Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure
No, not the NES game.
We’ve all played that one and I think we can all agree that it’s getting pretty difficult to stretch “this game sucks” to an entire review. Though AVGN did do an admittedly decent and entertaining job doing just that and I’m still looking forward to our very own Nintendo Legend‘s review of the game!
Which is why I’m going to be looking at the Amiga version of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Now, there are clear similarities between that game and the NES version but the Amiga actually follows the plot of the film somewhat more closely, so it’s worth checking how worthy of an adaptation it is.
First, let’s check out the differences between the Commodore 64 version:
And the Amiga version:
Need I say more?
Gotta give props to the Commodore for attempting to include actual stills and playing (really muffled and unintelligible) sounds from the film itself but, by keeping things cartoonish, I think the Amiga got it right. Neither game looks good, don’t get me wrong, but if your game’s going to fail visually at least make it look a bit colourful!
I mean, so what if George Carlin looks like Nicolas Cage?
I know, you’re looking a the “dudes” on the right, aren’t you?
Let’s quickly check back with the Commodore 64, for a second:
Now isn’t that just the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?
Look at Napoleon lol
To be fair, that character wasn’t exactly realistically portrayed in the film itself either. Totally the Jar Jar of that movie, frankly…
Anyway, the game sees Bill & Ted set out on a mission to, you guessed it, go back in time and bring back a bunch of historical dudes to help them ace their all-important final exam.
The corridors of time do cameo in this:
But unlike the NES game, which turned what was essentially a transition into a thoroughly pointless mini-game you didn’t even need to play to beat, this is a transition and nothing more.
Using the manual, which includes all the numbers you need to dial to get to specific places in time, you soon find your way to the likes of The Bastille in France, which comes complete with an “Eat Cake” poster and a guillotine:
No prizes for guessing who you’re there to pick up.
Now, I’m gonna show you what happens when Bill & Ted enter The Bastille but be warned, what follows is all kinds of lolgasmic:
I mean… WOW.
That’s certainly a giant leap in terms of graphics. A leap backwards, to be sure, but you gotta love the goofiness of it. Ted looks like a 4-bit Brian May and Bill, well, definitely has a bit of a Barney Rubble thing going on. As for that robot/knight-looking fellow on the right, your job in this level is to make it to the end of the maze avoiding him all the way.
You don’t get many of these simplistic little puzzles throughout the game but you are made to go to weird places, pick up random items which you then use to convince the historical dudes to join you…
*points at the camera*
… back to the future!
For example, after picking up Napoleon (who magically disappears inside your pocket), this happens:
By itself, it’s odd and makes no sense but eventually, the shovel comes in handy.
I literally just got that.
Other items you come across include a note in caveman times:
A Twinkie outside Freud’s house:
And, last but not least, a fire extinguisher in the Old West:
Which you then use to save Joan Of Arc:
Who just happened to have an oversized blue lighter handy.
This ridiculous game logic is making the film look scientifically viable, and that’s just… bogus. I gotta give the game that, though, at least it’s having fun.
Looking at Beethoven’s choice of decoration:
It’s like someone went back into the past and messed things up already long before Bill & Ted even showed up!
There’s an obvious charm to this game which the NES version didn’t really have. Here, as random as a lot of it is: it’s at least cute and captures the sense of humour and light-heartedness of the movie much better.
Whether it’s Einstein cracking jokes:
Genghis Khan talking about seeds:
The game never takes itself too seriously and is all the better for it. Plus the controls aren’t too much of a pain to figure out so that makes it much easier to get through. They only get kind of awkward during the mini games such as when you’re going around picking up gold coins for some reason:
Or when you’re fighting a bunch of cowboys in a saloon:
Honestly, this would be much better if Bill and Ted weren’t joined at the hip in this game. You can only ever move them both at the same time making “action” moments like those shown above feel way stiffer than they probably should have felt.
Every historical dude is eventually reunited in that infamous mall:
As people in the background peacefully finish their drinks and keep on talking amongst themselves.
Now I’m sorry but if I saw that happening right next to me, I’d at least look!
ALBERT EINSTEIN IS WEARING BUNNY SLEEPERS!!!
That’s a Kodak moment if I ever saw one.
Somehow, all these people fit into what I can only assume is Bill’s giant mum’s giant car:
I guess if they could all fit in that phone booth…
What are these people? Pokemon?
Finally, it’s time for the show to begin as our favourite slackers introduce each historical character who magically appear on stage:
Surely a show this gimmicky’ll never fly with the teachers. What kind of idiot principal would allow such a clear display of unauthentic nonsense to count as a worthy piece of historically accurate, educational…
I remember the movie now.
Overall, if I’m honest, this isn’t a great game by any standards. It’s not particularly thrilling or beautiful to look at, there’s little variety to it and it’s not 100 times better than the NES game though I do prefer it. I find the Amiga game to be a much more colourful and amusing experience, even if that Bill & Ted movie deserved a much better game altogether.
Oh well, I always preferred the duo’s Bogus Journey anyway.
Hm, how to end a Bill & Ted review?
*short air guitar solo*