The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout (NES)
|The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout|
The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout is an action-platformer developed and published by Kemco in 1990. It is also known as Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout by the community. The game was released in Japan, North America, and Europe, but all retain the Japanese version's title, Happy Birthday Bugs, on the title screen. Kemco had previously developed The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (NES), and while that game was more of an action puzzler, this game is more of the traditional action sidescroller.
The plot of the game is that it is Bugs Bunny's 50th birthday party. However, out of envy, the other Looney Tunes are trying to stop Bugs from making it to his party. The game contains 24 levels; every four being divided into what the game calls Stages. Throughout each round, Bugs must either avoid the wacky enemies or attack them with his hammer. Some of these enemies include walking exploding clocks, boxes with the letter "S" on them with arms and legs, and floating orange enemies, which are the only enemies in the game to give health to Bugs. The game plays similar to Super Mario Bros., in that the player must make it from point A to point B, while discovering extra areas in between. In addition, similar to the coins in Super Mario Bros., Bugs collects carrots scattered throughout the level, and ten carrots are required to play the bonus game at the end of each round. However, the carrots serve a secondary purpose; once collected, the space they occupied will turn into a Warner Bros. logo, and Bugs can use this as a platform to reach before-unreachable areas, and can even use them to avoid pitfalls and other traps. At rare times, Bugs can find an icon with a musical note on it. This changes the music and allows Bugs to jump higher. This upgrade lasts until Bugs is hit by an enemy. At the end of each round is a boss. However, on the first and third round of each stage, the boss is invulnerable, and instead, Bugs must reach the giant carrot. In the second and fourth stages, the boss must be hit many times with Bugs' hammer to beat them. Some of these bosses include Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, and Pepe Le Pew. As previously mentioned, there is a bonus game after each round where the player can accumulate extra lives by lining up the numbers on a grid. However, after each stage is cleared, a different bonus game, Willy the Weasel, is played. This bonus game plays like Whack-A-Mole, in which you must smash as many Willy the Weasels as you can. Hitting a certain number of them will result in extra lives. Though the game does not offer continues, the bonus games award the player with so many extra lives, that it is hard to lose, especially after you figure out the strategy to beat each stage.
The game received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. Some criticized the game for its choppiness from the framerate, and others accused it of being a blatant Mario rip-off. However, others praised the game for its fluid controls, beautiful graphics, and catchy music. The game gained notoriety when the Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed the game in 2009.
The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout features that familiar Kemco sound by Hiroyuki Masuno; rocky and jazzy themes with lots of reverb. As a result, anyone who has played Deja Vu (NES), Shadowgate (NES), or Uninvited (NES) will instantly recognize his style. There are a total of 20 songs in the game; quite a lot for 1990. Each stage has its own theme. The only problem is these themes are only about 10 to 20 seconds long, so they can get repetitive after playing the same stage after a long time. This may have been due to time constraints. Stage 3 sounds identical to the opening track to North & South (NES), another work by Masuno. Most of the music is happy and upbeat, but the final stage has a darker sound to it, while keeping catchy with its jazzy rhythms and bassline.
Masuno also knew about the differences between the RP2A03 and RP2A07, as he optimized his sound driver to work with PAL versions of the NES. While the music in the PAL version still plays a half-step flat, it also plays at the same speed of the NTSC version.
According to Masuno, he wrote the music on his CMU-800 sequencer and wrote a utility to convert it to his sound driver.
The prototype version of the game features the same music, but some of it is slightly tweaked, and should be recorded and uploaded beginning with a 3.
- - Japan and North America (NTSC)
- - United Kingdom and France (PAL)
- Ripper: MrNorbert1994
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits:
Like most of Kemco's NES game, this game does not have credits. We have received personal verification from Masuno that he was the game's composer. According to Masuno, Kemco's games usually lacked space on the cartridge to add the polish of credits.
(Source: Verification from composer; game lacks credits.)
Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.