27.02.2024

REVIEW: Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: Slaps and Beans 2. Retro-nostalgia

5

Slaps And Beans 2 was announced in 2021 through a Kickstarter campaign that raised and quickly exceeded the amount needed to create a new game. The success of the first part actually encouraged the Trinity team to create a second one, again in close collaboration with Buddy Production, the company that manages the rights associated with the figure and movies of Bud Spencer.

The second installment has many new features that offer fans new gems such as unprecedented Italian dubbing and many historical songs taken from the pair’s great films. After spending hours of fist fights, we tell you what this new Bud Spencer and Terence Hill adventure in the world of video games looks like.

  • Developer: Trinity Team
  • Publisher: Buddy Productions GmbH
  • Release Date: October 2, 2023

Slaps and Beans 2 is a side-scrolling fighting game and represents a huge tribute to one of the most famous movie couples, who most of all have marked entire generations with their legendary films. The love for Bud Spencer and Terence Hill goes beyond Italy as well, with many other countries remembering the films of the two actors with great fondness.

The story returns to the end of the first chapter, when Bud and Terence are lost on a raft in the ocean with only a few servings of canned beans left . After the inevitable fights between them, the coveted land is seen and the couple docks on an island that will be very familiar to fans of the movies, given the large number of hippos and bananas .

From there, we begin a nostalgic journey through the different levels of the game, which will take us through various locations inspired by the couple’s most famous movies.

The style of the game remained roughly the same as the first installment, with a series of levels to complete to show a much more balanced balance between action, mini-games and environmental puzzles this time around.

The development team wanted to make the differences between Bud and Terence even more prominent in terms of gameplay, and not only in combat, which we’ll talk about shortly. Already in the first Slaps and Beans there were several puzzles in which you had to use unique abilities of one or another character to pass: they also return in the second part, but this time significantly improved.

Terence Hill will always remain an agile character: he will be able to climb vertical structures and swing between ledges; instead, Bud Spencer will be able to move heavy loads and smash stable crates with his kicks. This increases the variety of characters and enriches the environmental puzzles, making them more stimulating. Playing alone, you will be able to change characters at any time by simply pressing a button, while in co-op you will have to coordinate your actions with your partner.

Playing in co-op is obviously the best way to experience the story of Slaps and Beans 2, but the game is also very enjoyable on its own.

Let’s move on to talking about the serious stuff, that is, the combat system of Slaps and Beans 2 . The structure of the game hasn’t changed much from what we saw in the first installment, and that’s fair enough, considering that for the adventures of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill the formula of side-scrolling fighting is perfection . However, Trinity Team didn’t just make a copy of the first game, they improved and expanded every aspect of it.

We can now use light or heavy attacks, perform parries, pick up items (or enemies!) to throw and finally run. The very basic combat system of the first chapter has been expanded and complicated: now heavy attacks will no longer consume one of the three stages of the stamina scale, they can be used freely.

Another great addition are the power-ups that you can collect in the levels and then activate them at the right moment. Some of them will be character-specific, such as Bud Spencer’s super strength and Terence Hill’s super speed; others, such as the ability not to use stamina to perform attacks or a kind of invulnerability for a few seconds, will be universal.

Also new to the combat system are charged attacks. By holding down one of the two attack buttons, Bud or Terence will charge their fist, which will significantly slow down their movement ability, but at the same time guarantees more attack power to their right hand.
The visual effect is a lot of fun, especially with Bud making enemies fly up into the air like they did in the movies. In this state you can take damage, but you will have a kind of armor that will not allow you to interrupt the action.

Boss battles are also very good , because they are almost never structured in the classic style: it’s not enough to defeat the bad guy until he’s defeated , but each boss will have different phases during which the objective will continue to be accomplished. change. Some of these phases will be real puzzles, and it will be necessary to figure out how to solve them in order to defeat the enemy; in short, situations in which ignorant slaps alone will not be enough, and in which you will have to use the ingenuity of the pair to gain the upper hand.

So overall, then, Slaps and Beans 2’s combat system seems enriched in all aspects thanks to the team’s additions, making it even more enjoyable than in the past. It clearly lacks the complexity of combos and maneuvers inherent in other recent side-scrolling fighting games, but perhaps they would be out of place in a game dedicated to Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, who always considered the simplicity of slaps and punches to be their strong point.

Another important aspect of Slaps and Beans 2 is the mini-games . In the first chapter, this was perhaps the main weak point, as some of them were quite difficult to get through, especially due to the inaccurate and unbalanced control system. Those who played the previous game remember, for example, the nightmare of racing a buggy across the dunes. The situation is much improved now, the mini-games are much better calculated and in some cases really well done.

In total we have eight mini-games, some easier and more direct, others more difficult. The only one we had trouble with was the very first one, in which Bud and Terence had to balance the axle of a boat carrying a huge cargo of bananas, on pain of losing the precious fruit. There were several obstacles and it was difficult to balance the weight of the boat, forcing the two main characters to run left and right.

On a technical level, Slaps and Beans 2 features improved pixel graphics over the already good first installment, with more detail in scene and character creation, creating a pretty well-designed overall effect . There are still some animation issues, especially when grabbing objects, and slight frame rate drops in the craziest situations, but nothing major.

We also noticed some issues with enemy hitboxes, which were not always accurate, and some bugs that made us restart a couple of times at the previous checkpoint: for example, during the fist fight on the advanced level enemies appeared endlessly, which also slowed down the game considerably. Fortunately, these were sporadic occurrences that don’t spoil the enjoyment of the game as a whole.


Slaps and Beans 2 is a tribute to the couple who made history in Italian cinema. The game takes the structure and mechanics of the first installment and improves them, presenting a more advanced combat system and highly entertaining mini-games. Apart from some technical issues, fans of the actors will not be able to remain impassive in the face of the passion and affection that the Trinity team has put into this game, and we are sure that once they start playing, the desire to watch all Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies will be strong from the very first moment.


PROS

  • The combat system has been expanded and reflects even more accurately the fist fights from the movies
  • The mini-games are done perfectly
  • Excellent Italian dubbing and original music that will bring deep nostalgia to fans

CONS

  • AI is not always smart
  • Some technical issues with bugs and hitboxes not always accurate

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