Review by RClock

"Hare Style!"

People who read my reviews (at least, I HOPE somebody is reading all this) know that I usually begin by establishing some sort of background about my personal experiences with this game. I guess it's just my nature.

If you know me, you know I love the classic WB cartoons. If I had to choose, they would be my absolute favourite cartoons of all time. I've always held some sort of a kinship with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Like both of them, I usually find myself on the receiving end of a seemingly hostile universe. Sometimes, like Bugs, I prevail. Other times, like Daffy, I fail miserably. But that's life, isn't it?

This game is roughly based on the plot of the 1955 cartoon ''Rabbit Rampage'', in which Bugs was tormented by a mysterious animator, who was painting and drawing unusual locales, obstacles and even redesigning Bugs himself. The first level is painted by a large paintbrush, and when Bugs bites the dust, he gets rubbed out by a gum eraser. Most importantly, when he finishes a level, the screen goes black and then a new scene appears, like his cel was placed on a new background. This interesting premise sets the stage for some wacky platform action and boss fighting.

As Bugs, your goal is to reach the end of the level, battling enemies and collecting weapons, and then defeat the waiting boss. Bugs can walk and jump, like any platform hero should. To battle his enemies, he has an unlimited supply of cream pies to smack enemies with, a powerful kick, a ''butt-bomb'', and a powerful spin attack. You'll also find ACME products scattered around. There is a spinning arrow, which causes Bugs to plant a sign reading ''Bugs was here''. When Bugs loses a life, he'll return to that spot rather than starting over. Others are offensive weapons, like bombs, dynamite, bottomless holes, and (my personal favourite) targets which, when stepped on by an enemy, drop a safe or anvil on the enemy's head! Using the ACME products is for more than fun. At the end of each level, you receive a special bonus based on your Bugs-like style. If you rely mainly on kicking and pie-throwing, you're a ''Maroon''. If you use lots of ACME products, you're a ''Big Shot Bunny''. This all may sound complicated, but it becomes a second nature with a little practice.

GRAPHICS

Simply beautiful. The backgrounds are colourful and exquisitely detailed, the enemies perfectly realized and Bugs himself looks like he was removed directly from a cartoon. In the first level, Bugs must face some Tex Avery-esque hunting hounds on a snowy meadow on his way to fight Elmer Fudd, and it looks on par with an actual cartoon. Even little stuff, like the carrot for a life meter, looks great. Bugs has a range of facial expressions and is fluidly animated.

CONTROL

This is what kept this game from getting a perfect 10. Bugs, for some reason, cannot run, so he's stuck ambling through all the levels. Bugs' jumps are also hard to control, which is deadly in the Taz-mania level, where you spend half the level on large flying toucans. Butt-bouncing across a series of obstacles is a necessary skill, but it takes a lot of practice.

SOUND & MUSIC

Considering that this is a SNES game, the music is top-notch. The Looney Tunes theme plays in several places, ''What's Up, Doc?'' is the title theme, and classic compositions play in the appropriate levels. ''Marriage of Figaro'' plays in the Space Level, and ''Powerhouse'' underscores the ACME factory. The sound effects are somewhat more subdued, but the boings, bonks and booms still ring true. Bugs has a few voice samples pulled from actual Mel Blanc recordings, which was a good idea.

CONCLUSION

Nasty Canasta, Marvin the Martian, Sylvester, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, the Crusher, Toro the Bull, Taz, and several other classic baddies, including the ''despicable'' animator, await Bugs. The platform action is challenging, and the bosses put up a good fight, but the tough controls make practice necessary. The game can be beaten in an hour or less, but it's a good time while it lasts. For fun, nostalgia, and a good laugh, consider taking Bugs for a spin. You'll have a good time.

IN MEMORIAM

Chuck Jones, the animator who was responsible for nearly all of the cartoons the levels in this game are based on passed away a few months ago. He will be dearly missed, and his contributions to the escapades of Bugs and his friends will not be forgotten.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/30/02, Updated 04/30/02


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