There are some games that are hard, like Castlevania IV. There are some games that are difficult due to the massive amount of button-combinations you must memorize, like Street Fighter II. There are some games that are just bullshit, like E.T. The Video Game. Then, there is Bayou Billy.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy is less of a game and more of a test of your mental stability if you intend of beating said game. This is because you do not win. The challenges of this game are not strategic or smart but just insane. Bayou Billy features many stages, some in which you brawl it out with gators and swamp ninjas in a Double Dragon fashion, some in which you must make it trough a country road while avoiding suicide jeeps and attack helicopters, and some you go along with your zapper. This game is easily the hardest game I’ve ever played and very well could be the hardest retro game of all time. Ninja Gaiden got nothing on this. To explain how I came to this conclusion, two friends and I sat around an old NES console swapping the controller from one to the other for three hours. And you know how far we got? To the third stage. Which is as far as any of us could get.
We’ll get back to the gameplay of Bayou Billy in a little bit. Lets look at the other aspects of this game, such as the graphics. The graphics of Bayou Billy are actually very good for an NES title. By no means the best but do surpass many others. The game does a good job of making the characters stand out as there is a lot of dirt colors going around. The soundtrack of Bayou Billy is actually very good. Not ground breaking but catchy and easy to get stuck in your head. The controls, while confusing at first, aren’t that bad once you got them memorized. And tip to any of you, this will help you A LOT: To jump in Bayou Billy, you must press the punch and kick button at the same time!
Now that I got the serious reviewing stuff, lets get back to the hellish difficulty and brain-breaking challenge that is The Adventures of Bayou Billy. Lets do this like a story. For, any way of breaking this down will not do it justice. You must understand the first impression. My two friends and I bought Bayou Billy for three dollars because the cover caught our eye. It has muscular hill-billy wielding a massive knife, jungle stuff all around, a jeep, a gator, it was just eye-catching. Then, after reading the title, we knew we had to get it. So, the night came and we popped in the cartridge which is in very good condition. We start playing, menu, a cut scene, and the game begins. We move forward with Billy in a double dragon fashion. When two ninjas come at us. We start punching and kicking and it was taking forever. At one point, we kick a chicken leg out of the ninja but the other picked it before we could and healed himself. These two ninjas did kill us but the second, after an overly long time, we killed them and moved on. The game began throwing all sorts of stuff at us. Red ninjas, blue ninjas, gators, vultures, black scuba men, white scuba men. It was insane. You only get three re-spawns and no save points. That’s right, no only is this massacre the hardest thing you ever play but if by some luck you get to the final stage, you very well could loose it all and start from the beginning due to a single kill.
(NOTE: I did do some research on this and you might be able to get extra lives but my friends and I never noticed it if we did so the internet could be lying). After three grueling hours, in the third stage which is a driving level, we were almost at the end when an attack helicopter blew us to bits, out last life. Forcing us to start from stage one. This got my friend into a frenzy of anger, throwing the NES controller to the ground and walking away into the hallway to calm down. People say Battletoads destroyed friend ships. It’s got nothing on Bayou Billy. After that, I turned off the NES and removed the cartridge.
That was my first impression of Bayou Billy or rather my first experience. The Adventures of Bayou Billy is a horrific, brain breaking, friendship destroying, mental stability testing, challenge. You know what the worst part is though? Its a fun game. After all that, Bayou Billy is a fun game. Its like playing Street Fighter IV, yes you may be getting you ass kick over and over again and you’re getting pissed but you can’t deny that you had fun while you were getting pissed. The Adventures of Bayou Billy is a game that, while fun, is not for the weak minded or even good gamers but should be reserved for the hardcore retrogamers who beat Ninja Gaiden.