Bari Bari Densetsu
29 Nov 1989


Chances are you won't have heard of the Bari Bari Densetsu manga. It's your average 'Japanese sporting underdog does good' fare, set in the hot-headed world of superbike racing. Authored by Shuichi Shigeno (who would later pen the Initial D series) the 38-volume manga was published between 1983 and 1991, and a two-part animation was broadcast in 1986.
Taito's 1989 Bari Bari Densetsu video game made a small name for itself back in the PC Engine's early days. It's a quality motorbike game very much in the same spirit as Sega's iconic Hang-On (1985) with plenty of nice touches of its own. In fact, after a couple of games it turns out that Taito have come up with a surprisingly good game, hands down one of the best racers on the PC Engine.
Get on that bike, qualify, and off you go to score some championship points. One of the first things you'll notice is that most courses can be taken full speed, and the weather is completely haphazard. Regardless of whether you are racing in Brazil or the UK, it always tends to burst into torrential rain in mid-race, for no good reason at all. And since you can't pit to change tires the focus falls on accurate tuning, careful tire selection and good old-fashioned luck.
The other catch is that during the 16-round WGP mode, passwords are only given every 4 races. Each grand prix is long, coarse, and taxing on the nerves... Course memorisation is key, along with some pure and undiluted racing guffaw.
Taito did surprisingly well with this one: the gameplay can be a little too quick at times, yet considering its age it is a remarkably tight motorbike game with a polished front end, Zuntata soundtrack, and a lot of do-or-dare tension.


Bari Bari Densetsu
Format PC Engine
Released 29 Nov 1989
Publisher Taito
Product ID TP01003
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
Taito's arcade-style superbike game slipped by completely unnoticed back in late '89.
A crying shame: until the PC Engine version of Out Run (21 Dec 1990) this was the best racing game on the format.

Standard PCE case, 2Mbit HuCard, monochrome booklet.



Strange 'Night Time' demo:

During the Taito boot-up screen, hold + I + SELECT (press II to exit)

Play as Sachiko Yamana:
On the title screen, hold , and input I, II, I, II, II, I, RUN


'Bari Bari Densetsu' and 'Taito' are registered trademarks of Taito Corporation
'PC Engine' and 'NEC' are registered trademarks os NEC Corporation
Bari Bari Densetsu TM & © 1989 Taito All Rights Reserved
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