film & game reviews, the retro way.

REVIEW

DEVELOPER

Rare

PUBLISHER

LJN

GENRE

Action Adventure

PLATFORMS

NES

RELEASE DATE

1991

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetle...

Ugh.

Man, talk about not even trying. 

 

What a sorry excuse for a Beetlejuice game we got back in the early 90's. This is the kind of NES title we would've bought back in the day and, after about 5 minutes of playing it, realized we hated it yet we just sat there and tried our best to finish a game we resented from the start for being nothing like the movie, or even the subsequent cartoon series. Though, to be fair, that show was pretty trippy.

Hey, remember that scene in Beetlejuice when he comes across a giant shark-infested bathtub?

Right?

 

And remember those upside down umbrellas shooting laser beams and how Beetlejuice really got hurt every time he would touch a fiery torch? Me neither. Now, I'm not saying that movie-based video games should follow the original films to the letter, I can certainly imagine a good Beetlejuice game with creative new afterlife monsters, but making up just any old random stuff just to make a speedy game release less of a hassle is just lazy.

 

Weirdly enough, after some time, you do adapt to the game's awkward controls and points system. You eventually come to find that purchasing weapons is essential for beating the bosses and, usually, there's one particular weapon that works properly and the rest is trash. Jumping through walls into cliffs can totally happen, standing on clouds can also totally happen but going from one floor back to the floor you were just on a second ago? Instant death.

 

Consistency? What's that?!

Not sure how much sense it makes that Beetlejuice is buying stuff, anyway. I mean, he's dead! Doesn't he have powers? Come to think it, though, the idea of an afterlife black market where ghosts can just purchase stuff to haunt better is an interesting one that would make sense in that universe. Maybe that's why Beetlejuice is so powerful in the first place, who knows?

Let's be honest: as a game, Beetlejuice takes some getting used to but it is playable. It's by no means the best example of what could have been a good Beetlejuice game: the music is relentless and sadly not the classic Danny Elfman theme, the level design is a mess, the graphics are unimpressive, the controls are stiff and poorly assigned, the shops are a nice idea but not particularly well executed here and the game itself is very uneven difficulty-wise and pretty glitchy. 

 

Oh well, at least that Bird Man is "cheap". No pun intended.

Ugh, don't bother with this one.

TheRetroCritic

BEETLEJUICE

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film & game reviews, the retro way.