Blues Brothers

“To put it simply: Blues Brothers is a very challenging game. But to merely put it in such stale words, such simple terms like “extremely hard,” only dulls the true nightmare effect this cartridge provides. Blues Brothers on NES is a master class in awful license games, putting on a clinic of game design choices that artifically inflate both difficulty level and gameplay length through means of platforms the player can only spend a limited time on, invincible enemies, no means of attack, remarkable precision needed for jumps and other maneuvers, “trap” drops where you cannot see oncoming dangers, unclear destinations, slippery physics, and other notable faults.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Oh no. Not this game.

There are lazy license games, there are bad license games, and then there are NES movie license games that make you ask yourself some hard questions, like, “What part of this was a good idea? Why do the levels feel completely random and chaotic, rather than assembled with any semblance of elegance or purpose? Why does the jumping mechanic feel so weird? Why is there a slight delay when I try to pause the game? Why does holding the B button make me run faster, but pressing it does absolutely nothing for me? What is the point of putting a limit on the amount of time I can spend on this platform, when all it does is move straight up and down? Why is that shark wearing goggles? Why did I bother spending half an hour just trying to beat the first stupid level? Why does Home Alone feel brilliant compared to this? Why does this sort of feel like The Addams Family but even worse?”

Look, if I am to be completely upfront and transparent, I would be forced to admit that this is certainly not the worst license game on the NES. I think Total Recall is a fine example of something a measure worse. But the wonder behind the badness of Blues Brothers is how easily identifiable the flaws are, and how quickly they stack up if you begin keeping count. Seriously, this is a perfect case study in bad license games.

I almost feel sad saying that, because it clearly took a lot of effort on the part of the developers to put together such sprawling levels from start to finish, but I cannot help but wonder how much better this game would have been had they spent a bit less effort on building the horrendously haphazard stages and spent more time tweaking the game’s physics, protagonist mechanics, enemy designs, and other elements.

I mean, they even managed to give the protagonist sprite animation more than three colors, which is no small feat for the NES, and is usually only seen on high-end titles like the Mega Man series. All that potential talent was wasted, in my opinion. Ugh.

Read The Full Review For: A front-line account of the gory details behind one soldier’s attempt to win the war against a horrible NES license game.

NES Gameplay Tips For Blues Brothers: Proceed very slowly and very carefully. Remember that you will need to crawl in order to advance past certain sections. Remember that eggs can be hit as a projectile, and dogs can be ridden for a bit, but otherwise you should utterly avoid anything that moves. Except for platforms; but even with those, you will need to endlessly hop up and down until you disembark, because many of them will disintegrate after a limited time spent upon them. Eh, you should probably just play something else.

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