Beetlejuice, the ghost with the most, gets a significant downgrade in Rare’s unholy adaptation of the film/cartoon.
You star as the titular bug drink, and boy, have your powers weakened considerably since the days when you were played by Michael Keaton. In order to inflict any damage on enemies, you have to buy masks known as “Scares” that give you different powers. The Scares are crucial to making it through the game, particularly since bosses can only be defeated with certain Scares. Try to jump or stomp on anything (besides bugs smaller than your shoe) without a Scare equipped and you’ll get hit and flung across the screen.
The only way to acquire Scares are to squish bugs for tickets, then buy the Scares you need to use. The good news is, once you find a bug hole, they never stop coming. Kill as many as you like and buy as many Scares as you need. But consider: you’re buying weapons that the game should supply to you without all the bug squishing runaround.
With or without the Scares, Beetlejuice is just another quickly developed licensed cash-in. Throw in slippery controls, awkward jumping, and platforming-by-numbers, and you have one of the scariest games on the NES.
PUBLISHER: LJN DEVELOPER: Rare GENRE: Platformer
RELEASE DATE: 05/1991 – (US)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: GB