BUD SPENCER & TERENCE HILL: SLAPS AND BEANS
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on July 31, 2018
Once upon a time, back when I was just a small, innocent kid, there was an absolute highlight to my weekends: the Sunday afternoons! "Why", I hear you ask? Well, because that was the time I could get comfy on the couch and watch my all-time favorite action-comedy duo do their thing. I am talking, of course, about the incomparable Bud Spencer and Terence Hill! And now, much to my surprise, an entire game is made in their honour. Time for a trip down memory lane...
For those of you who are not familiar with this awesome duo, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill (whose original names are Carlo Pedersoli and Mario Girotti) were two actors that managed to keep millions of TV viewers from around the world, thoroughly amused with their cool movies, filled with funny antics and really, really, REALLY cool fight scenes. I adored them when I was a kid and still love them to pieces today. So you can probably guess how pleasantly surprised I was when I heard that, as an hommage to these heroes, a game had been made by Italian based indie developer Trinity Team, in collaboration with German publisher Buddy Productions. One thing led to another and suddenly there I was, about to play the very first official Bud Spencer and Terence Hill game: Bud SPencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans!
Slaps and Beans is a side-scrolling Beat 'em up in a 16-bit pixel style. The main protagonists of the game are indeed, as one would suspect, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. The player can control one of these two heroes and switch between them or ask a friend to join in an play the game cooperatively. As far as the basic gameplay goes, Slaps and Beans is best compared to the champions of the genre during the golden days of arcade gaming. Games like Double Dragon, Golden Axe, Turtles through Time and Brawl Brothers immediately come to mind.
What sets Slaps and Beans apart from these games, however, is: a) their devotion to Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, leading the player through levels that are based on some of the greatest movies the duo ever made and, b) the mini games that occur every once in a while. After I beat up my first batch of bad guys on the set of a western movie, I headed out to town. It wasn't long before I got behind the wheel of a very familiar dune buggy and had to win a race to proceed. Before I got to race, however, it had to be decided which of the two protagonists should be behind the wheel. And what better way to decide this than by having an eating contest, in which I had to correctly push a series of buttons in order to defeat my opponent.
The basic controls are pretty straight-forward. Both characters have a light and a heavy attack. The light attack can be used indefinitely. Asides from damaging enemies, this light attack is also used to fill up a meter that the player will need to execute a heavy attack. This way, you're going to slap your way through tons of enemies. If you get hit by one of these enemies, you lose health. Luckily, there are things around that can make you feel a whole lot better instantly. Defeating enemies makes them drop items from time to time. If you find a jug of beer or a frying pan of beans, you can consume the food and drink to regain some of the health you may have lost, after which the container of said food and drink can naturally be used as an excellent weapon!
A fun thing about Slaps and Beans is that its full of little easter eggs, as well as a number of familiar scenes and environments. The developers even managed to get hold of some of the most iconic soundtracks from Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies ever! And I must say, these songs are the icing on the cake. Sure, you could have gone with the easy way and add some random tunes to the game, but to the fans of the movies (which I am one of), hearing the recognizable songs just makes the whole experience that more fun!
The people at Trinity team really spent an awesome amount of time getting the details just right. During the battles, I could not help but hear what seemed to be the original slapping and hitting sounds from the movies. Even the "boing" sound when Bud hits someone on the head is there; how awesome is that?! I absolutely loved the artstyle, because it is reminiscent of the games that I played around the same time I watched the Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies. It fits the theme of the game perfectly and pays tribute to the games of yore.
The conversations in the game are all text-based and also contain lots and lots of references to the movie adventures of this duo of duos! I couldn't help but smile brightly at some of the conversations in the game, which I think perfectly capture the essence of what the movies were all about. The witty, pretty-girl-minded fun of Terence combines fantastically with the sarcastic, somewhat more food and money related ideas of Bud. It did back then and it sure as hell still does nowadays, so two thumbs up for the developers for doing such a bang-up job!
So, should you play Slaps and Beans? In two words: HELL YEAH! I mean, what's not to like? You've got the best action/comedy duo ever, fun gameplay, a coop mode, cool graphics and sweet, sweet songs. If you're a fan of the beat 'em up genre: play this game. If you're a Bud Spencer and Terence Hill fan: play this game. Hell, if you're a living, breathing human being who wants to have real fun by playing a video game: PLAY THIS GAME! I am grateful to the people at Trinity Team for making this awesome game. And, just like them, I would also like to extend my gratitude to the two guys that made my childhood such a lot of fun: Bud Spencer and Terence Hill...