Title : Beetlejuice
Publisher : LJN
Genre : Action Adventure
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1991
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10-$15
Beetlejuice was easily one of my favorite movies growing up when I was a kid, and it was just further proof that Michael Keaton was one of the primary stars of the 80's-90's. I mean seriously, anyone who can portray Batman and Beetlejuice is obviously brimming with pure talent.
I'm not joking, Michael Keaton is the man. Do not mock my love for Michael Keaton. And Beetlejuice was easily one of his most epic roles.
Here's a quick recap of the movie. You've got a happily married couple that dies after crashing their car off a red bridge near their house. They would have lived, but thanks to some stupid dog that didn't stay on the wooden plank they fell into the icy waters below. Although they're dead, their spirits remain trapped inside their house which is now overrun by a new family of city yuppies called the Deetz. Now It's up to them to reclaim it, but how do you do that when you're dead? Why, by reading how to interract with people in the book of the recently diseased (deceased) and scaring the crap out of them in ghost form of course!
Since they're absolutely horrible at frightening people, they hire the ghost with the most, BEETLEJUICE who is basically an undead con artist.
It sounds like this can translate into an awesome game, right? Well, not when you have LJN at the helm. The game is loosely based on the film, but only so much. You play as Beetlejuice traveling through the afterlife and the mansion in an effort to scare the beejeezus out of the Deetz family.
So is the Beetlejuice all it's cracked up to be, or does it end up getting swallowed by a sand wurm?
Right off the bat, I could tell this is was going to be a disaster. Was it really that hard for them to get the rights to at least get the epic Beetlejuice soundtrack somehow implemented into this game? That creepy music would have been perfect to set the atmosphere, but no, they chose some carnival music. It doesn't fit the style at all.
In fact, none of it fits the style of Beetlejuice. It would have been better if LJN even remotely attempted to make the game at least a tiny bit Burton-esque, but no. Of course not. It's like a happy go lucky game that reminds me of Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout.
I didn't even start playing the damn game and I'm already pissed off. They are ruining one of my favorite movies. How are they so good at ruining movies!? DAMN YOU, LJN!
You run around each level, avoiding every elemental hazard imaginable, and stomping on cockroaches. Or at least trying to kill cockroaches. It seriously took me almost 20 minutes just to figure out the right process of killing cockroaches which you HAVE to do in order to progress in the game. Well, it turns out you don't kill the big cockroaches, you only kill the little cockroaches. How the hell was I supposed to know that?
Killing cockroaches gives you points, which you use to buy new scares which you need to use against bosses. And the guy that sells those scares to you? Well it's the guy that shrinks your head......who hates you.....yet is helping you....
So if you find yourself getting hit by something, which you will, a lot, you'll notice that you can only get 3 times. Basically what's happening is that each time you get hit, Beetlejuice is saying his name. For some reason, he curses himself when he gets hit and you know what happens if you say his name 3 times. Makes no logical sense. Why would Beetlejuice do that to himself? And since when was Beetlejuice so weak!?
So you move on from stage to stage, killing cockroaches and buying new scares. Most of the levels are taken from the movie, but a few of them are just pulled straight out of LJN's arse. Seriously, sometimes I think they weren't even trying. Well, it's LJN so you know they weren't.
Not to mention, a majority of the level is just a pit that you have to avoid falling into by jumping on slippery platforms. Hell, sometimes you even end up falling through the platforms because the game is so damn glitchy.
Boss battles are even worse. You use whatever lovely masks you've bought and use their special ability to battle said boss. Your special ability is typically shooting some sort of fireball at it until it dies. That's basically all you do in this game. You run around avoiding crap until you come up to a boss where you use up all your "mask energy" to defeat it, then you go back and step on cockroaches and get more masks for the next boss battle.
Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are better off figuring out this one themselves. Beetlejuice in this game is a powerless, undead crone who should have stayed in the ground.
I end this review with at least the most epic quote from the movie which perfectly describes how i feel about this game.
"NICE FUCKING MODEL!" *grabs crotch* HONK HONK
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!