Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Import Surprise part 3: Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa for the Famicom
I love Japan. I love their weird way of pop culture and their old traditions, which are just fun to learn about. One thing, though, that I can’t deny is that I love the video games they make. They are just fun. I mean, we’ve got Mario, Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, and so many other great games, but weirdly enough, a good chunk of the games have not been able to come out in America. Some reasons could be that they aren’t good, they are too difficult, just something that America wouldn’t like, or they are just plain weird. I can understand that because some import games I have seen I don’t think I would like, though I would love to see the Ganbare Goemon series come on the VC or something. I think one import game I have recently enjoyed came out on the VC back in 2008. It might not be the most well-known import game on the VC, but I think it’s a fun game, and if you like the old Mario and Megaman games on the NES, then I think people would like this game. It’s called Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa. In English, it’s called Bio Miracle Hey I’m Upa. It was released on the Famicom Disc system and was also released on the Famicom. It did come out here in America, but in pirated form. Luckily. you can be cheap and get it off the VC on the Wii.
Now. it took me awhile to find the story for this game since it’s not even explained in the game. You can’t really blame it for not having a good story on the Famicom. I mean it was a Famicom game. After a bit of research, I actually found the story for the game. From what I understand, Upa is a prince of some weird magical land that is made of food. I guess people liked to eat in the kingdom…anyways. One day, he accidentally breaks open a vase that contains an evil spirit named Zai. who kidnaps the souls of the adults and babies. Why baby souls I do not know. Upa is the only survivor and is given a magical rattle to fight against the evil and save his kingdom. Now. I don’t mind the story for a retro game, but why a rattle? That’s like giving Rambo a rubber knife and a small plastic squirt gun. Oh well. I guess I need to see if I can find one of these magical rattles for my kids if I ever have any. By the way, Konami made this game. You know the company that only makes Metal Gear and Silent Hill games? Yeah, they actually made something else during their time. Okay, I’m joking, they also made stuff like the Contra, Mystical Ninja, Castlevania, Gradius, DDR, and other little games like Jackal. I just wish Konami would focus on other things besides what will make them the most money. I actually found some people who want a new Mystical Ninja game, and I am one of them! Oh well, let’s get back to the review.
The game play in Bio Miracle is an action platformer like Super Mario or Megaman. This was back in the day when platforming took pixel-perfect landing or else you would die a horrible death. Like I said, and what I will say again, if you like platforming styles like Mario and Megaman where the longer you press the jump button the higher and farther you jump, then Bio Miracle has the same mechanics. The main gimmick in my opinion is the magical rattle. If you hit an enemy with the rattle, they expand into silly looking balloons. The main gimmick that I mentioned is that you can hit an enemy and turn them into a floating platform. Sometimes, this is required, and it has helped me to get through some of the platforming segments. During boss fights where you fight pigs who have huge mouths, they will shoot out enemies that you need to turn into balloons, bump into them, and ricochet them back at the boss. You can, of course, do the same thing to hit other enemies, but I think you should just hit enemies and turn them into floating platforms. You do get power-ups, like bottles of milk that will heal your health bar, hearts that increase your health bar, and a box with your face on it where you can get up and run around like a baby on speed and be invincible.
The 8-bit graphics look nice for a 1988 game. I know a lot of people would rather play games like Gears of War 2 or Modern Warfare, but here is what I think, forget those games. Retro games can be just as fun. I think Dark Void Zero and Megaman 10 have proven that. I could possibly add the Bionic Commando Rearmed and the new Rocket Knight game, but they are 3D and not 8-bit like Dark Void Zero and Megaman 10. The music is also very fun to listen to. It’s very cheerful and fun. It does get a little annoying, but I will explain later. The difficulty is just right. It isn’t hard, but it isn’t easy. Just perfect difficulty.
I do have a few things wrong with this game, but it’s only because it’s a retro game and I am a gamer of today. The platforming can be very tricky since you basically need to jump perfectly or fail trying. While I enjoy the music, it can get repetitious. I’m not asking for a soundtrack like God of War 3 or Final Fantasy 6, where you have multiple different songs, but it would have been nice to make the soundtrack bigger.
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is just a fun, little 8-bit game that should be enjoyed by new and old gamers alike. Of course, you could get the Famicom Disc or cartridge of the game, but it’s very expensive, but hooray to cheapness, and get it on the Virtual Console on the Wii. I wondered why this never came to America, and someone at Nintendo said it wasn’t good enough for the American market. Well, I think it is, and I say, go check it out. Thanks for reading and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or suggestions of games you would like to see me review.
This game gets an 8.9 out of 10