Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Beetlejuice", NES, 1991.

Games licensed from movies don't have to be terrible -- technically speaking, it is optional -- but it takes something quite exceptional to buck the trend. The film certainly was extraordinary, what I like to refer to as an "interesting failure" (perhaps a good gloss for the combined works of Tim Burton), but I don't know that it made for a playable game. I have no memories of it, which suggests merciful omission of recall for a game that failed to distinguish itself. Rare's games aren't all iconoclastic works of unabashed genius like Snake, Rattle & Roll.
Play Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice
on your NES, NES, NES.
It's show time -- courtesy of Me -- the "Ghost with the most!" How'd you like to help me scare those city folks out of your house and their wits? We'll soar through 8 horrific levels (you're gonna love the Afterlife Waiting Room), taking on Killer Giant Beetles, Legs Without Heads, and other gruesome creatures. One wrong step... and you're food for the Sand Worm. Here's a tip: Buy scares from the Recently Deceased Information Booth, they're your best weapons.
So, join me in the Netherworld... and make my millennium!
The opening gag is dumb but works on me. I like ad copy with a distinct voice -- in this case, of the film's antagonist and game's protagonist -- but when it starts making gameplay tips that suggests they exhausted the game's selling points in four sentences. I don't remember Killer Giant Beetles from the movie, while Legs Without Heads seems like a clear extension of Lord British's "Headless"es.