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Ein umfangreiches und flottes Retro-Jump’n’Run, angesiedelt in einer exotischen Spielewelt, untermalt von einem exquisiten Soundtrack - das ist kurz gesagt „Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa“. Natürlich spielt es nicht in einer Liga mit Mario, Sonic & Co., was man angesichts des Preises (knapp sechs Euro) und des ungewöhnlichen Settings aber verschmerzen kann. Gerade dieses „Japano-Feeling“ ist es, was den Reiz des Titels ausmacht und man sich nach jeder absolvierten Welt fragt: „Welche skurrile Thematik wartet wohl im nächsten Abschnitt?“. Weil auch noch der Rest stimmt, ist dieses Hüpfabenteuer ganz klar ein Geheimtipp für alle Retro-Fans.
It would be quite easy to take one look at this game and dismiss it as nothing more than a vain attempt to lure younger gamers in with a dumbed-down platforming experience, but those who do will be missing out on one of the most unique and interesting platformers to come out of the 8-bit era. It won't take you long to see why fans of this game have been clamoring for a sequel for almost two decades. If you're a platformer fan, you absolutely don't want to miss this one.
NESDigital Press - Classic Video Games
All that aside, there is actually a good game that stars a baby as the main character - which was only released in Japan, of course. The game? Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (also known as Babyland or, inexplicably, Mario Baby [???]) for the Famicom Disk System - later rereleased in cartridge format in 1993 for the Famicom - by Konami. Yes, the same Konami that created such greats as Castlevania, Gradius, Contra and Metal Gear. And you know what? It really is good. In fact, it's one of the most fun Famicom games I've ever played. No joke.
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa may have never legitimately come to the United States while the NES was the pinnacle of American gaming, but it's finally arrived now, for real, for the Virtual Console. It's not a sensational title by any means, but it is decent, wholesome fun with a colorful kiddie theme and should appeal to fans of old-school 8-bit platformers. Playing it today makes me wish that I had actually rented it when I first saw it on the rack 20 years ago, even though it was wrapped up in that fake Baby Mario label – but that mistake of the past is easily erased now with the investment of 600 Wii Points. (One extra buck, of course, because this is one of Nintendo's "Import" releases.)
It has the sort of "what the hell?" appeal that you want from a previously unseen Japanese game, but it also comes with several throwbacks to its 1988 vintage that make it less than desirable. Linear scrolling, for one thing. Once the screen has rolled forwards, there's no going back. Also, it's one of those games where losing a life to the boss means reappearing at the start of the level. Often frustrating and rather basic, there are better ways to spend 600 Wii Points.