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Video Game Review 2: Blues Brothers (SNES)

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NostalgiaCritic-BluesBrothers
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Exclusive to The Best of TGWTG Vol. 2 DVD

We start on a close-up of an alarm clock, turning from 9:59 to 10AM. On a wide shot of his bedroom, a fake alarm rings; we see The Nostalgia Critic sit up in his bed, conveniently wearing his hat and white shirt with a (weird) smile on his face. Bright classical music begins and accompanies these next scenes. Close-up on his dresser top where he takes his glasses off the counter. Close-up on his face as he puts on his glasses, still weirdly smiling. We see his closet next as we reaches in, grabbing his jacket and tie. Next are a few quick shots of him putting on the jacket and adjusting his tie and hat; when he finishes, he points at the camera with a very happy (and again creepily weird) expression on his face. Cut to NC exiting his room and down the hallway; the next shot, he's holding the camera in front of his face as he walks and smiles. Cut to a POV shot of him grabbing a milk jug from the fridge and closing its door. Next, we see him at his dining room table eating a bowl of Cheerios 2, the box sitting on the table, thoroughly "enjoying" his meal. Cut to a wide shot of him leaving the dining room when he suddenly notices something on the counter; he picks it up and examines it. The next shot is a POV of the Super Nintendo version of The Blues Brothers game. Back to the previous shot, where he lifts up his arm as if to say, "Oh, of course! How could I forget?" He exits out of shot. Cut of a shot of him walking down a small stairwell, laughing and smiling all the way. Close-up of the game being placed inside the SNES holding dock; afterwards, NC gives it a few loving taps. Cut to the main shot for this review: NC sits down on the edge of his recliner in his living room (still eerily happy) as he reaches down, grabs the SNES controller, and looks slightly off to screen-left as if he's ready to play the game on his TV. The classical music stops.

Caption screen: "10 Minutes Later..."

Cut to NC in his chair, but the mood is... different. He only has on one jacket sleeve hanging off him, his tie is almost at a 180-degree turn, and his hat is turned sideways. And he is furiously angry at the game, shaking the controller with both hands. As such, epicly-dramatic classical music is playing throughout this. Severely frustrated, NC throws down the controller, addressing us and wildly pointing his fingers at the camera in anger:

Nostalgic Critic: FUCK THIS GAME! FUCK this game! FUCK IT! FUCK IT! [at this point, he ducks down to grab his gun off the floor] FUCK IT!! FUCK IT!!! [with gun in hand, he reappears and ragingly ululates while firing off eight gunshots in the air. The music stops. Exhausted, after a few seconds, he sighs and does a facepalm before looking back up and begrudgingly addressing us:] Well, you did it. Ya bought the DVD; good for you. [looks off screen-left for a sec] I guess that means we have to give you something a little extra, don't we? [looks off again, then mocking enthusiasm] How 'bout a review? Yes, we all enjoy reviews, don't we? [looks off screen-right and exaggeratedly strokes his goatee] Now, what should it be? Hmm... [holds up index finger] I know!! How 'bout a video game [starting to shriek] that really pisses me THE FUCK OFF?!?! Cuz that's all you wanna see, isn't it?! You just wanna see me be angry! [waving his arms over his head like a... well, monkey] Dance, monkey, dance!! [after a few seconds, he sighs again and gives up] Well... waste no time beating around the bush. Let's just take a look at the game that we humans used to call: Blues Brothers. [the music from the video game begins]

Cut to the title screen fading in, followed by game-play clips as NC voice-overs.

NC (v/o): But as of nowadays, people like to call it AN UNHOLY DICKSTORM OF SHIT CHEESE!! God, this game is awful. The worst thing to be associated with the movie since [cut to a still shot of a scene from:] Blues Brothers 2000!

Cut to NC on his chair, attire now in their normal positions, shaking his finger at us. [He'll be here for most of the review, unless noted. Also, there are normal cuts between game-play and NC unless noted]

NC: Oh, that's right! I fucking went there!

Back to game scenes.

NC (v/o): What makes this game so horrible? What makes you want to give yourself TESTICLE SURGERY WITH A SPATULA?!!

NC: Well, [dejectedly sighs] I'm sure inquiring minds want to know. Let's take a look at... [brings up his controller] the Blues Brothers game. [looks off at his TV to start playing]

Fade up on the character selection graphic with "Jake and Elwood" standing on either side of a jukebox and smiling weirdly (like NC did earlier).

