Written: 3.22.07 Acquired: 3.28.06 Status: Cart only Price: $3.99
Pub: Electronic Arts
Dev: Gray Matter
Yet another game from my childhood that I always wanted to play, but never did. Lost in a vast sea of thousands, brace yourself -- it's yet another platform action game on the good ole SNES. But does B.O.B. do anything to warrant a play through? The short answer is: I'll be damned. Not only is it pretty good, but it reminds me of Megaman crossing Metroid, and if Doom were a platform game, it might be like B.O.B.!
"Hey babe, ya like the size of my gun?"
WAIT A SECOND!
"Megaman-Metroid hybrid that's Doom in platform spirit? Yer nuts!" I can hear you saying. Three of the most beloved gaming franchises of all time. Surely I must be sniffin' something real good, right?
What is certain, though, is the off-beat plot. Rather than controlling a hero preordained to save the world, our protagonist here is simply looking to meet his hot date in a timely fashion. She gets kidnapped by some bad dudes, right? Another contrived save the damsel in distress plot? Nope. B.O.B crashes his dad's car into an asteroid and lands on the strange planet of Goth. The natives are restless and hostile. After Goth lies the moderately difficult Anciena. After that, the controller-chucking Ultraworld. Over 40 bad guys want to make "Shish-ke-B.O.B" of you, and if they don't, surely one of the eight bosses, scattered throughout the 48 levels, certainly will
WHO -- OR WHAT -- IS B.O.B.?
Nobody knows. The manual doesn't say. A magazine once called up the people at EA, and they said they themselves have no clue. I bet B.O.B. stands for Big Ole B [SNIP! The children, for pete's sake, the children! -Ed.]
We do know that he is one funky piece of work... heck, the Japanese namesake is Space Funky B.O.B. !
At the beginning of each level, B.O.B. teleports to this lovely effect
Reach this orange swirly exit before the timer expires. The exit is sometimes hidden in a very devious spot, lending a maze-like aspect to B.O.B.
B.O.B is a big talker. He says something at the beginning...
... And at the end of each level he blurts out a "trendy, hip" colloquialism
Even does a little dance number!
He also yaps when he bites the dust:
I don't think you'll be able to, buddy...
B.O.B is well-animated, and quite a character
What good would a platform blaster be without loads of cool guns and gadgets? B.O.B's got the lot!
Pressing start switches to this screen. Here's where you can change your tools. L and R will cycle through the guns and gadgets in real time as well for a more seamless experience. Ace!
Speaking of which, make sure you grab as many gun and gadget icons as you can. Knowing when to use what is critical. Each gun can hold a maximum of 99 rounds. The gadgets max out at 9 a piece. Don't use any of them unless you absolutely have to...
Stronger than you'd believe. Use this when you can, as ammo is precious
Weak but it's got range. You can shoot up, too. Be ashamed, Megaman, be ashamed...
Cuts a wide swath when shot and possesses moderate power. The gun of choice in most situations
Homing missiles searching for the closest source of heat, but at times, misses its intended target. Not very strong, but it has its uses
Not very useful, unless you're dealing with the organic baddies. It also eats a lot of ammunition in no time flat
The 2nd strongest gun, but the shot is very narrow. It'll take a highly skilled darts player to use this weapon well [What the hell? -Ed.]
This is undoubtedly the BFG of B.O.B. and the one to pack the bosses in. It is sheer raw power!
THE SIX GADGETS
B.O.B can only jump so high. Use the TRAMPOLINE for an additional boost
X employs the gadget you've selected
THE FLOATING BOMB kills (usually) any baddie on-screen
Fly with the HELICOPTER HAT. You've five seconds before it expires
Save whatever SHIELDS you can find for the bosses. They last for about 8 seconds
The FLASH freezes all enemies briefly
Out of ammo? The blinding light gives you a good eight seconds to get the hell outta dodge
The UMBRELLA slows down your fall. It stays open until you touch something
Duck and crawl through tight spaces. You can shoot while crouching, but can't jump
These recharger units completely heal B.O.B. The programmers have positioned these units perfectly. But, after level 15 or so, they go the way of the dodo
Wrenches restore you to 100% vitality. They may pop up during a boss fight as well
CATCH A RIDE
Four "B.O.B-sled" levels are scattered throughout to break up the shooting madness. Put those Battletoads nightmares to rest, this is all easy stuff. Even the last one, which has multiple dead end's, should be a cake walk after 5 or 6 tries
D'oh! JUST missed the goal! Talk about a big bag of suck
THE BAD GUYS
A look at some:
These 'bots have great speed
Hard to avoid, but easy to kill
Horse flies are no problem. They make a little buzzing noise -- the damn bastards
Not all enemies can be killed...
Where do they come up with these brilliant, original ideas?
A hairy situation, this. Nothing that the Triple Shot can't take care of!
Snout monsters are animated wonderfully. You almost feel bad for killin' them. ALMOST
Disgusting thing... bugs come flying out like bees outta a bee hive!
Crash turtles roll mindlessly back and forth. So best end its misery, no?
Ole Mr. Potato Head wants revenge for all those times you put his parts in the microwave
Wizards conjure up lightning
Watch out for the sparks that come flying out when you kill these guys
In the 3rd world, EVEN the ladders aren't safe! Ladder monsters are extremely protective of their territory!
Many more strange enemies await you. All in all, it's an OK cast. I would have liked more diversity
WHAT'S THE MAGIC WORD?
A password is given after every 3rd stage. The 1st level may contain MUST HAVE items (e.g. Wave, shields) if you're to have a shot on the next 2, particularly if the 3rd level is a boss. It's a brilliant system the programmers have intentionally crafted
SPEAKING OF BOSSES...
