Read the review here.
“By the name of “Menace Beach” one would have thought it would have been a bit more edgy, but between the wrench-dropping sewer bats and clowns that give the character balloons that he can use to float to rooftops, the experience feels a bit unsure of itself, as though hesitant to even try to be good or take advantage of an innovative idea or two.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
Read the full review if you want to know what the ending is like, or to witness my attempt at trying to describe the controls.
Menace Beach is a bad game.
Bad for feeling “slippery” the entire time, bad for constantly recycling enemies and level elements, bad for a couple ridiculously difficult portions, bad for seemingly intentionally aggravating elements such as the spring with bumpers and the seagulls that carry you almost back to the beginning of a level, bad for using a slowly stripped female figure as gameplay incentive, but most of all, bad for taking what actually might have been a cool concept and ruining it.
Challenge of the Dragon is an example of a Color Dreams that worked with some interesting design elements and just fell short of being a good game, perhaps sympathetically due to what one can imagine to be less-than-ideal working circumstances and an understaffed team learning as they went along. Menace Beach, on the other hand, is an example of a Color Dreams game that, for most of the playthrough, just doesn’t even feel like it’s trying.
By the way, what’s up with the girlfriend being such a witch while she’s being held captive? Jeepers.
NES Gameplay Tips for Menace Beach: Always take the rooftops in the neighborhood levels. Learn how to use the double-jumps to not only extend jumps but stick a landing precisely where you want it. Whenever possible, stay high and be patient, letting the enemies blow themselves up on bombs thrown by background people. For the sumo guys, bring a bomb, and run back for another if it does not work. The bottles are very effective, but remember that they do not have a long range. For the pier levels, any time there are step-like stacks of boxes in different heights, stay at the top and repeatedly punch in order to beat the dock workers without taking a hit. This same trick can be used a couple times for Elvis impersonators in the sewers. Also, the blown kisses can be punched in mid-air to avoid taking knockback and damage from them. The frogs in the sewers can be used for high jumps; in fact, the full review describes a glitch that almost must be used to get past a certain part. Learn how the hit detection works for the spin attack. Finally: Pray to Jesus.
I can’t believe I had that many gameplay tips for Menace Beach. Ugh.