Thursday, March 23, 2017

Manual Stimulation: Totsugeki! Ponkotsu Tank (GameBoy)

I knew going in that Totsugeki! Ponkotsu Tank's instruction manual would have a hard time topping its delightfully colorful cover art.

Did that slight lowering of expectations prompt me to like this Japanese GameBoy game's manual more than I would have otherwise? Perhaps.

I'm pretty sure I would have come around to loving it eventually, though, given the number of cute illustrations that are tucked inside of it.

Before we get to those, let's focus our attention on this manual's cover. Its three-tone aesthetic is nice, don't you think?

I also like that it offers up an expanded view of the art that graces the front side of Totsugeki! Ponkotsu Tank's outer box.

As for the cute illustrations I mentioned earlier, one example (the best of the bunch, really) can be seen in the above.

I don't know about you, but that clown tank (at least I think it's supposed to be a tank) on the left reminds me of Tumblepop's Japanese cover art.

Another adorable drawing appears on the second page of Totsugeki! Ponkotsu Tank's instruction booklet. Though small, it depicts the titular vehicle wearing a bow tie.

That would surprise me--if I didn't know the folks at HAL Laboratory made this GameBoy title.

Yes, the same company that's given the world the Adventures of LoloBoxBoy! and Kirby series also produced this short-lived gem. (It only has four levels.)

Don't take Totsugeki! Ponkotsu Tank's brevity as a sign that it or its North American counterpart (published here by now-defunct Electro Brain), Trax, should be avoided.

On the contrary, its snappy gameplay more than makes up for its lack of stages--or at least that's my personal opinion on the matter.

Do its outer box and instruction booklet also make up for this game's lack of content? I'd say so, but I'd also say it depends on how much you have to pay to obtain them (by buying a complete copy).

Have any of you played Trax or Totsugeki! Ponkotsu Tank? If so, what do you think of the game? And what do you think of its Japanese manual?

See also: previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts about Bubble Bobble JuniorBurgerTime DeluxeGhostbusters 2 and Snow Bros. Jr.

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