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Blues Brothers, The

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Written by ST Graveyard

November 17, 2017
Comments

Titus was a French software company created by the brothers Eric and Hervé Caen in 1985. The French are known to bring something special, to deliver quality. Think of companies as Silmarils (Ishar trilogy) or Lankhor (the adventures of Jérome Lange in Mortville Manor or Maupiti Island, Vroom…). But not Titus, no siree! During the 80’s they managed to release one stinker after the other. Just take a look at the first 2 Crazy Cars games. Harsh words, I know. Especially for a company I have a deep rooted love for. My love affair started in 1991, with the release of The Blues Brothers. I still can’t believe that they finally got it (almost) right.

It didn’t stop there. What about Crazy Cars 3, which became one of the best racers on the ST (3 times a charm, I guess). They even created a game with their own mascot a year later called Titus the Fox, another classic platformer.

But I’m drifting off. The Blues Brothers is a true classic platform game. It was released at a time when everybody was talking about Mario Brothers 3. Could this even begin to compete with such a milestone? or was it a way for Titus to cash in on its succes? I think a little of both…

Graphics

I think this game looks pretty good. It is the typical Titus style we have grown accustomed to. This isn’t an STe game, but there is a lot of variety between levels and they all look nice and colorful. Characters are well animated and cartoony. Sure the flipscreen scrolling is horrible, and it sometimes brings the gameplay out of balance. But I’ve gotten used to it by now.

Sound


I can be very short here. I love the soundtrack of this game. I’m playing this game on the train and I am humming the songs all day long. They’re your typical YM chiptunes, nothing special on a technical level, but the songs are just SO catchy and they fit the theme of the levels perfectly. Sound effects are ok.

Gameplay

In The Blues Brothers you either play as Jake or Elwood and you have to walk, run, crawl, swim, duck and fly your way through 6 levels to make it to a blues concert. There is no real apparent difference between both the characters apart from their looks.

To me, this game does a lot of things right. The level design is just spot on and very fun. Right from the get go you are able to do more than just run and jump. You start inside a building, use balloons to float up and discover hidden areas, swim in giant fish tanks, go through a maze of conveyor belts, only to end up on the roof, climb a giant tree and use an umbrella to fly and jump from cloud to cloud. Every single level has got some of these extra’s to keep it fun and fresh. Later on in the game these giant Sonic like pipes which you are sucked into also make an appearance. Sure this isn’t original and the creators have lent some ideas, but they have given their own spin to it and it just works perfectly for me in this game.

In every level an instrument is hidden for you to discover. You need to find it else you can not continue to the next round. You start the game with 2 lifes. Every life contains 3 hearts, meaning you can get hit 3 times before losing a life. You will also find these floating records (the coins from the Mario games) which you can collect. If you managed to grab 100 of these, you earn a heart. But beware of the broken records.

Killing baddies is done by throwing crates at them, which are scattered around the levels. Sometimes it is also possible to just walk up to an enemy with a crate in your hands and they are thrown from the screen.

The best part of this game is its fantastic 2 player mode. I’ve had hours of fun as a kid playing this with friends. Both players play simultaneously, but the camera only follows player one. This can be a pain in the ass sometimes, especially with the flip screen, but playing as a team has never been more fun.

The biggest flaw of this game is its level of difficulty. The Blues Brothers is just too short and easy. With a little bit of practice you can finish all six levels pretty quickly and you will be hungry for more, because the game is just so much fun. And there is no difficulty setting whatsoever.

Conclusion

I loved this game as a youngster, and I still love it today. If I’m being objective, yes, technically this is no stunner, and the flipscreen can be a real nuisance. It’s gonna have you killed in some unfair and cheap ways. It will put you in spots where you will have ‘leaps of faith’ and I’m sure the developers didn’t have that in mind when they designed the game. But heck, look at the positive side … it will make this game a little more difficult ... which is a good thing.

Titus recycled this platform game engine for some of their later games as well like Titus the Fox, Prehistoric and Super Cauldron. I really understand why. If you are a fan of platform games, you will love this. The Blues Brothers is the best of the bunch!



Score
  • Graphics: 8
  • Sound: 8
  • Gameplay: 9
  • Overall: 9

Review Comments

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LynXX
Great review!

I loved this game, I put a lot of time into it! I cheated though, since I had a cracked version with a trainer.

I remember playing the 2 player version with my brother, but we could never agree on anything and it didn't work very well... Also I always was the "fat" one and him the "skinny" one, which didn't seem fair! I enjoyed playing solo better...

The tune are indeed very catchy (well it is the Blues Brothers after all), and I really like the graphics, it was cartoon-y but just right, not too much.

Reading this review, I think I'll fire up the emulator and play it a little bit! Thanks!
November 18, 2017

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

Cybernoid - The Fighting Machine

March 28, 2020 by Morcar

When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.

Live And Let Die

January 13, 2019 by ST Graveyard

Now all of this might sound a bit much, but that really is not the biggest problem with Live and Let Die. In Buggy Boy you had checkpoints to reach in time. In this game, they have taken it all a step further...or maybe better, a whole leap further. You see, you run out of fuel when moving forward. And you run out of it fast, way fast. To solve this problem, fuel pods are scattered all over the waterway. Grab them, and you win yourself some time. Miss them and run out of fuel and guess what ... YOU EXPLODE!

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