A playthrough of Motown Games’ 1994 license-based beat ’em up for the Super Nintendo, Bebe’s Kids.
Bebe’s Kids is a beat ’em up based on the 1992 Paramount animated feature film which was itself based on stand-up comedian Robin Harris’s act. The movie itself wasn’t ever held in terribly high regard, and did pretty poorly in both critical reviews and in sales.
That having been said, the movie was significantly better than its SNES game, which has been regularly cited as one of the worst games to be released on the console. Is that a fair criticism?
Well, let me start by saying that Bebe’s Kids isn’t as terribad as hyperbole-prone netizens tend to make it out to be. There’s no question that it’s awful, but the worst on game on the system? Well, I’d play it over Home Improvement, for whatever that’s worth, but do keep in mind that it was developed by Radical Entertainment, who also gave us Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Terminator, and Wayne’s World on the NES.
To fight through hordes of random theme park bad guys, you get your choice of playing as one of two siblings, Lashawn and Kahlil. The choice doesn’t make much difference, since they play identically to one another. They run around being attacked by guys in giant rat costumes, government agents, concession stand workers, a red-headed Yao Ming in a pirate costume, nutcrackers, and many more that make no sense whatsoever.
One thing I did notice about the enemies, though: did anyone else note that every single human enemy is white? I’m not going to say that I was particularly *offended* by the choice, but as hyper-aware as America is nowadays about race, it certainly sticks out. I can’t recall any games that had a white hero beating up throngs of exclusively black bad guys (imagine the outcry that would cause, even in 1994?), and it seems rather… insensitive and tasteless, or dare I say racist (gasp!) that Bebe’s Kids would present itself in such a way.
So, politically charged sentiments aside, what is wrong with Bebe’s Kids? Where to begin. The graphics are hideous – the animation is herky-jerky as it tries to render ridiculous looking “swag walk” cycles, and everything is slow and laggy feeling. There aren’t many details at all in the backdrops (random question: WTF is Bevis? I still would like to know!), and most of the enemy designs are really stupid looking. You can tell there was some attempt at a “style” with the in-game sprites, but there’s no consistency between the different elements. I mean, why is Bill Clinton, dressed as a secret service agent, accompanied by giant pumas on the main concourse? Why do I fight a robot of a 30 year old man dressed as Little Bo-Peep?
The real breakdown here though is the gameplay. It’s soooo slow, and the controls are ridiculous. You use Y to punch, X to kick, B to jump, and A to crouch (used to pick stuff up or dodge). So far, so good, right? Well, the standard punches and kicks do virtually no damage, so if you stick to those, you’ll be playing for a very long time.
Alright, then how do you do the stronger moves? Well, the uppercut requires you to hold L+R and hit Y, and the jump kick requires that you hit B to jump, then hold L+R, and finally hit Y to kick, all while using the D-pad to direct the move. Want to throw an item? Hold L+R and then hit the jump button. Whaaaaat? To call the controls cumbersome would be an understatement. Why do we have to hold both shoulder buttons, and why are there such awkward timings involved in pulling these things off? Whether you use the controls as intended or you choose to mash buttons and stick to the basic attacks, either way of playing is utterly painful. It’s functional, but it’s in no way practical, intuitive, or fun. The game is easy to beat once you figure it all out, but it’s not fun at all.
And don’t even get me going on the Haunted House maze level, or the “boss” stage that has you working with a baby to smash some poor guy’s inventory of antique plates and vases. I have no idea what to make of that.
Overall, Bebe’s Kids is a pretty dire title that I wouldn’t recommend to anybody. Like I said before, it’s not the worst game on the system, but there are literally hundreds of other titles out there that you’re guaranteed to get more enjoyment from.
Maybe if Bebe had bothered to raise her children properly, or supervised them instead of letting them run loose like heathens in an amusement park, none of this would’ve been an issue.
Bebe’s Kids need their asses beat.
My recommendation? Let her deal with them. Go play Final Fight instead.
Rap Jam: Vol. 1 (also by Mandingo):
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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