Monday, June 13, 2016

1PanelReview Friday the 13th (NES)

He's coming to get you, in 8-bit!

Friday the 13th series - Friday the 13th (2009)
Book One (Wildstorm) - Book TwoFriday the 13th (Avatar Press)
Jason vs Leatherface / Freddy vs Jason
Elm Street series - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (WildStorm)A Nightmare on Elm Street (Avatar Press)
Halloween series - Halloween (2007) - HII (2009)
Halloween (Chaos! Comics)
One Good Scare - NightDance - 30 Years of TerrorThe First Death of Laurie Strode
Hellraiser 1
Final Exam
Black Christmas / Christmas Evil
Silent Night, Deadly Night series - Part 1 &2 - Silent Night (2012)
Santa's Slay
Jack Frost (1997)/Jack Frost (1998)
Pumpkinhead 1
Chucky series - Curse of Chucky / Chucky (Devil's Due Publishing)
Leprechaun series / Candyman series
 Re-Animator series
Hatchet 1Hatchet 2Hatchet 3
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac - Me Without You - Omnibus Vol. 1 - Friday the 31st
Series 1 (DDP)Hack/Slash Meets Zombies Vs CheerleadersHack/Slash/Nailbiter
Series 2 (Image)Son Of Samhain
Transylvania 6-5000/Transylvania Twist
Tucker & Dale / Cabin in the Woods
The Final GirlsKnights of Badassdom
Darkman seriesDarkman (NES)
What it is: Friday the 13th (NES) also known as Friday the 13th the videogame or also Friday the 13th (1989)

Which is: An Action/Survival Horror game
Created by: Atlus/LJN
Year: 1989
Available on: NES

Here we are with one of these countless half-baked games published by the infamous toy manufacturer LJN for the NES. Back in the day, it was part of a push from LJN to invade the gaming medium with all sorts of licensed titles (which was responsible, in my eyes, for the bad reputation video game adaptations still have to this day!). They quickly rushed a ton of licenses-based proprieties into the stores, somehow being able to score so many lucrative franchises back in the day but never putting any real effort into their products. Friday the 13th was released in 1989 and actually developed by a Japanese developer, Atlus.

What passes for a plot in this game can be found in a few lines inside the game manual. It's summer at Camp Crystal Lake, and a new group of camp counselors come to work during vacations. You play as any of the six camp counslers - three girls or three boys - and your goal is to survive your stay and kill the slasher Jason Voorhees before he gets to all of you!

What's Good about it: Let it be said - the whole concept is pretty original. I'm not saying it's good, but it's "different".
The idea is to stop Jason. For that you are free to roam Crystal Lake, go explore the lake, the nearby forest, the houses, etc. But be careful aside from Jason there's all kinds of dangerous threats along the way: other weird monsters, zombies (!), werewolves (??) and bats (?!). You can switch back and forth between characters, but you must also keep an eye on these various characters while you're not playing them or they might end up dead once Jason gets inside their cabin! And Jason will always find you! So the idea is to survive as best as you can.
Gameplay allows you to jump between characters at any time, each having their own set of skills such as speed, jump and rowing abilities. When you play on main map the game takes the form of a sidescroller action game for the most part. Your objective is to go explore around Camp Crystal Lake. And find and kill Jason 3 times.
The overworld is actually huge for this type of game, there's different paths around the cabins, the lake, the caves and the woods. You can also find a bunch of weapons around.
Once you hear the alarm sound, a timer pops up and Jason gets on his way to kill off one of the counselors or the kids! You can then find Jason in a cabin. Most of the game is spent switching between counselors, navigate the map and go from one location to another. When you find him Jason might appear on your path.
When you get inside a cabin you get treated to a simplified dungeon-crawler-like view. Cabins are short 3D mazes where you can find items... and then proceed to fight Jason Punch-Out!!-style! You can also find additional stuff such as flashlights or torches if you light the fireplaces inside the cabin.
To complete the game you must survive 3 days and 3 nights while keeping an eye out to kill Jason. And there's an alternate boss you can find, his mom Pamela Voorhees' floating head!!
It's also Game Over if all of the counselors or the children (!!) are dead.
In a way this game actually marks one of the very first examples of what would become the survival horror genre, the game does feature all of the early tropes of the genre - limited resources, very limited controls and protagonists so easily prone to sudden deaths!
I kinda like how the game took several elements from the first 7 films. Strangely Jason tries to kill children in this game, something he never did in the films!
Compared to some other LJN games, this one is actually pretty unique and original.
And even the music is kind of ok (if repetitive). The music and sound effects were composed by Hirohiko Takayama.

What's Bad about it: Friday the 13th is easily one of the worst NES games of all time, and for good reasons.
It's very frustrating. And despite its shortness, it's basically impossible to complete without cheating - I know, I've tried!
The game's insanely awful concept makes it downright impossible. Stand aside Capcom and Konami, this is easily one of the most difficult games ever released for the NES.
The woods and the cave are easily the worst parts of the game, level design gets really confusing and it's impossible to identify paths on purpose.

Overall: Friday the 13th is weird classic. 

One of the earliest examples of a strange 8-bit game based on R-Rated material. The concept itself is kind of interesting actually, but it gets really tiresome and repetitive pretty fast. What with the frustrating gameplay and all. Strangely this take on Jason feels ever more 80s than the films themselves, thanks to Jason's funky neon green-ysh color palette.

Honestly it's not that awful once you narrow down its confusing system. But I don't mean it's great by any long stretch.

The game is often called one of the most difficult games of all time  for a reason!

Despite it all, the game is still remembered fondly by fans of the series for the sole fact it's actually the first and only Friday the 13th video game to this day (not counting Splatterhouse, of course) and for its uniqueness. In fact in 2013 a collector figurine based on this NES title was produced by NECA using Jason's 8-bit turquoise and purple color palette!
I give it: 1.5 / 3!

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