Reviews Archive
       
  B.O.B
 
 
 
  Graphics
       
      SNES Mega Drive
       
   
 
       
   
 
       
   
 
       
   
 
       
  Detail
 

SNES - The detail level and design here is a bit mixed, some levels look very nice (such as some of the city backgrounds) whilst others look merely functional (such as the pyramid and tunnel environments).

One of the bigger problems though is the lack of variation. The game only has a few different backgrounds and it re-uses and cycles through these designs over and over, with only one or two new environments getting introduced for each new world of stages.

Overall its respectable though, it always looks polished and there are some memorable effects and elements here and there (such as the wavy, psychedelic effect for the Light Bulb item).

Mega Drive - This is very close to the SNES version in basic detail, but the far background layer has been shifted a little so that different parts of the background are visible at different times (this makes no difference to the graphics between the two, but does make taking useful comparable screenshots difficult).

There are a few minor omissions here and there though, including missing wall pipes, a missing buried skeleton design, some missing circular sections embedded in the walls (see screenshot 1), and one or two slightly worse floor textures during the course of the game.

On top of those the level transitions are worse, the SNES version had a de-pixelisation fade-in effect at the beginning of each level, as well as light flickering. The teleport beam is also no longer translucent here.

 
  Winner Is: SNES
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  Colour
 

SNES - For the most part the colour job here is actually pretty good. Stages often (but not always) have quite high colour counts, are vibrant, and have imaginative combinations. Shading here is very good with everything looking attractive and well blended.

Another important element to mention is that whilst the game re-uses the same backgrounds over and other, the colour combinations for the levels are always changed. The designers have made an effort here to make the environments appear different, even though the same designs are used (for instance they'll introduce an alien wildlife level of blue and grey, but the next time they use the design the colours will be green and brown, giving the appearance of a more natural forest environment), this gives it the illusion of more variety.

Mega Drive - This is far, far worse. The colour counts have nosedived, with many of the independent colours of the SNES game now re-using colours from other parts of the level (see the red floor section of screenshot 2).

Pretty much all the colour choices are less inspired, often appearing brash and saturated, and most of them also contrast with each other quite a bit, with noticeably lower quality blending.

Honestly, I'd say that some sections of the game (such as the boss areas) look as low colour as an Atari ST game, but quite frankly that would be insulting to the Atari ST (Turrican bosses looked better than this).

Other things worth mentioning are that sprite colour counts have also lowered resulting in inferior shading, and the Light Bulb's effects have been degraded, no longer featuring the psychedelic colours.

Last but not least. All the colour changes between levels of the SNES game are gone, so the green slime level is pretty much always using green and blue, and always looks like green slime on Mega Drive, and the alien wildlife level is always grey and blue and never looks like a forest etc, etc (you can somewhat see this in the bottom two screenshots, with the Mega Drive using Brown/Silver combination for both levels). This issue causes the game to become much more boring to look at, much quicker, it really hurts the perceived variation.

 
  Winner Is: SNES
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  Animation
 

SNES - The animation here is actually very, very good, and is one of the more impressive aspects of the game. The game has a lot of different actions due to its plethora of items, but all of them are smoothly animated here.

Other than the main actions the character has been given many humourous animations for no other reason other than to add some extra charm. You get multiple idle animations, multiple victory animations for the end of each stage, and many different damage animations every time you take a hit.

There's also some small background animation going on here, including flashing lights, and the occasional wavy plant tendril etc, its not anything major but is a nice addition.

Mega Drive - The animation here has taken a rather large drop in quality, with most of the humourous, expendable animations being cut. BOB actually has no damage animation here at all, so whilst the SNES game would give you animations of him wincing, his antenna standing up, or his eyes widening with shock, on Mega Drive he simply flickers a little. Some of his idle animations are also missing, I couldn't get him to look at the camera whilst crouching for instance, nor could I get him to fall asleep. The animations missing here are also missing from the cutscenes, which makes them less humourous too (more on that later).

