16th Aug2018

‘Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps And Beans’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

slaps-beans-screen

What year is this? Because I’m currently sat here playing a side-scrolling 16-bit style beat ‘em-up featuring the legendary Italian filmmaking duo of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill… Are we sure this is 2018? It certainly doesn’t feel like it playing Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps And Beans.

For those unaware Bud Spencer and Terence Hill were HUGE in the 70s and 80s, with their Italian-made films traversing the globe, bringing the duo’s particular brand of slapstick violence to homes everywhere. I remember first seeing one of their films late at night on Yorkshire TV and having no idea what I was watching but loving it all the same. The duo’s brand of humour and action easily translated language barriers and both of those are also present in Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps And Beans in spades!

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps And Beans feels like a sister title (a much manlier, violence-glorifying sister) to Wild Guns Reloaded in some ways. Yet in terms of overall gameplay, its closest brethren would have to be Final Fight: Bug Spencer is Mike Haggar and Terence Hill is Guy/Cody – their size reflecting their skillset as per Capcom’s classic beat ‘em-up.

Like other great beat ‘em-ups, Slaps and Beans features a whole heap of items you can pick up and use – only you haven’t seen items used in quite the same way as in this game. You can pick up frying pans to bash your enemies with; or pint glasses of beer, which you can drink to restore health and then glass the enemies in the face with the empty; or… in the craziest “item” pick-up, you can literally pick-up downed enemies and either use them to hit others with or throw them across the screen like a long-range weapon.

The game also features some rather unusual, but refreshing, play styles. On occasion the game will switch to a button basher a la Track and Field; then there’s the gunfire sequences, which see you have to target the enemies in time and on the correct spot. But you never kill them, ever, instead – like their movies – the heroes will shoot their enemies pants down, causing them to run off in embarrassment! Slaps and Beans also breaks up the side-scrolling action with other mini-games, including a racing game, a rhythm game (which sees you drink beer, no less), and even a stage that sees you take part in a food fight in a supermarket!

In much the same way that Bud Spencer and Terence Hill’s film career spanned various genres, so does this game. There are various locales in which the action is set, reflecting the movies of the duo’s long-running career: from the Wild West (They Call Me Trinity), to downtown Miami (Miami Supercops); Slaps and Beans  is a much a Bud Spencer and Terence Hill production as there films ever were.

Special mention MUST go to the soundtrack, which sounds like every cheesy late 70s/early 80s Italian Bud Spencer & Terence Hill film ever… Adding an extra layer of authenticity to a game which is both a fun outing in its own right and a brillian homage to two of Italy’s greatest exports!

It’s hard to see a title like this ever being released outside in this era of direct-to-consumer digital purchases, it’s such a niche subject that to manufacture a physical copy would surely be financial suicide. But… if you’re both a film fan and a gamer (like me) Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps And Beans is a must-buy.

**** 4/5

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps And Beans is available on the eShop now.

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