David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-09-23 17:41:23
Bucky O'Hare - Rank C
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ROM Filename: bucky [NOTE: For whatever reason, I couldn't get this file to run although it performed just fine in the past. I turned to the U.S. version 'buckyua' to refresh my memory for this write up, and that ran fine. You will need both the 'bucky' and 'buckyua' ROMs to do this, as the latter is a clone of the first and requires those files.]
Bucky O'Hare was a comic book/cartoon show that floundered in the shadow of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' success. Konami developed the property into this arcade game (completely different than the NES release), and it too languishes in mindshare compared to Konami's other side-scrolling actioners. While The Simpsons, TMNT, and X-Men are still cherished by beat-'em-up aficionados, Bucky O'Hare remains a lightly regarded also-ran.
Based on my recollection of it in actual arcades, I too ascribe to this assessment, and the only reason I fired it up for review is that my Direman compatriot, Dave Vargas, has fond memories of it. After playing through it, I inquired why and the filthy furry lover admitted that it was due to nostalgia and a childhood love for anthropomorphic animals.
I just think that the property itself is worthless. It's infantile tripe (as opposed to infantile awesomeness like TMNT), and Konami did the best with it they could. They hired the voice actors from the show to dub the cut scenes, and filled the game with bright visuals and loud action. But there's only so much even a developer like Konami could do with characters like a green space bunny and a Duck Dodgers knock-off. It'd be one thing if they were snarky parodies, but they appear to be earnest attempts at character design that play it far too straight. In terms of gameplay, I feel that the fundamental problem is that Bucky O'Hare is predominantly a shooter employing mechanics that more properly suit brawlers.
It isn't terrible; it just pales in comparison to its brethren. A couple of vehicle sections and vertical scrolling segments add badly needed variety, and playing with other people could make a single play through worthwhile as a one-time amusing diversion.