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Review - BUD SPENCER & TERENCE HILL - SLAPS AND BEANS - Mamma mia, the nostalgia!

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  on the first step of the podium after the buggy race.

Sheesh, if there's one comical duo I never expected to see in video games, it's Bud Spencer and Terence Hill!
And especially in such an incredibly well done package!🀀


If somebody told me a game would come out featuring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, I would have expected something half-baked, badly broken and ugly...
So many games inspired by movies were butchered in the history of games...
Well, the amount of work they invested in this game is astonishing.😍

Enjoy the happy slapping 70s-themed trailer!


"Get it on Steam" artwork


FIRST, WHO ARE BUD SPENCER AND TERENCE HILL?


Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Autographed pictures of  Terence Hill and Bud Spencer from the 70s.
Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, our European action-oriented version of Laurel and Hardy!
If you're European, these two names necessarily evoke something. 
From 1967 to 1994, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill filmed 17 films together(mostly comedies), and most of them were extremely popular in all Europe.
The vast majority were "B movies", but still achieved commercial success, thanks to their feel-good innocent style, slapstick humor, and very attaching characters who were Terence and Bud!
They were adventure guys you wanted to be friends with! 
 
Collection of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies
As you can see, most movies titles are in German, Italian, French, etc. I never understood why they never were successful or even known in USA! You guys missed out! he he

Wanted picture of Bud Spencer & Terence Hill 
In most movies, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill (literally a trademark name!) always got in messy situations that forced them to run away from the law, using Terence's cunning tricks to sabotage their enemies plans, Bud's strength to break down walls - and jaws - , and usually ended up with LOTS of slapping.πŸ˜„

Wikipedia:
"Possibly their most famous film is the 1971 western They Call Me Trinity and the 1972 sequel Trinity Is Still My Name. Hill has stated in interviews that My Name Is Nobody (1973), in which he co-starred with Henry Fonda, is his personal favorite of all his films."
 

Bud Spencer in the Trinity movies
While Hill's characters were agile and youthful, 
Spencer always played the phlegmatic, 
grumpy strong-arm man with a blessed, 
naive child's laughter and a golden heart.
For the record, Bud Spencer was in fact called Carlo Pedersoli, born the 31th October 1929 in Naples, Italy.
This huge guy(1m94, 130kgs /6'3", 286lbs) succeeded first as a professional swimmer, representing Italy at the Olympic Games in 1952, 1956 and 1960. 

He started starring in movies as early as 1949, in "Quel fantasma di mio marito", an Italian comedy, and had quite a nice solo career for almost two decades, until he met his lifetime buddy, Terence Hill!😊 (although they met once before, but this is when the official duo started!)

It was a very sad day when we learned he passed away in 2016. 🌼😒

Terence Hill close up of his blue eyes in "My Name is Nobody"
Yummy... Come to mama! It's incredible how this 
silly actor could sometimes look even 
more badass than Clint Eastwood.
As for Terence Hill, he was born Mario Girotti, the 29th March 1939 in Venice, Italy.
He started acting very early, as a kid in "Vacation with a gangster", and soon began to appear in "Westerns all´ Italiana", meaning "Italian style westerns".(I'd rather not use the offensive term jealous Americans made up to call these movies😝)
Despite being aged now 79, Terence Hill has still been active in the past few years, filming an Italian television series called "One Step from Heaven".

A small but very talented Italian developer, Trinity Team, had the great idea (with the approval of the two actors, before Bud Spencer died😒) to transcribe the silly atmosphere filled with constant visual gags into a video game.  

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Wanted pictures of the Trinity Team

Now that the game has finally been released(why is it still v0.96 though? Mystery...), it's time to give this gem a proper review!


Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  header


BULLDOZER AND NOBODY ARE BACK!

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill Slaps and Beans menu
I've heard the sequel will be called "Beans and Farts".πŸ› Which reminds me of another good 70s comedy, "Blazing Saddles".πŸ˜†

Slaps And Beans is an old-school side-scrolling beat'em up
...Wait, after all, ALL beat'em ups are old-school. lol
This one doesn't derogate from the rule and offers you a very linear design, like in the good old-school 90s beat'em ups. (Streets of Rage, Violent Storm, Final Fight...)
Not saying it's a bad thing, just making sure you know what you're getting into. πŸ˜‰

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans - wreaking havoc in a saloon
So Bud Spencer and Terence Hill walk into a bar... I forgot how the joke ends, but it had a good "punchline"!
πŸ˜…
The story is pretty simple and silly, like in their movies.πŸ˜‚
First, you play as the REAL Bud and Terence actors, playing in a western comedy.
(This is the first level) 
It was intended to be "just a normal job to make a couple of bucks", they said...
Well, as you can imagine, nothing will go as planned, as usual!πŸ˜„
The money they were promised is gone, and a pretty girl they were working with is kidnapped right under their noses, by a crazy evil guy who is threatening the world bean harvest! (Yes, really.)

Well, now that all criteria for kicking villains' asses and ending up in unbelievable situations are met, we can start the adventure! 


Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence are about to kick the asses of four guys who spilled their beans!
God forgives. I don't!
Most of the scenes of the game are taken from Bud Spencer and Terence Hill greatest 70's and 80's movies, not necessarily in order of release though. 
But it does start with a 70s movie!

- The first level, and also the boss on stilts come right from "My name is Nobody"(get it here), and the "Trinity" movies...
- The bumper cars and racing level with the dune buggy comes from the 1974 movie "Watch out, we're mad"!(get it here)
- The pacific island level comes right from "Who finds a friend finds a treasure"!(get it here)
Etc.

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence fighting in Miami, close to the beach
This level is from "Miami Supercops", 1985!(get it here) What happens in Miami stays in Miami!


GAMEPLAY - CADILLACS AND ITALIAN DINOSAURS

 Quote from the developer: "Slaps And Beans is a scrolling beat’em up but, compared to the classic fighting games, it will have an advanced fighting system targeted to get fight choreography as faithful as possible to the fistfights of Bud and Terence."
 
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Terence kicked the balls of a thug in a supermarket
Bud:"what do you say, Doctor Terence?" Terence: "I'm writing him a prescription for two testicles!"

The fighting system is very simple, but still allows for some rather "complicated" choreography, thanks to the fact that many moves are automated!
It doesn't feel dumbed-down (or controlled by the A.I.) at all though, and anyway, performing such moves like the series of different punch/slaps, dodging, knocking back, etc, would have been too technical on a simple gamepad.
The developers wanted to reproduce the way Bud and Terence used to fight, and they succeeded.

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans - Pirates attacking the native village in the Pacific Island level
Get away from me, you failed Judas Priest clones! Once I'm done with you, you'll be screaming like him in Painkiller!πŸ˜†

- SLAPBOXES NEED A BIT OF IMPROVEMENT -

  Gameplay isn't as perfect as the greatest beat'em up games like Streets of Rage 2(for me, the best beat'em up of all-time), but it's VERY CLOSE.
But well, for example, throwing is much easier in Streets of Rage than Slaps and Beans.
There are usually too many enemies surrounding you, and since just one "slap" interrupts your action, I could never throw any of them.

I feel some kind of "disconnection" between my character and the enemies, and maybe it's related to the hitboxes, but I have to say that controls have been drastically improved since the early versions of the game.(I tried it some months ago already.)

 
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence fighting at the fair, using cue sticks against enemies!
It's not obvious, but I was hitting them with a cue stick in this level!😁

As usual in such games, one of the funniest things to do is pick up some items and hit enemies with them.
Pans, beers, cue sticks, etc. LOTS of blunt and/or sharp items have been generously scattered just for you in every level!
Just push X if you want to hit somebody with an item, and A to throw it.


TIP!
Pick up beers and pans of beans to replenish health!

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans - Terence won the sausage and beer minigame against Bud, and asks for a vanilla ice-cream as a reward.
The famous beer and sausage minigame, which has been added only in the latest release! It's like a rhythm game, really. Just push the scrolling matching buttons on time and you'll be good. Tip: If you're fast enough at such games, you can ignore the beer and just focus on the rhythm bar. I lost the first time because I thought I tried to drink the beer all the time... lol

One little thing I miss:

I realize that these guys weren't exactly kung fu masters (more like Fail JitsuπŸ˜†), but I'm missing the ability to jump.
Terence Hill can perform a very nice dashing kick move(
=> => X) though, a bit like Hannah Dundee in "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs"! (another one of the greatest beat'em ups ever made) πŸ˜‹

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence on little motorbikes, trying to catch a plane before it leaves the island!
Commuting like a boss.😎

 - 2 PLAYERS OR NOTHING - 
  Unless I skipped something, it seems that you can't play the game alone.
Bud and Terence and INSEPARABLE. πŸ€—
I find it super cool though. Such games are always better played with a friend, but even if you're alone, you'll have a rather efficient A.I. accompanying you in your slapping adventure.I picked Terence, and Bud helps me a lot, without getting in the way.
The game wouldn't feel the same without the duo always together.πŸ™‚
 

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence are about to fight a group of hooded men who keep hostage the pretty blonde!
Name's Ash. Housewar... Oops, wrong movie, sorry!

In a few scenes, "co-op" will really mean something as it will be necessary to use the specific skills of the protagonists and interact with each other (Terence's ability to climb, or Bud's incredible strength) to overcome obstacles and proceed to the next stage. 

And one of the best things about these two being always together is how they can knock back an enemy to each other several times, resulting in some really comical parts. πŸ˜†
Oh, did I mention that you can also switch characters ANYTIME?

