Games Gazette Logo

Well I have to say, SLAP and BEANS is not the type of game I expected to be playing on the PS4 Plus when I bought it (the console not the game as obviously if it was the game I had bought then I would be expecting to play it, I'm sure you know what I mean) so anyway as I was saying, it isn't of the graphics or sound quality that uses any of the extra power promised by the 'Plus" in the PS4 Plus. It is an amazingly retro game made even more retro by the characters chosen for the players to control. I would lay money (if I had any left) that the majority of persons who read this have no idea who Bud Spencer and Terence Hill are, and I say to everyone, whether you are familiar with these names or not to go online, find a site that shows old movies and look for "My Name is Nobody" "They Call Me Trinity" and "Trinity is Still My Name" all three of which star Terence Hill, with Bud Spencer joining him in the Trinity movies (plus 16 other most rambunctuously flamboyant outings) - I doubt that you will be disappointed plus this game will then make more sense to you.

Two dusty cowboys riding along hear sounds that disturb them. They approach from the left of the screen, mainly because this is a left to right side-scroller, and come across a couple of females, a broken down wagon and the regular group of harassing local idiots.Telling the women to go to safety our two heroes move into the group and the fighting begins. Anyone who has now watched the movies of these two stars will appreciate the clobbering that goes on. As the heroes take damage they find large glasses of beer (Budweiser ?) and frying pans filled with beans, both of which revitalises them and reduces their hit point loss; the frying pans and beer glasses, once empty, can also be used as makeshift weapons for a couple of hits.

Two players can play this together, each taking on the role of one of the heroes, or in a one player game you can swap between them quite freely.

One of the neatest and most enjoyable moments in a fight is when you get to use the special actions and combinations at the most correct time, such as leap-frogging over one baddie and punching the next one in line. Also, in typical Hill/Spencer fashion you can do a double-whammy where the pair of you smack a villain on the jaw at the same time. Villains that remain on the floor for over 5 seconds are going to stand up again, but you cannot kick them when they are down. Otherwise once defeated they shimmer and fade leaving no traces of their existence on the dusty road.

After the fun of the fist fighting and head bomping comes the gunfights and to be honest these are handled rather clumsily and, for me, they were neither satisfying or fun, unlike the romping melees.

The backdrops are impressive (for a 1980's style game) though mostly non-interactive and the villains are basically faceless nonentities, as they would be in the movies, just set up like nine-pins to be knocked down regularly.

When you fail (okay, IF you fail) by getting one of the heroes killed - out of life points - then the game is over. There appear to be no checkpoints - I played for a fairly long while and got through what seemed like hundreds of villains, henchmen and paid-hands - but I never came across one in play until I reached the next of the 12 levels, only one unlocked at the beginning, then when you die you restart and begin from the beginning of the level you were killed on. Even so, going back to the beginning and starting again gets a little tiring after a while - I mainly died because I was too slow on the gunfighting - oh if only I were young again. Truth: As a man of about 22 years old and in a Western Show I was timed in competition as drawing and firing my 10" Colt from a regular leather rig on my right hip at around half-a-second. Now I can't find the aiming stick and fire button in anywhere near that time.

Not a game you can't put down or want to play 24/7 but good for a few minutes, say half-an-hour, when you don't have the time to get your teeth into something with more substance or you want to let off some steam without punching the walls. Play it for what it is, light entertainment that will hopefully introduce or reintroduce you to the Laurel & Hardy Wild West fun movies of Spencer and Hill.

Enjoy!

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015