NC (v/o): First of all, just look at the Blues Brothers. Yeah, they got their basic likeness down; but when did the Blues Brothers fucking smile? Would you think the Blues Brothers were cool if they walked around everywhere like this? [cut to NC on his chair imitating the BB's smile as we hear him ridiculously guffawing; back to the screen, which now is highlighting the Brother to be selected] Well, I guess I gotta pick one of these guys; so let's go ahead and pick Elwood. [Elwood is highlighted and moves behind the jukebox as we hear:]

Game sounds: Rock-rock-rock-rock and roll!

NC (v/o): Really? That's his battle cry?

Game sounds: Rock-rock-rock-rock and roll!

NC: Sounds like Fozzie Bear if he was trying to go all metal. [imitates Fozzie somewhat and throws up the "Devil horns," finishing with another dumb look on his face] Wocka-wocka-wocka-wocka-wock and roll!

Stage 1 title screen appears.

NC (v/o): So, as you can see, we begin with Stage 1 and... [that screen fades out and we fade into the stage itself. With a faux curtain wipe, we see a landscape similar to that of Super Mario Bros. with rotating wooden planks, a spike pit, and records acting like Sonic the Hedgehog rings. NC reacts:] Oh, yeah. Oh, this is exactly like the fucking movie. Yeah, with the spikes, the rotating platforms, it being set in the fucking forest... It's literally like watching the film! [jump cut to where Elwood is knocked around by a flying... something] Oh, look at that. Giant killer bees. Remember that from the movie? [jump to Elwood navigating around a rotating spike ball on a chain] Oh, hey, a giant spiky ball on a chain! Remember THAT from the movie?!

NC: What part of Chicago do you think this is supposed to be, Millennium Park? Hell, they got faces that shoot [cut to a photo of the Crown Fountain at said park] water at you, and that's not as strange as this shit!

NC (v/o): Let's see. You gotta get to a jukebox and... [Elwood jumps around, eventually touching the jukebox... rather quickly - you'll see why in a bit. Once that happens, an happy organ chord is played, the jukebox disappears, and a music note appears on-screen, signifying the end of the stage. NC is taken aback:] What, that's it? That's the end of the level? That's, like, the shortest stage I've ever played! [cut back to the start of the stage with an extreme close-up of the time left] Look, the clock starts off at 99 seconds; [cut to the end, similar close-up] and I finish at 84! That's 15 seconds. 15 SECONDS! The time it takes to put the game in the system takes longer than that! [cut to Stage 2 title screen] Okay, so after defeating that "epic" first stage, you move on to the second stage where you fight... [in the game, Elwood shoots records at one of the...] ...possessed killer lawnmowers. [after a few beats] What exactly IS the story of the game anyway? I mean, it doesn't give you a backstory; it just sort of tosses you in the middle of everything.

NC: [sets down the controller and grabs the instruction manual] I'm gonna check the instruction book, cuz I gotta know what kind of story has a possessed killer lawnmower in it. [after reading for a few seconds, he gives us a glaring look. Suspending all logic, he throws up his hands and tries to bite into the book but quickly regains his composure and reads it aloud for us:] Okay. "The Blues Brothers... [cut to a slow scan of what he's reading] are back to play the blues. On the way to their first concert..." [cut to NC] "First concert," yeah, cuz they're a little-known, startup band. [back to the text] "...they encounter a jukebox and decide to listen to some good music. But as soon as they approach it, they get trapped by the evil machine! [cut to NC, who smacks his head against the manual; back to the text] Finding a way out will take the Blues Brothers through the sewers, warehouses, and the suburbs of many large cities..." [cut to NC, who address us:] OK, are they in the jukebox, or are they in the city? Cuz I don't know that many cities that have [cut to game play] spikes on the ground and possessed killer lawnmowers! Okay, well, maybe parts of Cicero, but even then, that's a big stretch! [back to the text] "Can Jake and Elwood escape from the hungry jukebox and reach Chicago in time for the greatest concert of all time?" [back to NC] Not if they keep feeding us this bullshit story! [he tosses the manual over his shoulder]

Cut to game scenes that illustrate NC's points.