The first -- the Borg Snake!
He's easy, and flashes like a mutha when hit
Missiles and triple shots work best against him
You'll take damage, no doubt about it, but the damage you dish out is much greater
Hmm, gimme 5 on the snake's missile...
His head-butting technique is quite lethal though. Just avoid being on eye level with him and you should be OK
"Oooh! Not right there, it tickles!"
Ole Lava Lord is tough if you don't have a certain gun on you...
This acid-dripping nasty is full of surprises
He's quite reminiscent of a Contra baddie...
For the tougher boss battles, shield icons, wrenches, etc. pop up on the screen every once in a while. You'll need every single last one!
One boss took me close to 30 tries to beat. He's the final guardian of Anciena, the bastard. His large fist will instantly pound you to the Game Over screen, regardless of your health status. It wasn't until I tried -- [SNIP! Can't tell 'em everything now, can we -Ed.]
The last boss is very tough and has 3 or 4 forms! If you collect enough firepower and gadgets in the previous 2 levels though, you should be fine. He's a nasty thing, resembling an abominable cross between a mutant spider, elephant and squid!
GENESIS OR SUPER NINTENDO VERSION?
It baffles me that some prefer the GEN version. Having played both extensively, I can say the SNES port has the better graphics, sound and control
GEN port had dull color and worse control, meh
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID....
[You fool! What they've said about YOU! -Ed.]
B.O.B. did not fare too well with the critics:
EGM:5, 5, 7, 7
GameFan:64, 67, 70, 80
Well, at least GamePro loved it... wait, does that even really count....
Let's see if the game fared any better with internet gamers....
I SUMMON THEE TO SPEAK...
I always loved the game. One of the better EA non-sports titles. I'm surprised that it never got a sequel-IronDraggon
It's a decent game, I like the crouching and ways of shooting because games like Megaman lacked that back then. I wouldn't say there's anything too special about it but it has its fun-cyberfluxor
I like just about everything about B.O.B. except for its hardcore difficulty once you reach the middle stages of the game. B.O.B. is resplendent with early nineties pop culture. You get a lot of funkadelic synthesized music that actually fits the foreign backdrops perfectly. I could rock out to the boss theme for a good ten minutes or so. B.O.B.'s music and sound effects fit it like a glove-Snow Dragon
The graphics in this game were pretty darn good. The bug-like main character was chock full of detail. All the enemies were just as good as B.O.B. himself. The environments had a ton of detail drawn into them. B.O.B. was never a game that was really heard of a lot, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not good -BrakZero
The graphics of the game are pretty good. There's good use of shadow, and B.O.B. looks excellent, as do most of his enemies. The animation also flows smoothly. The sound is good too, but not excellent. This game is worth a play. Although it's mostly just an average shoot 'em up side scrolling game, the humerous plot and difficulty will keep you coming back for more-Hiryuu
I really liked it. Really unexpectedly good game-PWHerman
Great game. I still play it now and then today. If I recall right it flopped pretty hard critically since it was dismissed as just another SNES platformer. Dismissed as pedestrian and derivitive when it is in fact a pretty fun refinement of this type of game -Neo Rasa
"Dude, this game is like... a retarded Metroid." One guy once eloquently put it. It wasn't until I finally played Super Metroid did I realize how true that statement is! A back-handed compliment if there ever was one eh?
The graphics have a lovely colorful, almost pastel-y look to them. B.O.B animates extremely well, packing a lot of personality into those nuts and bolts, and the various baddies look great too. The music and sound effects suit the game just fine. The boss theme really rocks. The gameplay I found to be fun and quite addicting, if not a tad frustrating at times. The exit for certain stages requires some thought process, some of them even require the trampoline or 'copter hat! Nice. Speaking of which, the various gadgets give the game a more versatile scope as compared to others of its ilk. I'm very glad Gray Matter skipped the ole hop 'n bop routine. It's a blast to rip the bugs a new one with the efficacious flame thrower. Although nothing new is really found here, B.O.B. is all done very well; minus some minor control flaws (floaty jumps and control not very crisp from a standstill point). Some stages have multiple routes, and while they're very basic, they're there at least. B.O.B. reminds me of the ole 8-bit games. There's an old school, back-to-the-basics feel, and this isn't meant to be interpreted as a bad thing, not at all. The gameplay is largely about memorization and repetition -- trial and error. What saves it, in my view, from being tedious are the cool graphics, fun main character, bizarre enemies and an inexplicable urge to see what the next level will bring, despite them perhaps not having the greatest of variety. The B.O.B-sled levels do help break things up, though
The game is oddly addicting! It became an obsession for me to beat the next subset of levels, earn the next password, and get my little robotic friend one step closer to his date. Actually, "little" is mischaracterizing... look how huge a sprite he is! Pal, you gotta lay off them Krispy Kreme Donuts
The boss battles were executed fairly well, though I think too many power-up's are provided during these fights. On the other hand, if they weren't, the game would TRULY be impossible. The 1st world is child's play compared to Anciena and Ultraworld, which will utterly destroy even the best of you weekend warriors out there, initially, anyhow. But trust me, it's never to the point that a little gut-it-through effort can't see you through, though you may come damn near close to chucking the controller on more than one occasion
Keep in mind B.O.B. is not a fast-paced run 'n gun. It's a deliberate, slower-moving action blaster. If you run through the levels, it's a sure-fire ticket to the waste bin. You have to take the levels step by step, conserving your ammo, trying to find and reach the exit before the timer expires. Some of the later stages become maze-like as you scramble to locate the exit!
All in all, I'm very pleased with the game. My expectation coming in was that it'd be decent, nothing more. Instead, I dare call it "pretty good"