The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle
The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle is a platformer action puzzle game developed by Kotobuki System and skinned with three different franchises for different platforms and regions. The original Famicom Disk System release was published by Kotobuki System on 1989-02-16 and featured a Who Framed Roger Rabbit theme. The Japanese Game Boy released was published on 1989-05-09 and featured a Mickey Mouse theme. Then the game was published in North America by Kemco▲Seika for the NES and Game Boy a few months later with a Bugs Bunny theme. This is the first in the Crazy Castle series which includes other franchises as well.
I discovered this game while trying to better familiarize myself with Kemco's catalog of games. I played it for a little while and quickly got bored with it. I checked online to see how many levels there were, and calculated how much longer it would take to beat the game based on how long I had already been playing, and decided I may as well finish it.
I do not own this game, but I beat the US Game Boy port on 2019-08-28.
Best Version: Famicom Disk System
— This section contains spoilers! —
- Hiroyuki Masuno's jazzy music is surprisingly enjoyable for such an otherwise low-quality generic game. And while most of the releases don't have licensed music, the Japanese Game Boy port adds a single Mickey Mouse tune.
- I like how the different tools are used against enemies in different ways, but I would like to see more variety. The weight, crate, safe, and bucket all function the same way, only differing slightly in how far they are pushed.
- With 80 levels, the game is a pretty good length, requiring a couple hours to win.
- This is one of those games where it's pretty obvious that the developers already had a game in mind and then stuck a thin veneer of a franchise on top of it.
- The graphics are pretty bad for all versions of the game and the Game Boy port has really bad sprite flicker.
- It would have been nice if the developers added more characters. Granted, they didn't have very much video memory to work with, but they could have loaded different enemies in different levels or only loaded graphics when they were needed. At the very least, they shouldn't have had four versions of one character, but only for each of others. For example, in the NES version, there are four variants of Sylvester, but only one Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, and Wile E. Coyote.
- Rather than have a gradual increase in difficulty, the maps are all over the place. Some of the very last levels are really easy while some in the first 20 are really hard.
- Since you get a password for each level, and every time you use a password you start with another 5 lives, lives are entirely pointless.
- Near the end of the game, survival is made more difficult by requiring the player to blindly go down long stairways or pipes where they can't see if an enemy is waiting at the end. This is not increased difficulty but rather an abuse of luck.
- The game doesn't notify you of your progress very well. It would be nice to see a carrot counter, an icon showing when you have a boxing glove, and something to indicate when you're about to run out of invincibility after getting the magic carrot juice.
- The ending is unimpressive, and both Game Boy endings have bad Engrish.
- I think the developers missed an opportunity to award bonus points for various contingencies like killing all the enemies on the level, ending the level with an unused boxing glove, etc.
- Although you walk smoothly up stairways, you drop down them in large falls.
- Normally, I like the idea of being able to watch a playback of your game, but since the levels are so short, and you can't save them anyway, I don't really see the point. I wish the programmers had spent more time polishing the game rather than wasting it on this feature.
- The story in the manual is pretty awful, and it incorrectly names Wile E. Coyote "Wiley Coyote."
- The controls are awful. For no given reason, you can't change direction on stairways or even at the very top or bottom of stairways. Also, if you press up or down when there isn't an exit up or down, you will instead move in the direction you're facing (left or right). I died many times because of this unusual control scheme.
- There isn't much variety to the game. Within the first 10 levels you'll see all the graphics and hear all the music of the game except for the ending. This makes the bulk of the game boring.
- youtube.com/watch?v=P8p0hN0OwDo - Game Boy World.
- youtube.com/watch?v=lC7FFkgtKkQ - Longplay, NES.
- youtube.com/watch?v=TZrEwNJP6ic - Longplay, Game Boy (USA).