NC (v/o): OK, so the idea of each level is to reach the jukebox before the time runs out, which almost never happens because each level is, like, a minute long at most. I don't even get it. You're in a jukebox, but there's a jukebox inside the jukebox? How are you gonna get OUTSIDE the jukebox if you keep going INSIDE the jukebox? Ah well, your main weapon is a bunch of records you collect to throw them at ease. Yeah, it's like that [cut to the title graphic of...] Aerosmith game, Revolution X. [brief shot of gameplay from THAT game as NC imitates Steven Tyler] Where music's the weapon! Don't give up! [back to Blues Brothers and normal voice] I wouldn't mind so much, except they always make this obnoxious sound every time you collect a record. [we see scenes where every time Elwood collects a record, we hear a "Yeah!", in rapid succession] It sounds like someone hit Sam Kinison in the balls every time you get one of those!

[cut to a Photoshop image of a karate student in traditional garb hitting Mr. Kinison in HIS traditional garb in the balls; every time this happens, we hear the "Yeah!" effect. NOTE: That IS a pretty commonly-used hip-hop sample. Back to gameplay.]

NC (v/o): If you eat one of these cakes, you suddenly become Arnold Fucking Schwarzenegger. [the game shows Elwood has eaten a cake and is now bulked up, though he appears to wear one of those fake strong-man suits] Yeah, I'm sure he'd be happy to know that this game is encouraging that [cut to a photo of a young Arnold flexing] eating sweets turns you into a muscle builder. [underneath his face says the caption: "All Thanks to Cake!"; cut back to the game] You jump on mushrooms, throw records and shit; but there's a LOT of things about this game that don't make sense.

NC: [stops to address us] I know. Imagine! But I'm talking about the gameplay itself. [continues playing]

NC (v/o): For example, when you start off the game, [we zoom in to the stat window at the top of the screen, specifically the record counter] you have 100 of these records to throw, [cut back to regular view] which makes it kinda pointless to collect more for the fifteen seconds of gameplay you have; but whatever. [cut to the start of Stage 2] I start the next level; and then, suddenly, I'm down [zoom in on the record counter] to fifty. What the hell?! Where'd the rest of my records go? [back to regular view, and it's now Stage 3 - different-colored sky] OK, whatever, I still got 50 and a ton more to collect; that still ain't bad. Look at all of these I'm getting at the end of this level. I'm gonna have plenty in the next one. [the Stage 4 opening scene - technically, it's Stage 6, but the case is true for both levels [ed.] - shows that Elwood has, in fact, zero records to begin; zoom in on the counter] What the FUCK?! You STOLE ALL MY RECORDS, ya fucktard! Why? [normal view] You gave them to me before! [stammers a bit] Why the hell did you [back to the end of Stage 3] give me all of those records at the end of the last level if you're just gonna take 'em away anyway? Whaddaya think I'm gonna do with those records before I end the friggin' level? You think I'm gonna listen to 'em? [after a beat:] Th... that would actually make sense, but [back to Stage 6] you're not allowed to! So it's entirely pointless! Oh, and just to make things more annoying, remember when they handed these things out like candy before, you couldn't get enough of them? In this level, they don't give you any until halfway through. You have no control over how many of these you can keep. You're totally at the mercy of the crazy programmers who... randomly decide when you can defend yourself or not.

NC: [looks at camera] And that wouldn't be too bad if, you know, the fucking CONTROLS were easy to use! [back at his TV]

