Friday, March 19, 2010

Canon Video Game Reviews: Back to the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure (Part 2: Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure)

I would have done this sooner, but today was the start of the NCAA Tournament, and what a start it was. Plenty of close games, a couple of buzzer beaters, and quite a few upsets. Who would have thought that Ohio would beat Georgetown? or that Robert Morris would have beaten Villanova had the referees not bailed the Wildcats out? All in all, it was a great day of basketball. I wish I could say that it was a great day of video gaming for me, but it wasn't. In the previous post, I reviewed Back to the Future and how much it sucked. Now it's time for Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure. Here's the video game cover, courtesy of

It's Bill and Ted on top of their telephone booth time machine, with Rufus in a moon for some reason. Looks like they are in outer space, which is odd because they never went to outer space in the first movie, nor do they in the game. Well, whatever. The game was published by LJN and released in 1991, around the time the Bill and Ted sequel was released. The game starts out promising enough, as Rufus appears on screen to inform both Ted and Bill separately that space-time rebels have kidnapped historical figures and placed them in different times. To save the world, Bill and Ted must go back in time, collect the historical figures and put them in their actual time. They must do this before their concert, which according to Rufus is the one where the Wyld Stallyns get discovered and start on their road to become the most influential band in the universe. The story picks up right where the movie left off, which is more than you can say about the previous game. There are 12 historical figures to collect in all, ranging from King Arthur to Elvis, and each person has a number which the guys have to dial in order to go back to the proper time. You play as either Bill and Ted, depending on whose turn it is, as Ted starts, then Bill goes, and so on. In order to get the person to follow you, you must find a piece of "historical bait" hidden in the game, as well as being able to find the person.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well it is not that simple. For one thing, the levels are huge for an NES game. Which would be fine, except a lot of it is a bunch of empty space. There are certain parts where your character can walk, and other parts where your character can't walk and is forced to jump towards an area where he can walk. You can get hints from guards standing still, but a lot of it is contradictory, and really you have no idea what direction is east or north or anything. The guards are easily pissed off, though. If you run into them while moving, they will either take one of your coins or send you to jail. Other guards are so angry that they will chase you down and if they catch you, they send you to jail no matter what. Yet if they're standing still, most of them will give you stuff like keys and firecrackers and other stuff to defend yourself against the very guards giving you these gifts. Go figure.

There are also a few houses you can into, a lot of them have people in them and many of them won't be too helpful and won't be happy to see your slacker self at all. Often times, when you leave a house, there will be a gang of guards around trying to catch you, so get your firecrackers and dangerous textbooks (weapons you can use) ready. This game is rather tedious, as most of it is your character either walking or jumping and trying to avoid guards. Plus, you're given so many dang keys to get out of jail that you are rarely in danger of losing the game. Maybe it would help if I were better at video games, I don't know, but ultimately, I got so bored that I quit after about an hour or so, without finding Thomas Edison or any other historical figure, for that matter.

For an NES game, the graphics aren't too bad. I wish there was more details put into the levels, but what there is does look sharp. The audio is, rather interesting. With each level, there's a theme song. However, it only last about 25 seconds and after that there is nothing but silence. Then, once you exit a house, the theme starts again. I will say the one theme I heard wasn't terrible, I just found it odd that most of the game is played without background music.

In conclusion, as far as how this game relates to the film its based on, I would say that Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure at least gets that right by keeping the main theme of the movie while coming up with an original concept based on that theme. So as far as that goes, I'll give it a 8.4 out of 10. As for the actual game, well, at least it's better than Back to the Future, but that's like saying being kicked by a horse is better than being forced to swallow a bowling ball. Out of 10, I'll give this game a 2.5 out of 10, as it had potential, but ended up falling way short. Thanks for reading, and I hope you found it interesting. If you have any ideas for future posts, or would like to contribute something to The Canon Review, then let me know either by leaving a comment on this blog or by email at Posts can be about anything, even something as simple as a bottle of soda. Tomorrow, I'll be reviewing a movie, although I really don't know which one yet, or even if I'll do one or two, so stay tuned.


  1. Thanks for doing this. I've already done this myself... I just wanted to read someone else's thoughts on the matter. The game is VERY awkward and frustrating, but at least it makes sense, unlike the BTTF game.

    There's a BTTF 2 game, and it's also terrible. I think you're in a sewer dodging cats and then the Delorean flys around you for a while.

  2. Yeah, I thought about playing the BTTF 2 game, but a saw of video of its gameplay and it looked worse than the first one, which I would think would be hard to do but by golly they did it.