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Bonze Adventure - MAME

Bonze Adventure
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4.2 / 10
 
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Description

Your name is Kackremboh and you’re a Bonze—a buddhist preacher. And your life would be a true buddhist blast, if it weren’t for Emma, the lord of underworld, going insane and flooding the world with monsters and undead followers. Somebody has to stop this madness! And well, yes—that somebody would be you. Surprise!

Your weapon of choice? Beads. — No shit, ladies and gentlemen, you’ve hear right: beads. Apparently, the only thing that can make the living-dead dead-kind-of-dead again, is the buddhist ‘mala’ beads.

Now, this is actually the second time I’m writing this review, for the first time around I didn’t quite feel like I’m being completely fair to Bonze Adventure at all. You see, being a millennial kid, I got hit by the platformer-era blast in it’s full strength. Duke Nukem, overrated Mario, Lion King, Jazz Jackrabbit, I’ve seen it all. And as such I’m a tough and hard-to-please judge, when it comes to platformers.

With Bonze Adventure, it all boils down to a broth full of mixed feelings for me, because the way I see it, Bonze Adventure is the Hank Moody of the videogame industry: it too is a kind of retarded but also kind of awesome at the same time, just like the aforementioned protagonist of Californication (great 15+ show, by the way). I mean, the enemy design is retarded. Like whoever came up with the idea of a blueish rolling boulder with a flaming face sticked to it as an enemy should probably seek help of a psychiatrist. And the almost unbeatable zombies you can’t even jump over? Don’t even get me started on these.

But, and it is a huge but, I still kind of enjoy Bonze Adventure anyway, even if it is a retarded, coin-hungry (and at times shit-hard) game. And that’s kind of amazing, actually, because let’s face it, 1980’s produced a huge pile of shitty platformers (some of which, though, nevertheless became legends). Visuals and the sounds are at par with the late 80’s trends, and look and sound nowhere as awful as one would have expected. And even though the games is crazy hard at times (even on the easiest DIP setting), you always have this ‘gut feeling’ that if you only ‘try one more time’ you’ll make it through whatever part of the game you’re having difficulty to pass. And indeed you do. Bonze Adventure is hard. It’s also rather long, for an arcade game. But, believe me, it’s perfectly beatable (with a coin or two—but hey, that’s the purpose of it, isn’t it?).

Gameplay-wise (aside from what has been already said), Bonze is your prototypical platformer. You are given several stages you have to pass, with a time limit to complete each stage for a bonus reward (so no, you don’t die if you take too long to pass a stage, but you’ll get no bonus points either for doing so). You start with three lives and you can either buy more lives for coins, or gain free lives by achieving certain scores. And as usual, you can die in three different ways: upon contact with any enemy, when hit by an enemy projectile, and—since monks apparently can’t swim—when falling down into the water.

Along your way through the game world you collect various tokens, which award you with score points and ‘upgrade’ your mala beads, so that they are much bigger and stronger. Some of the tokens can also give you what I call the ‘god-mode aura’—the protagonist grows a halo around his head and is invulnerable to ‘touch’ and can withstand one hit by a projectile without dying.

All and all, you got the idea. The point is, it depends on what you actually  expect from a platformer. If you seek challenge, you’ll get it. If you seek fun, you’ll—at least partially anyway—you’ll get it. If you seek clever level design and enemies that won’t make you question the creators’ sanity, go rather somewhere else.

I wouldn’t call Bonze Adventure a bad game, anymore. We all know, however, that Taito knows better. Just remember Arkanoid or Operation Wolf. These are must-plays, but Bonze is more like a might-play.

The worst thing of all, however, comes with playing the game on a non-original hardware (i.e a PC instead of an arcade cabinet). Here Taito’s ancient anti-piracy protection comes into play, and causes the spawn-location code to glitch, which makes the game practically unplayable without cheats beyond level three; and because Bonze Adventure is in a way both retarded and awesome at the same time, I’m not completely sure whether that’s bad or actually good.

[Veo]

 

CONTROLS:

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MAME P1 – UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT = self explanatory

MAME P1 BUTTON 1 = fire

MAME P1 BUTTON 2 = jump

Control