NC (v/o): First of all, every floor in his game is like ice. Look how much you slide every time you try to stop. [zoom in for a closer view as the footage is slowed down to emphasize NC's point] You have to account for that every time you jump a platform. [back to regular view & speed] And sometimes they don't even give you time to adjust! Just when you thank God that you finally didn't slip off and die... [Elwood lands on a red box that suddenly drops, sliding him off onto an electric barrier, which promptly zaps him as he dies] Whoop! Down you go, fucker! [It happens again] Damn it! [A scene from Stage 5 where Elwood appears to land on a small grassy platform but instead slides off the edge] What, did he go skating in butter [back to Stage 6] before he started this magical fuckquest? And the second thing is: the chains. These fucking goddamn chains. Now, I know what you're thinking: "What's so hard about climbing a chain? All you have to do is push 'up,' right?" Nnnno. You have to be at the exact point to climb these things. [a series of shots with Elwood jumping to hit the next chain and sometimes missing] You have to push "up" at the exact moment you hit that chain, not a second later or a second earlier. And even then, just like the floors, you can easily slip off. Who designed it that way? If I wanna go up, just let me go frigging up! Y'know, what the fuck kind of factory is this, anyway? All I ever see in this place is fucking chains and boxes. They're really putting up electric shocks to protect chains and boxes? Priorities in this "magical jukebox world" are pretty fucked up! God, my balls shrivel up every time I see one of those chains. [Elwood jumps onto some boxes but almost slides off them] Look how close I was to falling off there! It's like they're trying to give you wiggle room to move around on the chain. Where the hell am I gonna wanna go except for up or down?! [Elwood jumps and appears to hit the chain but doesn't and falls, hitting an electric barrier] ''DAMN IT! [same thing happens; through clenched teeth, NC reacts] Dammiiit! [and again, normal] Fucking chains! [this time, Elwood tries to land on some suspended boxes but doesn't... and dies] Kids, do yourself a favor: find somebody that works in a chain factory and punch them. Don't explain why! Don't even introduce yourself! Just punch them in the fucking face! God knows they wanna keep you in these factories long enough. This has gotta be, like, the ninth level I've come across that's a factory. Maybe they want you to get a job there! [cut to the start of Stage 10] Look at this level. [zoom in on the time to see that it's only 57 seconds now] They give you less time than usual. God, this one must go by real fast. [dissolve to later, with Elwood trying to climb up a ladder to the next level, but he can't because a dog is running around there] Come on, you fucking dog, MOVE! I only have sixteen seconds! [he does get past that, but time runs out; and Elwood is thwarted off the chain he's climbing as the screen closes] FFFUCK!

NC: I swear this game is a sadist of expectations! [speaking rapidly] It gives you a bunch of time, it takes it away! It gives you a bunch of records, it takes it away! [imitating a marionette handler] "We're the puppetmasters! Dance, puppet, dance! Oh-ho-ho-ho!" [altered to sound more high-pitched] Fu-FU-FU-FUCK!!!

NC (v/o): God, why would they give you such little time when part of it is just waitIng for these fucking dogs to move? [cut to later, with the time running out; Elwood just stands there because NC knows what will happen] Fuck it, I don't care! I'm gonna just accept my fate. [the screen wipe comes, and Elwood dies]

NC: Hey, it's better than giving them the satisfaction of thinking I give a crap... which, of course, I don't. That's why I'm so FUCKING CALM!!

NC (v/o): [cut to Elwood reaching the jukebox] So, after you finally get past that level, [scenes from Stage 11] you get to go outside the factory. It's still a factory; but, fuck it, at least, you're outside. [scenes from Stage 12] Then after that, you go into another forest. Well, good. [title screen for Stage 13 appears] Maybe we're finally moving away from that whole fucking factory thing- [Stage 13 itself sppears; it's a factory again] GODDAMMIT!!! I am so sick of this place!!

NC: Wouldn't they close down these factories due to safety hazards?

NC (v/o): [we see now there's some kind of flying dragon-snake in this level] Oh, what's this thing, a flying snake? [after a beat:] Yeah! Why not? I wouldn't expect anything else out of an everyday factory in an everyday magic jukebox! [Elwood doesn't know what to do; the snake nudges him and even sits on top of him from time to time] So what the hell am I supposed to do with it? It just sorta nudges me; it doesn't really kill me. I guess I can grab it; but when I throw it, it just comes back again. [eventually, Elwood jumps on top of its head and rides it around the stage] Oh, I RIDE it! Well, OK, this should be a lot of fun, it is kind of a cool idea, and- [Elwood unfortunately touches the corner of something, which sends him hurtling off the snake's head; he's dead] Oh, fuck you! If I touch anything, I fall?! What a load of BITCH! OK, this wouldn't be too bad - it really wouldn't - except... LOOK at it! [Elwood riding the snake in a sort-of-stationary mode, but it still moves a lot in place] I mean, this is me when I'm keeping it still! It's always moving! It's incredibly hard to control. Everywhere I go, it tries to fight me or knock me off! It literally tries to head toward the nearest platform to make you fall. And... LOOK AT THIS SHIT I gotta maneuver through! Are you fucking kidding me?! [we see examples of the snake appearing to cause Elwood to fall off and die] Shit! SHIT! Shee-YIT!! [Elwood tries in vain to jump onto the snake's head] Hold still, ya little ass-goblin! Shee-YIT! [sighs loudly] This thing is impossible. It's honest-to-God like trying to ride a real fucking dragon. I guess I should congratulate the game for trying to be true of life, except that it's a FUCKING FLYING DRAGON! CUT ME SOME SLACK! [Elwood tries to maneuver around some electric barriers in the air - realistic, I know - but he touches the edge of one] Okay, easy... easy... GODDAMMIT! [the snake appears to throw Elwood off] Easy-GOOOOD! [Elwood is now stuck because he can't hit the platform above him] Oh, I like this. Obviously, there's no way to get on it without touching some sort of platform; so either way, I'm dead. It's really a shame that this thing is... fucking allergic to walls! [he lets out a weird frustrated cry as Elwood is thrown off again] Yeah, come on. I don't like this any more than you do, bitchasaurus! Just COME ON! [Elwood gets thrown off onto a platform but then slides off that and dies] GOD! I can't believe how long this is taking! It'd be easier just to find a real snake and actually make him fly! [pauses for a bit] The hell is this thing anyway?

