RETRO REBOOT - Tiny Toon Adventures Buster's Hidden Treasure (Sega Mega Drive/Genesis)

If there's one thing I do as much, if not more than play video games is watch a bucket load of cartoons, from any era. loved Tiny Toon Adventures as a kid, and will still watch it today at any moment's notice. Merrie Melodies and Looney Toons are among my most watched shows on Saturday mornings. Tiny Toon Adventures was a very creative modern take on the Looney Toons style of humor for a new generation of kids, it was funny for both children and adults with its slapstick and (for its time) modern pop culture references. With video games increasing in popularity, it would only be eventual for the cartoon to see offerings on the Genesis and the SNES.

Developed and published by Konami in 1993, Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Genesis would be the first in the line of Tiny Toons games. Among the game designers iare Hidenao Yamane, who worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, and Koji Toyohara, who's credits include Sunset Riders and Castlevania, so it's in very capable hands. 

While in an old warehouse, Buster and crew stumble upon an old treasure map. ever the opportunist, series antagonist, Montana Max nabs the map and enlists the aid of Dr. Gene Splicer to mind warp all of Buster's friends against him in efforts to slow him down. Babs Bunny (no relation), Fifi LeFume, and Shirley the Loon are all kidnapped. Buster sets out to not only overcome obstacles and rescue all of his friends, but to beat Max to the treasure. 

Just mere minutes after playing, it's very clear that Buster's Hidden Treasure bares a lot of similarities to Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Buster's speed, momentum, physics, running around and collecting carrots, it's all very familiar. That isn't a bad thing, in fact, I'd wager Buster's Hidden Treasure is very on par with Sonic 2 when it comes to execution. It's a lightning fast game, but not too overly blinding. In Sonic games, I really want to blaze through, but more often than not I run into an enemy. This happened quite a bit in TTBHT. It's very easy to pick up and play, and honestly a game that can become very addictive, one of the more accessible platformers on the Genesis. The stages are very well designed with a nice variety of puzzles and hazards to avoid. Along with the overworld map, it also gives a feel of Super Mario World, it really hits the best of a couple of different flavors from the Baskin Robbins that is the platform genre.

When it comes to visuals, this game looks amazing and gets the very best out of capturing the likeness and humor of the Tiny Toons characters. The sprites are colorful, the animation is flawless with no clipping or lag. Each of the various worlds, which ranges from forests to platform game staples like ice and fire based levels offer their own specific set of challenges. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that one of the treats of playing a game based off a cartoon is when there's plenty of callbacks to the kids who watched. Plucky portrayed the Toxic Revenger in a few episodes, yet I marked out when this superhero parody appeared as a boss battle. He continues to deny who he really is until Buster threatens to stop helping him with his homework.

Tiny Toon Adventures won't cause you to throw your controller into a wall. It has a password system so returning to your progress is a snap. As mentioned, you can run, build up enough speed, and Buster can perform a slide move that can take out a row of enemies. Enemies are also damaged and defeated by hopping on their heads. The carrot currency system grants you the aid of an ally that acts as a super bomb of sorts. Concord Condor, Little Beeper, and Lil' Sneezer are at your disposal. 

The challenge naturally picks up as you progress, and by the time you get to Lava Cave, it can kinda test your patience. The boss battles throw a fun curve ball. The character under Splicer's control isn't the target, rather he is, so your energy is diverting towards hitting the enemy that's running away from you while YOU avoid the pursuer. Creates an interesting dynamic, like one of those eye tests that tell you to read the color of the text and not what it says. 

Tiny Toon Adventures Buster's Hidden Treasure is a very quality game, incredibly underrated Genesis title. The music supervision and sound effects are well done. Hearing the Tiny Toons Adventure opening theme blaring out of the Genesis is top tier BGM arrangement. And it's aged incredibly well, go out of your way to pop this back into your 'Drive and have a good ol' time. Or emulate it. That works too.

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