Thursday, June 16, 2016

1PanelReview A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)

Hmmm... great graphics!

Friday the 13th series - Friday the 13th (2009)
Friday the 13th (NES) 
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: A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) also known as A Nightmare on Elm Street - the videogame or also A Nightmare on Elm Street (1990)

Which is: A platform game
Created by: Rare/LJN
Year: 1990
Available on: NES

Time for another 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. A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1990, this one was actually developed by Rare long before their huge popularity exploded following games such as Battletoads or Donkey Kong Country.

While not an adaptation of a specific film the plot does appear pretty similar to the 1987 film A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Teens are being killed left and right in Elm Street. What appears to be death by "natural causes" can only mean one thing... Freddy Krueger is back! At night Freddy visits everyone in the neighborhood while they're sleeping.. You must destroy Freddy Krueger once and for all!

What's Good about it: The game is a fairly stand sidescroller platformer. Outside the streets of Elm Street, you get to explore the usual tropes of the genre, houses, a junkyard, a school, etc. 
The objective is to find Freddy's remains and burn those bones in the furnace beneath the High School (!). Oh, and stay awake of Freddy will get you!
The game is played against a timer, here a sleep meter. The sleep meter will fill in while time passes or if you stand still or take any damage. As sleep arrives the colors will get darker and your enemies harder. To stay awake you can find coffee. Once that timer runs out you enter a 2nd invisible timer counting down Freddy's arrival...
Like Friday the 13th, the game has you mostly fighting all sorts of weird enemies for the most part. The game starts in the "real world" where you will face snakes, spiders, bats, etc. Once the sleep meter drops, you will find yourself in the "dream world" where skeletons and ghosts will be waiting for you. 
You can find 3 dream coins to change into your "Dream Warriors" alter ego with special powers, like throwing projectiles and whatnot. Which are very useful against bosses.
The game certainly seems to feel the part, I really like how the iconic "1, 2, Freddy's coming for you" music plays in the background whenever Freddy pops up.
When you find all of Freddy's bones you will get to face the final boss. Before that there's several other boss fights like a giant Freddy glove to a giant Freddy head, Freddy's ghost, Freddy Krueger himself and finally a monstrous Freddy creature!
Each character is slightly different enough, not just their dream alter ego form but also how high they jump, etc.
A nice bonus, the game can be played up to 4 players!

What's Bad about it: Well, despite everything this is a pretty bad platformer. With insanely annoying enemies and frustrating controls.
It's a pretty bland, generic and forgetable game. Let's say it right away, it's just a half-baked clone of those various Capcom and Konami titles from back in the day. It's mostly a poor attempt by LJN at a Castelvania-type game (specifically a copy of Simon's Quest, with a similar premise about collecting pieces of a skeleton around a world to revive the final boss).
Since this was one of Rare's earliest titles you shouldn't expect much from it despite the later fame of the studio behind the game.
And it feels really unpolished. For a good reason, the game was supposed to come out entirely different at first. They originally intended for a much bigger more ambitious title for the time. You were supposed to play as Freddy, killing teenagers which were already trying to find his skeleton and burn those in the furnace. But I'm sure someone noticed the huge controversy it would have cause and they scrapped it all altogether. Freddy would have been able to jump freely all around Elm Street from mirrors to mirrors and the goal would have been to avoid facing the kids' dream alter egos.
And finally, the music composed by David Wise is pretty grating. It tries its best to emulate the one of those similar Konami games, but it got really tiresome really fast..

Overall: A Nightmare on Elm Street on the NES is another cheap grab for money from LJN who tried making games out of any movie license they could get their hands on.

The whole Dream Warrior gameplay idea is nice, but infuriating too...

It's a bit easier and more playable than Friday the 13th, but a lot less interesting and more generic. Fans should just Avoid it! 

If anything the legacy of the game is still remembered fondly by hardcore fans of the series for the fact it's actually the one of the only Elm Street video game ever released to this day. In fact in 2013 a collector figurine based on this NES title was produced by NECA using Freddy's 8-bit color palette to go along the Jason one from the NES Friday the 13th game!

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