Title: The Misadventures of Tron Bonne
Game Type: PS One Classic
Download: 132 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable
PSTV Support: Yes
The Mega Man series is something that has always flourished in the gaming world. Ever since Mega Man on the Nintendo Entertainment System, this series has gained a larger and larger fanbase. The series has also has several smaller series’ of games within itself with specific storylines and scenarios. Such series are Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Mega Man ZX, and more.
One series in particular that is interesting is the Mega Man Legends series. Legends took the Mega Man formula and changed a lot of it, diving into the 3D genre. Not only did these games have 3D visuals on the PlayStation, but the gameplay was 3D instead of being a side-scrolling game. There were a lot more story elements in these games for many characters, from Mega Man, Roll, and even antagonist Tron Bonne, whom managed to make it into Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 over Mega Man, himself.
With that, today’s review is going to focus on Tron Bonne. While Tron is an antagonist character in the Mega Man Legends game as a pirate, she got her own portion of face-time in the PlayStation world. So much that she got her own game. A newly-released PS1 Classic for the PS Vita and PlayStation TV (and PS3 and PSP), here is my official review of The Misadventures of Tron Bonne!
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne takes place in the Mega Man Legends timeline and is a prequel to the original Legends game. The game starts off showing Tiesel Bonne traveling through the desert, trying to find ruins with hidden treasure to steal for the Bonne family. Upon reaching the ruins, however, he is ambushed by a character named Glyde, aiming to collect a large debt from Tiesel. He then defeats Tiesel and kidnaps both him and another member of the Bonne family.
Tron and her Servebots find the scene and realize what has happened. In order to fix things, she works to travel around the island they live on to collect treasure and money in order to pay off Tiesel’s debt and rescue him from the hands of Glyde and his employer, Dr. Lex Loath.
The story of the game isn’t fantastic, but isn’t terrible. One thing is that despite being a prequel, it doesn’t do a lot to explain the world of Mega Man Legends. It just throws you out there into the story between Tiesel, Tron, and Glyde. To make up for this, there is a lot of entertaining comedy in the game. The dialogue between Tron and other characters as well as the Servebots is very entertaining. The ending also serves as a well-thought bridge to lead into the events of Mega Man Legends.
The game is hard to really define, because it’s a lot of different genres in one. In the game, you will have a base and go out on different missions with different objectives. This is reminiscent of the Base/Mission system shown in Mega Man X5. Each mission, though, showcases a different gaming genre, so it’s hard to call it one certain type of game. It’s part RPG. Part action. Part puzzle. The list goes on.
The progression in the game is done in similar ways as the Mega Man series, particularly Mega Man X5. You have a base of operations you’re at before every mission with being able to go out on missions as well as visit other rooms to do other operations than just doing missions. You can also develop new armor and equipment for your characters, upgrade your Servbots in an RPG-like manner, develop rooms, and a few other things. This is what makes it stand out from the usual Mega Man “Go on a mission. Go on another Mission” Formula. The fact that there’s development and more to be done that wasn’t incredibly common back in the days of the PS1.
When you’re out on missions, things get interesting. There are 9 areas total, and you’ll have 3 different missions to do in each area. More like a “Let’s go to the Bank Lv.1 and then Bank Lv.2 and then Bank Lv.3” where the story and difficulty of the missions vary each time you revisit it in the storyline. However, that isn’t what is unique about these missions. The unique aspect is that each separate mission represents a different gaming genre.
You’ll have missions that play like an action game where you run around in a mech, shooting down enemies, and telling your Servbots to infiltrate homes and steal money. You also have missions where you’re in a different vehicle on a grid in a very Sokoban manner to collect crates into your ship. Then you have missions in Caves where you explore in a very dungeon crawler and RPG sense of exploring, disabling traps, finding keys, and opening treasure chests. There are lots of different gaming genres to experience in these missions and no one mission is like any other.
In the action missions, there are also boss fights to do. These boss fights vary as well. The first couple boss fights are a matter of dodging incoming fire and blasting at the enemy until their health gauge reaches zero. Some of the later are more strategy-based, like leading a giant Reaver bot and getting the timing just right to spring traps on it to damage it. Despite this being a 3D game in the Mega Man series, there is still a good deal of learning and strategy when you encounter bosses.
All in all, the game should take you about 6 hours or so to finish your first time through the game. It’s not an incredibly long game, but it is pretty lengthy for the series that it comes from. Nothing special unlocks once you beat the game, other than the story’s ending that ties into Mega Man Legends.
The control scheme is something that is definitely worth talking about. It should be noted that The Misadventures of Tron Bonne utilizes more buttons than the PS Vita has, which can lead to an odd situation when you’re going through the control setup. Particularly its dependence on the R2 button.
Playing through the game has you moving with the D-Pad and strafing with either the L and R triggers or the Left and Right D-Pad buttons. Whichever of these two is not selected for strafing is used for rotating the camera. Meaning that you will be using the D-Pad and both triggers for movement and strafing. R2 is used for firing beacon combs for Servbots to move. Since this is a very important feature, you will be using this frequently in every mission.
This is where the awkwardness comes in. The Vita uses the rear touch screen for this and I’ve found that this is very hit and miss. So, you’ll want to redirect it to a physical button. Since you have to hold this and use the D-Pad and use the Square button at the same time, the only option I found was redirecting the R trigger to this and just deal with only strafing in one direction. On the PlayStation TV, this isn’t an issue. But on the Vita, it is a bit of a hindrance.
Outside of that, the face buttons do most of the interaction. The X button is used to jump and Square is used to fire blast shots. Finally, the Triangle button is used for grabbing and moving heavy objects. Some of the controls are different in different types of missions, but this is pretty must the gist of it. It’s not a hard control scheme to learn, outside of the R2 dependency.
As far as the visual presentation is concerned, things aren’t that bad. Tron Bonne looks good for a 3D PlayStation game. There are, of course, jagged edges and a little blurriness on the designs from the stretching on the PS Vita. This isn’t pretty, but it still looks pretty decent.
The gameplay runs well on the Vita. The load times are nice and short and there aren’t any technical problems like lag, slowdown, or freezing. This ran well on the PlayStation, and it still runs well on both the Vita and the PlayStation TV.
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is considered a hidden gem in the PS1 library. On the downside, the story will leave a lot of questions to gamers who haven’t already played Mega Man Legends. The visuals have also gotten blurry in the transition and the controls are awkward on the Vita. If you can get around the control awkwardness (or use a PlayStation TV), it proves to be a very unique look into a comical anti-hero from the Mega Man franchise.