Review by VdeBoule

"It could've been a good simple strategy game... but..."

The only thing preventing this game from earning a 1 from me is that the basic concept behind this game is actually very good. You control a king traveling 600 meters to a showdown with his enemy, and he needs to raise an army (from soldiers who have been transformed into trees) along the way to combat the enemy troops he'll encounter. You can switch between controlling the king and his two separate types of troops, or move them all at once. It sounds like a lot of fun, and were this game not so terribly designed, it probably would have been.

The graphics are among the worst on NES, the sound effects are almost nonexistent, the music is too tuneless to even really be considered annoying, and even in a game as simple as this, the controls are sluggish. But all these mean nothing compared to Bokosuka Wars' fatal flaw: the randomness.

There is no combat system to speak of in Bokosuka Wars. When one of your soldiers attacks, he roughly has a 50% chance of beating the enemy. Otherwise, he dies. If a soldier defeats enough enemies, he turns into a more powerful version of himself, which increases his odds a little bit, but still, the odds are so heavily stacked against you as to make the game virtually unplayable. The odds of your character's success in battle aren't too much better than his troops, and if he dies, it's game over. Or as this game so eloquently announces your failure: ''WOW! YOU LOSE!'' The game pits you against forces you can't possibly overcome, and then it laughs at you when you die. It's about as fun as calling heads when your friend flips a coin, and then having him laugh at you when it lands with the tails side up.

If you're playing a ROM, and reloading from save states whenever you lose a battle, then the game is just terribly boring, since there's no challenge whatsoever. I'd like to call Bokosuka Wars extremely difficult, but all its challenge is artificial. There's not a shred of skill needed to play this game... only sheer luck.

And it's truly sad, since had they bothered to implement a real combat system, letting you control the battles, this could have been a lot of fun. As it is, it's just a single bright idea completely wasted in a frustrating mess of a game.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 04/11/03, Updated 04/11/03


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