NC: [sets the controller down and picks up the manual again] Let me see what it says in the instruction book. [he looks inside for a second, puts it down while giving us a disconcerting look, and brings it up again to read] "Snake: [cut to a scan of what he's reading] A friendly creature; you can jump on its back and control it." [cut back to NC] Does that thing look remotely [back to the game] friendly to you??

NC (v/o): Does it act like it's friendly? If it's so friendly, how come he's always trying to knock me off and push me down every chance he gets? [Elwood is thrown off, temporarily safe, and then dies just as quickly] DAAH! Oh, hey. DAAAAHH!! DAMMIT!! [Elwood stands as the snake runs around; the snake appears to push Elwood ever-so-slightly, sending him off the edge; NC stammers a bit and has had all he can take] He pushed me! HE FUCKING PUSHED ME! FRIENDLY CREATURE, MY ASS! [scenes of various stages] NOTHING IN THIS GAME IS FRIENDLY! THIS IS SHIT!! IT'S ALL SHIT!! ONE BIG, STINKING, FUCKING PILE OF FUCK-SHIT!!! [the "Game Over" screen appears, except it says: "The Blues Brothers Concert Over" - get it?] Oh, "Concert Over?" I'LL SAY IT IS!!!

Cut to NC's hand authoritatively taking the cartridge out of the system. Cut to NC's open front door, where we see the game being tossed outside into the cold. We then see NC's right arm, with gun in hand as he fires off seven shots in frustration. Cut back to NC, walking down a small stairwell and addressing us.

NC: I'm sorry, I couldn't review any more of that shit! [he reaches the bottom of the stairs] I mean, that game is terrible! That is a god-awful game! It has nothing to do with the movie, the... [waves his fingers in front of him] floors made of Crisco, the controls are insane, IT IS TERRIBLE! It's a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE game!! [waits for a beat] And I pity the poor sucker that comes ACROSS that game and TRIES to play it!

Chester A. Bum (v/o): Oh, my God, [NC reacts by looking off-screen-left] a video game! [he pronounces the title:] Bloo-ESS Brothers. Must be French. [NC looks back at us]

NC: I'm The Nostalgic Critic, and... [with hands in praying position] God have mercy on his soul.

Bum (v/o): [as NC walks out of shot and the video game music starts] Oh, my God, it's exactly like the movie!

Cut to black as the credits begin with Bum's v/o continuing.

"The end"

Cake makes you stronger? I-I don't understand that, I...

"Written, Edited and Performed by Doug Walker"

[chuckles] Wow, the... floor sure is slippery, isn't it? Hee-hee...

"Clips from The Blues Brothers for Super Nintendo"

I thought I was supposed to be getting out of the jukebox! [after a few seconds] Okayyy, just... go up the chain there, guy! Heh...

"Thanks for Buying the DVD!"

C'mon, go up the chain... Go up THE CHAIN!! Oh, look!

"ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com"

A flying snake! Hello, flying snake! How are you-HE PUSHED ME!!! THAT'S IT! I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS GAME!

Channel Awesome logo graphics appear.

I'M TOSSING THIS SO SOME OTHER IDIOT CAN FIND IT!

Dominic (v/o): Oy, what's this?

THE END


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