A Retro Experience Through a Lost Game
The story of lost media is always interesting. Even in the modern age, there are works that disappear and are lost to time (like tears in rain). Video games are no exception as there have been works lost for one reason or another. It could be due to the project being canceled, the source code lost, or a lack of attempts to preserve it.
Sometimes, fans want to preserve its legacy through a sequel or an attempt to recreate that experience. Enter Yeah Yeah Beebiss II by the team at Nami Tentou and Rigg’d Games.
Yeah Yeah Beebiss II is suppose to be the sequel to one of the most iconic lost games. Instead, it’s more like what the game would have been like had been released. Even if one isn’t into the lore or the history, it’s still a fun game for fans of classic games.
The Story of a Lost Game
To better understand the game, you first need to learn its backstory. Yeah Yeah Beebiss is a game that was first mentioned in an issue of Video Games & Computer Entertainment (via mail-order catalog) back in 1989. It would make numerous appearances in other mail-order catalogs up until the 1990’s. However; it never saw a launch and only a few screenshots and promos have been made public.
This has led to many speculations along with questions about its existence. The most accepted theory is that it was a copyright trap to be used as evidence against competitors who republished the list. Other theories include that it was a placeholder, an actual work lost to time, a mistranslation or botched localization of another game.
I would recommend reading up on the Lost Media wiki for more info about the mystery of Yeah Yeah Beebiss.
Kyonshi Hui and Jiangshi Bo
Right away you can tell that this is a game that goes all out to recreate that retro experience.
Players take on the role of Kyonshi Hui and Jiangshi Bo as they battle waves of demons through 100 levels. Each character has their own way of fighting while players could go solo or partner with a friend. Gamers could work together via local co-op through a shared or split screen. Basically; it’s an old-school game in all the right ways.
Visually; the graphics are on par with what you would expect from a title released around the late 80’s and early 90’s. The levels are dark and grim but also very colorful. This elegant use of colors allows it to capture the essence of an 8-bit game while also taking advantage of modern hardware. For those who really want to go old school, you have the option of activating a CRT filter. Complementing everything is the chiptune soundtrack that absolutely knows how to set the mood.
Gameplay is easy to learn and master, making it welcoming to gamers of all generations. Players will use the character’s attack to defeat the demons while avoiding damage by utilizing the platforming elements of each stage.
Yeah Yeah Beebiss II only issue is that the control function can be unresponsive at times. Be it a console controller or keyboard, there have been moments when it just hasn’t responded to the player’s command. This usually happens when in the heat of the moment and you need a fast reaction to your command. A common issue back in the day but not a problem that a modern game needs to have.
Blast From the Past
Yeah Yeah Beebiss II wants to introduce the history of a lost game to a greater audience while capturing the essence of the 8-bit era. It has succeeded at doing both of those with one work of art. If you grew up playing such games or if you’re a fan of retro games then this is an experience you shouldn’t miss.
Disclaimer: Nami Tentou provided the game used in this review.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
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