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Toobin' Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 40%
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  • Review Score:

  • C-
As an arcade game, Toobin' was an impossibly complicated experience. It featured a never-ending loop of levels, five buttons to navigate and two-player support that caused more harm than good. It was a mess. Yet, despite being overly complicated and
embarrassingly shallow, arcade gamers fell in love with its endearing charm and cooperative play.

To get Toobin' on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Tengen had to make a few cuts. Gone are the impressive graphics and detailed backgrounds. All of the bits of goofy charm (monsters in the water, rednecks fishing, etc.) have been reduced to barely recognizable sprites. Forget rushing down amazing waterfalls, the best you can expect from this NES port are the occasional strong current. On the other hand, they did scrap the needlessly complicated five-button set-up.

It's true, Tengen managed to get something right. Toobin's iconic button set-up (which included four buttons marked for movement alone) is a thing of the past. In its place is a sleek D-pad substitute. Now all you need to do is point to where you want to go and you're there. While this makes playing the game significantly easier, it also makes the game less challenging.

In order to offset the improved steering, Tengen has increased the size of the play field. Unfortunately, they also decreased the size of the hazards. It's easier than ever to avoid the deadly fish and thorny bushes that want to pop your inner tube. All of this tinkering has left the game far too easy and ultimately not very much fun.

Toobin' (NES)

The graphics are terrible. While I wasn't expecting the large, detailed sprites found in the arcade original, I wasn't prepared for the teeny tiny specs that litter this port. The backgrounds are also disappointing, full of repeating colors and obstacles. You can tell that you're in the prehistoric level because of the horrible looking dinosaur, but that doesn't make that level exciting in any way. It's just an excuse to continue your descent down these never-ending rapids.

Even with improved handling, Toobin' proves to be too simplistic to hold my attention for long. Also, the presentation is a mess and there's no reason to play through the game more than once. Tengen should get credit for fixing the busted control scheme, but fails to capitalize on that success with a worthwhile action game.
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