RELEASED: October 1994
AVAILABLE ON: SNES
The whole new Disney character of Bonkers D. Bobcat was born in the early 90's, after Disney's failed attempt to bring back Roger Rabbit as the star of his syndicated Disney Afternoon cartoon. The show was about a bobcat with a serious case of attention deficit, whose cartoon career had waned and he decided to start a new one as a cop, partnered with a no-nonsense human detective. The show's humour was so surreal and full of diversity, that of course Disney decided to produce a video game based on it and called Capcom back on the job. The game didn't sell too well, but it's a decent platformer. There's not much more anyone can expect out of such a quick and low-profile license.
At the very least Bonkers kicks Bubsy's ass
Three of the most valuable artifacts in the world of cartoons - the Sorcerer's Hat from Fantasia, the Mermaid's Voice from The Little Mermaid and the Magic Lamp from Aladdin - are stolen. After his partner Lucky Piquel gets in an "accident" caused by Bonkers' panic attack upon hearing the news, the crazy but determined bobcat seeks to solve the case alone.
|He jumps like a cat.|
Of course, another game that immediately comes to mind is, once again, Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, for obvious reasons. But, as generic as Bonkers might be, it's a quite decent game. Whereas Buster Busts Loose! is one of the best and most exciting cartoon platformers on the SNES and Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind is a small piece of purgatory sent to us as a "sign of good will" by Satan himself, Bonkers lands in the absolute middle. It's not great, it's definitely not unique, it has some exceptionally sloppy boss fights, it fails to draw a clear line between what you can and cannot touch, but in the end, it's a fun, quite harmless platformer. And, at least Bonkers doesn't yell irrelevancies all the time like his evil twin brother from the Bubsy franchise.
|Clint would know what to do.|
There's a level of introduction, after which you'll gain a map of the stolen treasures, and the player is given a choice of three levels. This choice is quite artificial, 'cause there's a recommended, yet invisible order to complete those three levels, all according to the boss fights. After you've beaten the introduction and all three levels, you'll automatically enter one final stage just like in DuckTales and Darkwing Duck. All the levels thus far have been quite easy, but the final one is pure hell. Not because of the enemies, but rather sudden deaths relating to some very clumsy advanced controls.
Bonkers may either jump on enemies or throw bombs at 'em, as long as he has some left. Here's the first problem. You _need_ bombs in one of the boss fights. If you're out of 'em, or run out of 'em halfway through the fight, which is also perfectly possible, there's no choice but to commit suicide and try again for better luck. I guess it really was impossible to give us a usual bomb power-up instead, if we happened to run out of bombs. You see, the boss is invisible - you need to throw those bombs just to figure out where he is! Well, it's not as bad as when his own bombs also become invisible... you won't see them before taking damage from them. Fair, I know. Well, then there's the dash ability, ripped straight off Buster. You can execute a roll attack while dashing sometimes when all else fails, but you must also press horizontal switches by dashing and jumping in the air. Another boss fight is based on this; it's completely random whether Bonkers presses the switch or not, and there's a pit right under it. Well, this boss fight won't take you too long, but in the final level, there are many switches to open gates, right over huge gaps. Now those ones are pure shit, and just attempting to press them and get through the corresponding gates in time results in enough sudden deaths to make one lose his mind before it's all said and done.
|I take it you don't fancy a friendly game of |
Bonkers is all about quick, harmless, modest entertainment. It's not meant to be a really deep and innovative platformer, it's just a simple, generic carbon copy of a whole bundle of platformers. That's not always a completely bad thing. It might lack a lot of things, such as monetary value for consumers, but in the end, the developers meant us no harm.
GRAPHICS : 7.4
SOUND : 6.0
PLAYABILITY : 7.3
LIFESPAN : 5.0
CONCLUSION : 6.8
a.k.a. Disney's Bonkers
Sega made a whole different game that went by the same title for the Sega Genesis. However, this game was also published by Capcom in the United States. The game Bonkers: Wax Up! on the Sega Master System and Game Gear is also sometimes referred to as just Bonkers, but it's yet another whole different game.