Outside of that the background animations are all either simplified, or absent entirely. The technology still flickers here, but it uses an inferior colour alternating technique. The city lights, and plant tendrils of the later levels are however completely gone, those sections are static now.

 
  Winner Is: SNES
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  Scrolling
 

SNES - This has smooth scrolling.

Mega Drive - I may be mistaken here, but I'm quite sure this actually looks slightly courser.

 
  Winner Is: SNES
 
  Sound
   
  Music
 

SNES - Much like the backgrounds, the music here is recycled quite a bit. Music in the game is pretty good overall, every track is respectable, there's some diversity in styles, and a few of the tunes are memorable.

Mega Drive - Not too bad, but it definitely sounds lower quality than the SNES game. The tunes here sound a little sparser than they did before, and there are occasionally some elements missing (there was kind of a mixing effect going on originally in one song for instance). I would also say that the Bass guitar of many tunes sounds inferior, and the lead sometimes comes across as a little scratchy.

This version has a specific tune for the spaceship racing levels, at first I thought it was a new tune especially made for this version but its actually a song from later in the SNES game that's been moved.

 
  Winner Is: SNES
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  Sound FX
 

SNES - I'd say the sound effects are good. There's a lot of stuff here, with the majority of weapons and many of the items having their own specific sound effect. Everything is pretty unique, and futuristic sounding, and there's some nice touches, such as sound effect for hitting you head or slamming into walls.

Mega Drive - Again I have to say that this is a little worse. Some sounds are absent (such as when you spring into a platform hitting your head), and all of the others definitely sound cruder and more generic.

 
  Winner Is: SNES
   
Gameplay

SNES - B.O.B is a platform game which has you navigating big, labyrinthine levels in order to reach each stage's exit point. Each level is usually quite open-ended, giving you a large number of route options and freedom to choose which way you want to go.

The game gives you a gun (with limited ammo), and the ability to punch as a means to deal with the many enemies. You can also pick up and accumulate a variety of other guns such as flamethrowers, spread shots, and homing rockets, and there are also many different items to collect with a number of different uses.

The items are one of the more original elements of the game, as their correct use can make some levels infinitely easier, for instance you can use a springboard to throw you up into the air allowing you to shortcut some sections, or a temporary helicopter to fly over floor hazards etc.

The varied use of the items makes the game especially good for speed-running.

Mega Drive - This is fairly comparable to the SNES game, but has some issues which bring it down.

The game plays a little faster overall, but this can make the enemies harder to react to, and on top of that the controls are noticeably more loose here. Jumping from platform to platform is definitely more of a pain than it use to be, as when you try to turn in mid-air its much easier to over-compensate.

Another issue is that the game no longer has dedicated buttons for punching or swapping items like the SNES version did, instead you actually have to pause and change your weapons and items manually.

Other than that a few of the AI routines seem to be more awkward (some enemies will hover above ladders and not allow you to rise for instance), and I noticed that the boss fight of the second world has become less polished than before. The boss is now more erratic and forces you to take cheap hits, it would be next to impossible due to this change, but the developers have downgraded the threat level of some of its moves to compensate (meaning you can now pretty much button mash whilst taking minor damage).

On the upside the vehicle levels seem easier to navigate.

Winner Is: SNES
 
Presentation

SNES - This game actually has very good presentation, there's a long, humourous opening scene, sections between worlds, and a decently lengthy end scene. These additions definitely lend the game some charm.

Mega Drive - All of previous stuff is in here, but sometimes its been downgraded. The end sequence originally used the shocked animation for Bob during one section, and due to this animation being absent (throughout the game) that scene doesn't have the same charm as it did on SNES.

Winner Is: SNES
 
 
  Conclusion
 

This is a very easy win for the SNES here, its version is pretty much superior in all aspects. The Mega Drive version of B.O.B actually feels like a bit of a rush job to be honest, some colour loss was to be expected but nowhere near to the level seen here, and there's no excuse for all the animation cuts.

  Overall Winner Is: SNES
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