RELEASED: May 1991
AVAILABLE ON: NES
In 1988, former Disney animator Tim Burton directed his second full-length live action film, which would go on to serve as the standard for all his work, be considered his finest film almost 25 years later, and solidify his status as one of the most unique film makers of our time: Beetlejuice. This classic, morbid comedy is one of my personal favourites in the genre, as well as one of my favourites in Burton's wide array of outstanding works, right there alongside Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and of course, Batman. Like just about every even the most non-applicable blockbuster film of the 80's and early 90's, Beetlejuice got a game made out of it. Like in the case of just about every even the most non-applicable license of the 80's and early 90's, LJN was involved. If only Beetlejuice would just go away if you uttered its name three times... which I already did and the game's still there, so I might as well dig into this pile of trash.
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Adam and Barbara Maitland die in a tragic car accident and return to their house as ghosts, only to find it's been bought by the obnoxious Deetz family. Since they have no clue about how to convincingly haunt people, the Maitlands enlist the aid of Betelgeuse, an eccentric expert of all things morbid, who's working towards his own causes.
|Promotion for the Jaws game comes four years |
late, just as that game was about 12 years late.
|"HI THERE BEETLEJUICE" Oh, Lord!|
So it's a platformer, and it's not a good one. The controls suck, that's not much of a surprise, and it doesn't cause much of a stir inside my head to fall off an edge while standing perfectly still on it or walking straight into an instakill of glitched timing - it's totally expected. What truly bothers me is the environment - they didn't even fucking try to make this look anything like Beetlejuice. Walking on clouds? A high school quarterback for a boss? The need to buy all your scares from the bulky guy with the shrunken head? The presentation stinks. Just forget the name of the game and play it. Or wait, don't.
|What's happening is that my jaw magically |
fell off and someone took a shit on Otho.
It's funny that after all these years, I'm willing to give games like Beetlejuice the benefit of the doubt. No expectations, not at all, but there's always the slight hope of finding SOMETHING good in it. Beetlejuice has absolutely nothing. Comparing it to some of LJN's greatest mistakes like Friday the 13th and some of their "contributions" to the Terminator franchise makes me think we have something a bit more playable on our hands here. And we do. But not by much. Beetlejuice is horrible.
+ I'm aching to watch Beetlejuice again
- Horrid graphics and sound
- Not so loveable glitches, all around
- Oversensitive controls
- The game doesn't even look like Beetlejuice at all
- The least they could do is give us some default weapon
- Stocking up on scares is boring beyond belief
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