Review by Bouchart
Uninspired, dull and frustrating
Beethoven's 2nd is an awful platformer loosely based on a movie. It would be a mediocre and forgettable game except for the fact that the controls make the last level of the game nearly unplayable.
You play as the dog, Beethoven. Your task is to rescue your four puppies. One is lost in a suburban neighborhood, one is lost in a park, one is lost on a lakeside and one is lost in some cliffs out in the wilderness. You move from left to right through the environments, defeating enemies and jumping over obstacles. Then you rescue the puppy, and travel back the same path you came. You have a bark attack, which fires a sound wave in front of you. Holding down the spacebar gives the sound wave more range. You can pick up bones and meat to restore health. If you are soaking wet, because of a hose or a fountain, you can shake the water off of yourself to defeat every enemy on the screen and put out fires.
The enemies are uninspired. There are dogs, cats, birds, a skateboarding kid and a dog catcher that shoots darts out of his gun. With the exception of the dog catcher the enemies just move around on whatever platform they stand on, and birds fly in circles. They all take multiple hits to defeat with the bark attack, although when you hit them with your bark attack it stuns them for a second or two, so you can repeatedly hit them and they can't attack back.
The game's backgrounds are fairly detailed and well made, but the brightly colored sprites all clash with it. Moreover, the sprites are drawn highly out of proportion. Beethoven is much larger than the skateboarding kids, the same height as a picket fence, and about two thirds the size of the dog catcher.
The game's sound effects are functional, and not too bad. The music is repetitive and tiresome. You hear the same da-da-da-duuum in just about every piece of music.
By far, the worst part of the game is the jumping. You never get a good sense of how far exactly you can jump. This isn't much of a problem in the first two levels although jumping over the fences and the barbecue pits can harm you if you don't get a good running start. It's a major problem in the last two levels, which have a number of pits that lead to instant death. To make matters worse, when you jump on the very edge of a platform, you automatically slide towards the middle of it. Everything about it feels awkward and unpredictable. Jumps that would be trivial in a game like Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog are a painful, frustrating hassle in this game.
Beethoven's 2nd doesn't offer anything that even a mediocre platformer could do. Yes, the backgrounds in the levels are well drawn but that doesn't make up for the lack of proportions in the sprites, the generic enemies, the repetitive music and the terrible, terrible controls.
Rating: 1.0 - Terrible
Product Release: Beethoven's 2nd (US, 12/31/93)
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