#365Games38: Beavis and Butt-Head – SNES

Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They’re not even human; they’re cartoons. Some of the things they do could cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, possibly deported. To put it another way: Don’t try this at home.

And that is how a cultural phenomenon began. A poorly animated cartoon series about 2 slackers in high school who became a massive commercial success. They were stupid, gross and pathetic but we could all identify with them. If you weren’t Beavis or Butt-head then you knew someone who was. Understandably, the plot for each episode was paper-thin and usually consisted of fart and boob jokes, but you always felt like something else was going on behind the scenes, as if the series was one gigantic social satire inside Mike Judge’s head.

Beavis and Butt-head were huge in the 90’s (huh huh huh huh), so were crappy licensed video games and naturally the two would meet. More than once. On multiple systems.

So getting to the game, Beavis and Butt-head “revolves around the title characters’ attempts to find the torn-up ticket pieces all over Highland to go to a GWAR concert.” (Wikipedia)

Not much of a story there but what did you expect? The game begins with a faithful recreation of the theme, a decent pixelicious copy of the opening screen from the show and a digitized sound-byte to get you hyped up about the game. Unfortunately, as you play the game you notice the extremely poor quality of the sprites. They do resemble the guys and you can easily recognize characters from the show but if you thought the animation was crude, the game looks like it was knocked out in a week.

The levels are excessively long, redundant, suffer from weak design and cheap hits are everywhere. When I played it as a teen I was frustrated by how difficult it was and playing it again now, I feel the same way. It’s a non-stop stream of bad guys with few opportunities to power-up. At times I would deliberately kill myself off if I was low on life and had just reached a new area so I could stand a fighting chance before I was sent back to the beginning. I guess the levels are so long to mask the fact that they only have 4 levels: Highland High School, Streets of Highland, Highland Hospital and Turbo Mall 2000 and filled with the same bad guys over and over again.

The music is slightly above average and despite the cover implying otherwise, features one song by the Virginia-based band, GWAR. Digitized sound-bytes are heard throughout the game and while they are low-quality, they add another layer to the game.

The game was quickly created to cash-in on the success of Beavis and Butt-Head and it shows as the game lacks depth or replay value. In fact, you’ll probably play it 20 times just to get past the 1st level, then you’ll give up, light your controller on fire and go hit frogs with your SNES console.