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Beavis & Butthead (Game Gear)

Genre: Action Developer: NuFX Publisher: Viacom Players: 1-2 Released: 1994

Beavis And Butthead was one of those shows that defines an era. The production values weren’t high, but the show was very popular (but hated by the conservative folks). My parents are on the conservative side, so I wasn’t allowed to watch the show as a kid. I had to sneak off to friends’ houses and watched it when I could. The show was fun and risque to watch, so naturally I wanted to check out the newly-released games at the time. I got a chance to play the SNES version in its heyday and had some fun with it. I tried the Genesis version later when I was a collector and enjoyed it, as it captured the essence of the show very well, though it toned down much of the real course humor that it had. It was not until later on that I actually tried the forgotten Game Gear port. I wanted to like it, but Viacom stripped anything out of the game that could possibly have been fun.

The plot is exactly the same as the console versions. Help the two losers get to the GWAR concert by strolling around town and collecting money. This might sound promising, but I still had a very hard time playing through this game even once, as it’s both very difficult and quite tedious throughout its six stages. The item collecting is gone here, and the two fools are stuck plodding through mindlessly long and repetitive stages on nothing more than a cash-fetching quest. The game’s goal is quite ambiguous if you don’t have the manual or know what to do. By the end of the fifth stage you must have enough money to pay the clerk for the GWAR tickets, and if you don’t then it’s an automatic game over. The game never tells you how much money you need or that you even need to save it up to begin with, instead of wasting it on food to replenish your health. This means that the manual is really necessary to know what you’re doing if you’re coming into this game blind.

The game isn’t anything to write home about graphically, but it isn’t without its charm. Beavis and Butthead are animated rather nicely though, and they do many of the motions from the show. Health is displayed in glowing light bulbs, and they fall over when the lights go out, which is a nice tribute to their mentality in the show. The rest of the backgrounds are pretty bland and repeat far too much. None of them capture the essence of the show like the console versions did, something that the Game Gear was more than capable of had Viacom only put forth more effort. If you collect too much food, there is a funny little scene with them sitting on the toilet doing the download thing, and your health then resets back to three bulbs. There are some nicely animated scenes at the beginning and when they rip on each other during gameplay. The ending is a nice touch and is interactive, allowing you to beat on each other with some nice animation as well,  but none of this saves the game

The sound, on the other hand, kills the game. First, the music is extremely grating and almost unbearable. Second, the sound effects suck as well. The only thing that breaks the tedium are the animated scenes during the game play where Beavis and Butthead rip on each other and that actually works well since the voice samples are pretty close to the show.

This game should have been good. Viacom really watered this down and it doesn’t make sense in anyway. The stages are far too long and hard and they all seem to be the same after a while. The game is fun for a few quick laughs but the gameplay grows cheap and boring fast. If you need some quick enjoyment, max their health out. The bathroom scene is quite good, and if that doesn’t do it, wander through stage two for a few minutes. There is a body builder that will climb out of a locker and smack Beavis or Butthead. Leave this game for the true fart knocker, or it may have away of making you unwillingly play real life frog baseball, and that can’t be a good thing, “if you know what I mean.”

SCORE: 3 out of 10

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