The Adventures of Bayou Billy
Bayou Billy - the name that's struck fear into dozens of hearts, men cringe at the very whisper. Women swoon at the thought. Just who is this dapper chap, exactly? Who got his plants, helicopters, and jeeps all outside of the borders of Konami's box, usually good at restraining such outbursts?
The Rajun' Cajun, as some would know him, was unleashed to the Japanese Famicom-playing world in the fall of 1988 (and the following summer stateside). This was a game which would herald in a new age for the respectable giant Konami, oddly enough - though not, perhaps, as they'd planned.
As this blog has referred to recently, Double Dragon had made quite an impeccable mark on modern gaming at the time, and lots of their rivals sought to copycat. This was apparently(near as I can tell!) Konami's virgin effort at doing so - walk to the right, fight a bunch of guys until the immediate section is cleared, then proceed to do it in the next section. It was definitely not as fun as the original brawler, and it wasn't 2P either.. most NES beat'em-ups were likewise, unfortunately.
However, this game's gimmick, much-lauded prior to it's release, was that is was "three games in one" - racing, fighting, shooting (with lightgun). This hadn't been done before, on NES or... anywhere, recently! It seemed bold, daunting, and Konami had a reputation for making wonderful titles - it seemed like a fair bet.
Well, the game came out and sadly, it was not more than the sum of it's parts. Each segment felt half-baked at what each was attempting. None were "bad," just sort of bland. Look at that racing level above, not very impressive eh.. the fighting was unspectacular, the shooting levels were unremarkable. The whole game just seemed kind of memory-constrained and rushed out the door to meet a deadline. The theme, while original, wasn't terribly exciting either. Billy was a wash - and he was never heard from again. It wasn't the end of Konami's ideas in these departments, however - Track and Field II blended many different game concepts very successfully, and their future beat'em-ups were extremely popular. This was kinda just a speedbump along the road. Kicking music, though!