Bat and Tery
At a Glance: USE Co. Ltd. brings us a perfect example of a crappy Japanese fighting game, "Bat and Tery." I'd like to see some of the other games this company has made, but I believe this is their only title. I never got to meet Bat or Tery (at least I don't think I did), and the only thing I got from this game was the word "Battery" by combining the names in the title together. THAT IS VERY CLEVER, USE Co. Ltd.!
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 67k
Game Plot: I'm pretty sure the plot revolves around escaping from various locations and traveling to new ones so you can escape from them as well. The game starts off by making you run from some kind of prison / secret base area, and than you end up traveling through the so called "Bamboo Forest" which consists of rocks, water, and vines... pretty much everything except bamboo. Maybe there was some bamboo behind the rocks, I don't know. Next you find yourself climbing rocks, running on clouds, and flying through "ruins" which look like flooded warehouses. Than you do it all over again. I think this game is some kind of Japanese marathon. In all fairness to USE Co. Ltd., combining the names "Bat and Tery" to get "battery" is an extremely clever idea, because this game kept going on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny. The game wasn't even that difficult, just long and repetitive. If there was a plot in the first place (which I don't think there was), it probably got lost in the "Deadly Ruins, Deadly Clouds, and Dim Bases" area.
Weapons: When you are running around in your special green outfit, you throw coins at enemies that are in your way. These coins are very special coins because they have the ability to hit an object and then bounce. You can angle them up or down, but not straight. This makes it really annoying when you have to fight some of the enemies because most of them are either jumping around like jerks or flying through the sky, and if they are on the same piece of ground you are on, you'll have to get real close and bounce the coins off the floor to hurt them. For some reason the coins conveniently pass through certain enemies, making the game "difficult." Killing enemies puts coins on the left side of the screen as well. Now the normal person would expect these to be the remaining number of coins you currently have, but in fact it is some strange life meter. If you lose all of your coins, you change your outfit and become "the blue man". The blue man has a bat which replaces the coins on the left side of the screen. I didn't like playing as the blue man because he had to jump in order to hit most enemies, and the bad guys seemed to like hurting him alot. So every time I became blue man, I reset the game. I ended up playing almost the entire game as green man because his magic coins are more efficiently used against bouncing and flying enemies.
Enemies: "Bat and Tery" had some of the worst enemies I have ever seen in a game. There were flashers in trenchcoats that had knife-throwing kneecaps. There were blue guys with blue mohawks that also threw knives, although not from their knees. Bouncing rectums that inhabited gray block walls tried to kill me when I jumped up. Oversized flies flew by and shot out strange items. Dogfish creatures swam through the water and threw ping pong balls while Chinese women walked back and forth really slowly and captains from unseen boats wandered around throwing bubbles. Two different species of monkey were found in the "Bamboo Forest", as well as a caveman with long hair and a spear. On top of that, the occasional businessman in his Corvette travels through each of the levels (I don't know how he was able to navigate his car in such places), and there is a motorcycle guy who does pop-a-wheelies as he tries to run you over! Finally, there are Microsoft Tech support people who try to get in your way... this game was very disturbing!
Number of Levels: 6 worlds each with 4 or 5 levels. Because level design takes way too much time, USE Co. Ltd. found it easiest to repeat the same levels for each world, only putting blocks and enemies in slightly different positions. A new level would appear occasionally, but it didn't really matter because it was just added to the collection and would show up in the next world a trillion times. To actually complete a level you had to run towards a log cabin with a checkered banner hung over it. Once at the cabin you had to stand still for a few seconds and then it would go to the next level. After you defeat a boss you had to run pasts crowds of people and go in front of yet another crowd to complete the level. Makes sense.
Number of Bosses: There was a green dragon who showed up at the last level of every other world, and a blue dragon with Alf's head that showed up at the end of the other levels. The dragons were easily beaten by running to the right of their heads and showering them with magic coins of death. To make it "harder" you would have to fight multiple dragons, one after another, to complete the final stages. The end boss was a big guy in a trenchcoat, he died in all of 10 seconds.
Defining Moment: Realizing that USE Co. Ltd. had not but blockers on a lot of the vines and or ladders that hung from the roof. You could climb right up a latter and get stuck in the ceiling. Once in the ceiling, you can jump up and appear on the bottom of the screen. I was impressed. On one of the levels that climbed vertically, the screen went up as you moved. I tried climbing down one of the ladders to go back to the previous screen, but that was obviously taboo and caused me to lose a life. Such bugs made playing this game a real treat.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).