Blues Brothers 2000

Developer: Player 1
Publisher: Titus Interactive
Released: November 16 2000
Regions: NA, PAL
Genre: Platformer
Multiplayer: 1-2 players
Cart Size: 16MB / 128Mbits
Saving: Controller Pak
Rumble Pak?: Yes
Expansion Pak? No
- Required? No
Bring soul and blues to your Nintendo 64.

Blues Brothers 2000 was a musical-comedy movie released in February 1998. I never actually saw the movie, and judging by the disappointing sales at the box office, I don't think a whole lot of other people did either. It was over two and a half years later we got a Blues Brothers 2000 game for N64. It was published by Titus Interactive, which is a bad sign right off the bat. Luckily though it was developed by a fairly new developer at the time, Player 1, so maybe there's hope for this one?

Titus Interactive had renewed the license to make a Blues Brothers video game at around the time of the BB2K movie release. They began their search for a developer to take on the project and had an estimated release date of Q2 1999. The game ended up suffering many delays being pushed back to December 1999 and then again to early 2000. These delays may have been due to the poor reception at the time of other Titus games, Carmageddon 64 and Superman. It was in August 2000 that Blues Brothers 2000 got a rental release at Blockbuster. Gamers had to wait till November 2000 before they could finally purchase Blues Brothers 2000 at a retail store.

Blues Brothers 2000 is a 3D platformer. You play as Elwood Blues, on a mission to get the band back together and play at the Battle of the Bands. You have to go through all 4 levels collecting 10 musical notes, 1 musical instrument, keys, and defeat a boss, which will rescue one of the band members. This game is quite short as it took me about 4 hours to do all that.

For anyone who's already played Super Mario 64, or any of Rareware's other platformers, you might feel like you've already played this game. This platformer is clearly inspired by them. The musical notes look very similar to the ones from Banjo-Kazooie. Also, you collect coins and get a 1UP if you get 100 of them. Just like those games mentioned, this still is a solid platformer. It's fun to playthrough and is quite easy. For its length and difficulty, it can almost be recommended as a beginner's platformer. The level design is excellent and you really feel like you're progressing fast. There are dance sequences that keep slowing you down though. Every once in a while you'll meet a character who teaches you a new dance move. All these dance moves would then add up and be used for the final battle of the bands. It's not as exciting as it sounds as all you do is move the control stick a bit and then press A. On a rare occasion it'll actually be B. As you progress these become longer and they eventually get quite boring. They almost feel like they're trying to extend an already short game. Some of the objects are hidden well, some not so much. You'll need to do a bit of puzzle solving just like you'd do in other N64 platformers. All objects will need to be found in order to get to the stage's boss. The boss fights are well done for the most part. The 3rd level boss is a bit pathetic compared to the bosses in the first two levels. It's immediately obvious how to kill him, He has a big target on him for pete's sake. BB2K no doubt has some good gameplay.

The graphics are above average. The levels are bright, colourful, and full of life. I didn't notice any ugly textures. The characters models of Elwood and the rest of the band also look good. The enemy character models aren't as good though. They almost seem like there's a low amount of polygons used. The draw distance is at least long in this game. The graphics work well for the cartoony look that the developers were going for.

Now with a game like Blues Brothers 2000, you'd expect some decent music. And yeah there is. They went out of their way to get a lot of licensed music. It's varied a lot as well. You won't hear the same song throughout an entire level. The dance scenes for each level all use the same song though. The sound effects used for Elwood are all appropriate. You hear him jump when he does, you hear a smash when he ground pounds, and all sorts of sound effects you'd expect when falling, punching, and spinning. I did notice a few absent sound effects for bosses. The 3rd level boss jumps and lands on the ground pretty hard. There isn't a single sound heard when he does that. There's a few short voice samples used in this game, all of which come out clear.

What's odd is this game actually has multiplayer. 2 Players can each pick one of the members from the band and do the button pressing dance-off. It's the same thing from the single player with the same song. There are no other multiplayer things you can do. This comes across as a cop-out and was likely made just so they had something else to advertise on the box.

The controls in Blues Brothers 2000 are fine. Then again, they're almost copied from Super Mario 64. The camera can be adjusted just like in Banjo-Kazooie so it's never a problem with camera angles.

Blues Brothers 2000 is a fun little platformer. Is Titus Interactive redeemed for giving us Superman and Carmageddon 64? Well no. At least this isn't a stinker that we'd group with those two. They took a not so popular license and really tried to make something out of it. The main problems with Blues Brothers 2000 end up being unoriginality, and game length. How many times did I compare this game to something else here? If you like the other N64 platformers you'll like this. But if you expect something deeper then you won't. The length is about 4 hours. That's for a regular playthrough, not even a speedrun. Outside of eBay this isn't an easy game to find either. If you ever get the chance, give this game a shot. Just don't go out of your way for this game, or spend a lot on it.

Presentation: 7.5
They took nothing and made something. Their efforts gave us a fun platformer.

Graphics: 6.0
Nice looking levels. Not so nice looking enemies.

Sound: 8.0
Uses decent music from the movie and good sound effects.

Gameplay: 7.0
Not very original and not long. It's fun while it lasts though.

Lasting Appeal: 3.0
Multiplayer mode sucks. There isn't much to get you to come back after defeating the story.

Overall: 6.3

Written by Kevin Ames
July 13 2012