How a licensed adventure should be done. Huh huh, "done", huh huh huh
I’m a big fan of the TV show, but for some reason, when this game was released, I couldn’t get hold of a copy for several years (I don’t know why – maybe it didn’t ship as much here in the U.K.), so when I was delighted when I finally managed to get hold of a copy, and wasn’t disappointed with the game.
The game basically involves mischievous morons Beavis and Butt-head trying to "be cool enough to be in Todd’s gang”. There’s a sort of sub-plot involving Todd and a car stolen from a rival gang which isn’t really all that clear, but it doesn’t matter too much, as the game is more a series of silly situations than plot driven.
As with the television show, creator Mike Judge provides the voices of the disgusting duo, and this is what gives the game a lot of it’s appeal. Just about all of the main re-occurring characters from the TV series (hippie teacher Mr. Van Driessen, tough gym teacher Mr. Buzzcut, short-sighted neighbour Mr. Anderson, brainy student Daria, and many others) appear, and again their original TV voices are used.
Of course, it would be pointless to have anyone else do the voices, but even so, it’s the often laugh-out-loud voice-work that really makes this game.
The variety of characters is one of the things that really brings the game alive, with all of the characters used well, and keeping faithful to the TV show. (The only main regular character from the show that doesn’t appear is Stewart, and it's not particularly noticeable).
The game is a very faithful recreation of the TV series, capturing exactly the same feel. Even the opening is a direct recreation of the TV show’s opening titles, with the “don’t try this at home” warning, the gruesome twosome appearing laughing over the distinctive guitar theme, and the episode title.
And in the pathetic pair’s home, you can even get to sit down and watch one of four music videos (all of which first appeared on the TV show).
The (numerous) cut-scenes are wonderful, with animation that could easily be straight out of the TV show.
The in-game animation overall is good, with most of the characters quite closely resembling their television incarnations, and some well-drawn backgrounds that again are faithful to the style of the TV show.
Although there are puzzles in a few places that need some working out, there are others that aren’t really all that taxing, especially for anyone who’s got a couple of adventure games under their belt. But that doesn’t really matter, as the fun of the game is hearing the terrible twosome’s inane banter as you try various things. I found myself clicking on every available hot-point just too see what the duo said; and it’s one of those adventures where, even when you know the solution to a particular puzzle, it’s fun to deliberately try things wrong just to see what response you get – and the potty-mouthed pair never fail to provide adequately amusing responses.
The game is very easy to get in to, and whether you’re a “hard core” fan or just a more general fan of the TV show, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in it.
As with so many point-and-click adventures, overall game-play is rather linear, but again it doesn’t really matter, as there’s loads of things to interact with, and distractions such as several mini-games to cover the overall linear nature very well.
The pacing and development of the story is done well, and it’s good how new locations appear on the map the further you progress.
I found the adventure’s ending to be rather abrupt (see Bad), but the closing animation and the closing credits are hilarious, and wraps things up very well.
All-in-all, this game is just fun to play, full stop. Just as the TV series is a welcome anecdote to heavier-going shows, this game is the same to heavier-going adventure games.
This was one of the first – quite probably THE first - adventure games specifically written to run under Windows 95, and it seems the programmers weren’t quite sure / decided on quite how to use the platform yet. The game plays in a window, and this is especially awkward during the mini-games, particularly “Hock-A-Loogie”, where it’s easy to keep accidentally clicking off of the window, and really needs to be played in full screen.
Thankfully, the window size can be adjusted to full-screen – though quite why they didn’t just default it to this in the first place is anyone’s guess!
But the cut-scenes can seemingly only be played in a window, changing back awkwardly if you’re playing in full-screen; and it might have just been my system, but the change verged on crashing my machine several times.
There’s a window bar menu, which isn’t the most helpful of menus, and is non-accessible in full-screen mode.
As mentioned, the animation overall is very good, but a couple of characters don’t look quite right in places; notably Beavis (not the easiest of characters to draw at the best of times), and Daria, who looks more like an artist’s impression than the original character. That’s only a nit-pick though, and doesn’t spoil things overall.
The mini-games are fun to play, and a welcome diversion from the main game, but sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you need to complete a mini-game in order to progress the main game or not. For example, you need to beat the “Hock-A-Loogie” game (where you basically lob spit onto the Principal from the school roof) in order to advance the game, but the “Court Chaos” tennis mini-game has no particular outcome – but there’s no way of knowing that. It’s often hard to tell which are there for a specific purpose and which are there just for fun.
Though the closing animation is great, the adventure itself finishes rather suddenly and abruptly; as if you’re in the middle of completing one of the puzzles and then slam, you’re crashing into the game’s ending. Things could have maybe been better built up towards the ending.
The game could have done with maybe being a bit longer; but then again, when CAN'T you wish that about an adventure game that you've really enjoyed playing?
A couple more locations, such as Mr. Anderson’s house, or Stewart’s house – both of which were settings for several of the memorable TV episodes – would have made welcome additional places to visit, but it doesn’t really matter too much.
Actually, despite these points under ‘Bad’, there wasn’t too much I really disliked about this game at all.
The Bottom Line
After so many wasted and misused TV licences, this is how a computer game adaptation SHOULD be done.
Obviously just how much you will like it depends on how much you like the TV show in the first place – If you like Beavis and Butt-head on TV, then you wont be disappointed in this game.
Definitely more satisfying than 1998’s disappointing sort-of-sequel ‘Beavis and Butt-head Do U’.