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Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (translated as Bio Miracle I'm Upa) is a platformer from the NES days released by Konami in Japan in 1988 (Famicom Disk) and 1993 (Famicom cartridge). It was never officially released outside of Japan, although some pirated copies found their way stateside. So, why didn't Nintendo release this 20 years ago? They said it wasn't good enough for America. However, now you can download it onto your Wii. Guess with all the crap games out there, now this one will fit right in. Or not. It's actually quite good.
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Stay with me here. Upa is the main character. He's a baby with a magical rattle. No, he's not saving any princess. You see, he accidentally unleashed the spirit of Zai (evil demon with nefarious plot) when he broke an urn (he IS just a baby) so he crawls forth to save his kingdom.
I don't see how that's any less weird than Adventure Island or even Super Mario Bros.
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Upa really is a bio miracle. For one, he can jump really high for a baby. All the babies I know can't jump at all. However, when he falls from high places he does land on his back and cry for awhile. (That is what babies I know do when dropped from high places.)
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is pretty standard NES era platformer fare. Upa crawls and jumps through the levels. What sets him apart is the magical rattle. It can inflate enemies for short periods of time that can be head butted at other enemies, ridden like a platform, or just left to pop. In fact, in many cases Upa needs to inflate enemies into floating platform just to get through the levels, which is kind of interesting. The Wii mote handles the controls well with the typical classic layout.
There are eight main worlds, each divided into three to four levels. Like most platformers, each world revolves around a theme. However, in Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa the theme is something cute and childlike (baby). For example, the first world is all giant cake and candy. There is even a level in which you have to eat your way through cake! Why did Nintendo not think kids would love this? I would have eaten it up.
However, I was a bit disappointed with the amount of interaction between Upa and the setting. Mostly he just jumps and collects power ups by hitting blocks with his face on it. But at least the power ups are cool. Upa collects heart to increase his life, bells which make him briefly invincible and able run on two legs, and milk which fills up his hearts.
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa has two modes: Easy and Normal. While it is a lot easier than other NES era games, some of the levels can be a bit challenging (crazy jumps and what not), so it's nice to have the choice. And be warned, each level is timed and many of them have a boss at the end!
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Graphics and Sound
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa actually looks really good. The world is colorful and bright. Nothing is overly pixilated. For an 8-bit game, I'm pretty impressed. The bad guys are even pretty cute, lots of little animals jumping around waiting for Upa to make them explode. Adorable!
Sound-wise, Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is pretty good too. The music, light hearted and fun, really fits the feel of the game. The music is fast paced and peppy. It may get stuck in your head for a while. Also, the sound effects are nice and fit the action well.
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Hitting things with a magical rattle in the land of cake is always fun, no matter how you look at it. I actually did enjoy playing Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa. It's easy enough that it won't have you throwing the Wii mote, but gives a decent challenge. Sure, it is pretty mindless but that's okay sometimes.
While there are a lot of NES platformers out there, some do it better than others. Nintendo did right with releasing this on the VC, and I'm sure money had nothing to do with it.
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Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is a pretty good game. You may have played a pirated copy as a kid, or you may have never heard of it, but if you like platformers go ahead and give it a try. It will keep you busy for a few hours. I'm not sure if it's worth it to play again, however. Also, it is 600 Wii Points instead of 500. Import costs, you know. But, if you can spare the extra 100 points, you are in for a unique and cakey experience.