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  The buggy race! And yes, I'm last!
The racing mini-game felt VERY much like Neo-Geo racing games like Overtop or Neo Drif Out!(god this was good!) The kinda sluggish feeling could be improved though. (aaand yes, I'm last. Well, the race just started!😜)

One of the thing I love the most about this game?
Unlike some recent beat'em ups like "Fight'n'Rage", we kick human asses instead of  furries'... πŸ˜†
For once, no monsters, no aliens, no ghosts, no crazies, just regular villains

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence are standing in front of a vegetables and fruits aisle, ready to throw some bananas to their enemies!
When eating a banana, NEVER look another man in the eyes and comment on the quality of the banana! Well, they did, so take the bananas and throw them at your enemies faces!πŸ˜‚



GRAPHICS - CPS3 BACKGROUNDS, MEGADRIVE SPRITES


Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  The pacific island chief thanks Bud and Terence for saving the village, getting rid of the pirates!
Thanks, Banana Buddha!
Like I already said, this game looks GREAT.
It's more detailed than early 90s CPS1 games like "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs" or "Final Fight"!
(I might prefer their color palettes, but maybe it's just nostalgia blinding me😁)

It's actually more on CPS3 level, when it comes to backgrounds.
And not only they're beautifully made, they're also full of life!
The game might look silly, but believe me, these Italian artists are NO JOKE!

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence face a WWII Japanese aircraft, which they just found on the pacific island!
*tries hard to find an airplane joke for this picture for an hour* please help caption this picture! πŸ˜…

The characters animations is not as good as CPS2 or NeoGeo games though, it's more on Megadrive or Super Nes level, but it works well.

Also, they're very diverse, so the game doesn't feel repetitive.

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  Bud and Terence are sitting on floating crates, after their plane crashed in the middle of the Pacific ocean.
Not in these shark-infested seas, no I won't!
Let's not forget how the game used to look before, when it was still called "Schiaffi&Fagioli"!  The game came a long way!

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  a before/after comparison picture showing how the game looked back when it was called "Schiaffi & Fagioli".


70s MUSIC & REALISTIC SLAPPING SOUNDS!

 If you like this song, you'll like the entire OST of this game. πŸ˜„


  Music is pure 70s gold(and a bit 80s too! "Miami Supercops" track is so cool!).
Whether in the menu or in-game, it just sends you back to the good old days, and I actually think I'm going to listen to it even when I'm not playing.🀣

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill vinyl albums covers
"The soundtrack has always been a strength of the films of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill and there is no doubt that the music of Oliver Onions, Franco Micalizzi or brothers La Bionda have contributed to their success."

Unfortunately, because of the licensing costs, Trinity Team couldn't add that many songs, but they still do intend to update the game further in the future, according to an official statement.
So buy their game if you want "My name is nobody" song in the game!🀠(by Ennio Morricone)


Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -  The Jukebox, which we can find in the game menu. It contains 16 tracks, by Oliver Onions, Fantastic Oceans, etc.
You have access to a very nice jukebox in the menu! I think they should really release the OST separately though, but maybe they're waiting to add more tracks first? I would listen to it while driving!

AND FINALLY A GAME WITH VERY GOOD SOUND EFFECTS!!
From the basic but satisfying slapping sounds to the realistic crowd at the car race, everything sounds great!!
Actually, many of the sounds come directly from the original movies, like the music!


Here, one last funny song for you!πŸ€—


I know it's stupid, but it works every time, I laugh as soon as I hear this song.
You'll hear it many times during the game, when it's "slappin' time"! πŸ˜‚

Well, it's dinner time for me, so see you later!





Megahit logo


RATING BOX

Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans - game cover

(VERSION TESTED: 0.96)

Publisher:

Developer:

Release Date: 15 December, 2017

Genre: Beat'em up

1-2 PLAYERS

Difficulty: Easy

(waiting for gog release!πŸ˜‰)
GRAPHICS: 93%
  Extremely well done pixel art, animated with lively and funny sprites.
90s beat'em up games released on CPS1/CPS2 arcade systems have nothing on it.
MUSIC: 96%
  Okay, keep in mind that it REALLY depends on your taste.
Clearly, if you dislike silliness and 70s songs(whether they're reggae, country, or rock), you're going to agonize. If you like the style though, it's simply nostalgia paradise. I'm addicted to "Bulldozer" theme's guitar sound.πŸ˜‚πŸŽΈ
SOUNDS: 86%
  For once, an indie game with very good sfx! From the basic but satisfying slapping sounds to the realistic crowd at the car race, everything sounds good!
The slapping sounds could have been a bit more diverse. πŸ˜„
GAMEPLAY: 94%
  Intuitive controls make for a very arcade-oriented game with instant fun factor! Also, gameplay time is very respectable for this genre of game. Replayability is limited if you're alone though.
OVERALL RATING: 85%(if you play alone) 95%(with a friend)
Bravissimo and grazie mille, Trinity Team!!!
I congratulate you first for having the courage to make a beat'em up game, genre from the golden age which is considered dead nowadays. And secondly for making it with STYLE. This is actually one of the best 2D beat'em up ever made. 

Fun, very positive and lighthearted, like the good old comedies of the 70s!
This game actually makes me realize how such atmosphere is badly missing nowadays.


I just hope that it won't be misunderstood by the younger players, and appreciated only by nostalgic fans of the magical duo.
Please keep updating it, or make a sequel, anything!!!😁
(And good luck with the Xbox one and PS4 release!)

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