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The Adventures Of Bayou Billy


Konami 1989





Bayou Billy, another game that tries to do a lot but ends up accomplishing little. The story this time is completely different than the usual NES side scrolling beat'em up, you still walk right to left jump kicking an endless stream of enemies that all shop at the same clothing store, except this time it's in the Florida swamps. Plus you get to drive a car and use the light gun once in a while.

Most of the game consists of the fighting scenes, which aren't actually too bad. You are limited in that you can only do three moves, one punch, one kick, and a jump kick, which is the move you end up using all thetime. You can however pick up weapons like sticks, knives, guns, and whips. The bad guys appear two or three at a time and stand around until you kill them. It gets a little generic after a while, but there are end level bosses that have their own "special" moves like bear hugs, body flips, etc, plus the assortment of enemies vary it up a little so you have to use some strategy (like when the dudes with the swinging balls and chains show up.) But these levels quickly degenerate into fight the bad guy, move on, fight the bad guy, move on, etc. It gets boring real quick.

The bad guys don't react when you hit them, they just flash different colors for a few seconds. So they have a tendency to walk right though your kicks and proceed to nail you. You however do get thrown back when you get hit. So you end up having to dodge all over the place to avoid getting surrounded, since you can't knock them back but they stun you when they hit you, making it nearly impossible to fight back in such situations. How hard would it have been to it to add knockback to the enemies? One little animation makes a world of difference with playability here.

Everyone has the same circle for a shadow. I don't know what's up with that.

Breaking up the monotony are shooting and driving scenes. Well, two shooting and driving screens each. It seems like Konami didn't really put very much effort into the shooting scenes as anyone with decent motor skills can probably beat them in one try. On the plus side they look good and have a decent number of enemies that show up. The driving scenes however are incredibly hard. They consist of shooting cars in front of you, dodging water puddles, rocks, and blowing up helicopters. What makes them hard is that there's an attempt at making a realistic drag on the car when you go around corners, so you have to take curves and such real tight because you have a tendency to drift to the outside, where of course you smash right into strategically placed rocks. Mind that you're also dodging cars that race up behind you, so take a curve too slow and another car will run into you from behind. Oh yeah, it's one hit kills in these levels too. The driving scenes aren't altogether impossible, but all the little bullsheet nuances of crappy control and relentless targets makes it an exercise in futility.

The game does it's best to give some variety to the usual side scrolling formula but falls into the usual repetitive 8-bit play mechanics (like whenever you see a puddle you can pretty much figure that a frogman will jump out of it and attack you, without fail, every time. Eventually it's not a suprise anymore.) It's a game with a grand vision that starts off good but falls into mediocrity in every respect.

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