"You know, after I LOST so many times, I think the WOW! factor has long since faded."

It's going to be quite a trick mustering up 400 words to speak about this deliciously ghetto nonsense. Bokosuka Wars, designed by a malevolent mystery man by the name of 'K. Sumii', is quite possibly the most malignant, cancerous and downright unpleasant game ever. It seems innocuous enough, launching our mysterious zebra-shirted hero on an adventure to walk 600 meters (?!) across a black field to confront some fat blue guy. Sure, it's all well and good, until your first battle culminates in agonizing defeat.


...huh? All I did was touch the peculiar-looking purple guy and all of a sudden this game is attempting to tear down my self-esteem like some sort of overbearing gym coach. Alas, this is the entirety of Bokosuka Wars. Battles, left up to complete and total randomness, either end in your favor -- where you are free to continue your valiant crusade across the spacious plains of darkness -- or come to a crashing, disastrous loss. If you are unfortunate enough to fall to the forces of evil, Mister Blue Fatty chases you and your allies back to the starting point with a delightfully sassy tune of failure resounding in the background. And all the while, your failure is echoed by the glaring


text right at the top of the screen. Bokosuka Wars sure knows how to make a guy feel good, right? If you've ever wondered why the children of Japan are so repressed and unhappy, look no further.

Joking aside, this game is an unbelievable technical failure. I don't think I've ever played a game that hurts me so much to proceed through. To be fair, though, this little developmentally disabled gem doesn't utterly fail at everything it tries. Instead, it utterly fails at everything it tries except for the graphical department. Bokosuka Wars isn't stellar-looking, but at least the screen isn't bleeding pinks and yellows and flashing every time you get into combat. When you think of other titles of the era that feel like your very own private cerebral hemorrhage, Bokosuka Wars is none too disappointing. Of course then we get to the music and this positive point is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY BURNED. There are four songs in the game.

a) The title theme, which is 4 seconds long (I timed it!) and basically sounds like someone plunked it down on their Fisher-Price My First Synthesizer.
b) The THEME OF BOKOSUKA, which is your main adventure song. This treasure of musical achievement is 16 seconds long, but unlike its title-screen progenitor, it actually loops, so your ears never stop bleeding!
c) The "WOW!
theme, which is the most revelatory and glorious thing that I've ever heard in my life. Seriously, this song, combined with the hilarious graphical proceedings that follow, basically answers the question of our existence.
d) The "BRAVO! YOU WON!" theme, which I don't know if it actually exists because I couldn't get through the damn game. I bet it's amazing, though.

So basically Bokosuka Wars is like a gravel enema for your ears. Moving on...we have the gameplay. This is certainly successful! I love when I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO CONTROL over every aspect of the game, except moving my units forward which barely works anyway because the input is so freaking unresponsive. Once you get other pathetically-sprited allies to join your hopeless, unending meter-march, then you are tasked with the futile task of advancing them forward at the same time as well! It goes well until they all get stuck on trees and then you scream and cry. There are a bunch of numbers that probably don't mean anything smattered across the screen, just in case you want to attempt to decipher them. From what I've heard, the game loops once you've completed it, but playing this thing again would be equivalent to chewing open your own wrist.

Basically Bokosuka Wars plays like a dead platypus, sounds like one, and looks slightly better than its living counterpart. Unfortunately, average graphics doesn't exactly warrant the purchase of this...thing. Can you imagine someone over in Japan putting down the equivalent of 50 US dollars to get this? Perhaps as a woefully misguided birthday present or a fatal offering of Christmas cheer. One thing is for certain, though -- I would not bequeath ANYONE a copy of Bokosuka Wars, lest I be sent straight to Hell for my transgression.


Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 11/28/05

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