does it feel like a simple cash grab and frankly, is better than more famous Konami arcade games such as The Simpsons Aracade.
Yes, the game is limited and it doesn’t try to push to boat out too much but what it is is a fast paced fun Bat ‘Em Up, it is fair, it has a decent enough difficulty curve and if repetitive button mashing with a hint of skill is your bag than I advise you to try and seek out this bad boi. It is as rare as hens teeth now so maybe try an emulator.
Pros: Jenny. Fair difficulty curve. Never turns into an insane bullet storm. Bosses are fun.
Cons: A bit repetitive
Back in the Day:
Can’t find any reviews.