This deranged mad scientist stereotype then brainwashes several of Buster's friends and kidnaps the remainder, including Babs Bunny. The games developer Konami have clearly taken the source material as a starting point since this plot is unique to 'Buster’s Hidden Treasure'. It's a story told though badly translated text at the start of the game where attractive pictures don't quite marry with the text shown below. It is rather sad that Babs has been reduced to little more than a damsel in distress. The Tiny Toons series was known for showing its female characters as being just as (if it more) able than their male contemporaries.
While there may be ramps and springs to accelerate Buster there are also some very precise ‘Mario’ style jumping sections. These parts prove to be excessively tricky primarily because the game's avatar seems to always want to break into a sprint. If Buster takes more than a few steps in any direction he will stay running even if you would prefer him to move cautiously. I found I actually had to tap the direction pad at times to avoid moving quickly, which hardly seemed very elegant. However at speed Buster is at his most deadly since he has the ability to slide into enemies killing them en-mass. Of course the tried and tested "jump on heads, kill off baddies" technique also exists in this game. However the hit detection can be a little imprecise; something that's pretty poor considering it's such a staple of the genre. Like so many platform games our hero is also able to bounce off walls, primarily to reach hidden sections and the power ups contained within them. Buster initially has three hearts which are lost following collisions with enemies. However by finding bells scattered over the levels this can be pushed to five. Alternatively finding a crystal will make you invincible for a short period of time, rather like a star in 'Super Mario World'. However while the carrots that litter 'Buster’s Hidden Treasure' do resemble Mario's coins collecting them doesn't give you an extra life. Instead if Buster collects fifty he can call on help from Concord Condor, Little Beeper, or Lil' Sneezer. These characters from the TV show act like a smart bombs killing all onscreen enemies except bosses.
Unwilling to attack his school chums the only way Buster can free them of the mind control, is by jumping on the head of their manipulator. Everything in 'Buster’s Hidden Treasure' has really been seen before and there were many similar games to pick from on the console. "Platform games are a dime a dozen on the MD' Mat Yeo noticed. While ' Buster’s Hidden Treasure' may not radically shake up the tried and tested platforming genre that doesn't mean the game isn't worth your time. Mean Machines magazine even called it "one of the best examples of the platform game on the Mega Drive and certainly the finest example of the machine's abilities".
For me the most impressive thing visually is the backgrounds, which somehow don't seem to be limited to the 64 colours on-screen like other Mega Drive games. It seems every one of the machines' 512 available hues appear at one point or another with some impressive graphical overlays only adding to the beauty of the backgrounds. Obviously from a gameplay point of view it would be preferable not to be playing underwater or slippery slidey ice worlds but if game developers must insist on including stages that play poorly at least they looks nice while you're playing.
Where did I get this game from?
Back in August 2015 I was invited along to Play Margate, to review the event for Retro Collect. I picked 'Buster's Hidden Treasure' up here for a bargain price of £9.