Hello folks, I hope you are all coping with this weather and keeping as cool as possible.
Today I have decided to swing out of my comfort zone with games and go with an iconic Horror icon of the 80’s. Yes folks, it is none other than
A Nightmare on Elm Street on the NES.
So is there a plot? Well yes dear reader there is…check it out!
"Something frightening has been happening on Elm Street lately. It seems that with each waking day another gruesome discovery is made… another neighborhood teen has mysteriously passed away into the dark stillness of the night. Everyone says it’s "natural causes," but it seems as if something (or someone) has been picking them off one by one in their sleep. It’s a horrible nightmare come true… and this nightmare has a name; Freddy Krueger.
It’s up to you and your remaining friends to search Elm Street for his bones, which have been scattered about, then collect and burn them in the High School furnace. If you can just stay awake long enough, you might be able to end Freddy’s reign of terror for good. You had better hurry though, it’s getting late and you can feel your eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the minute.”
OK so that’s the basic premise of the game, but how does it actually play?
Well you take control of the Dream Warrior children ( up to 4 players using the NES Satellite or NES Four Score ), I was playing solo so I will go from that angle for this review. Starting the game you are presented with your character on screen, able to move left, right, jump and duck while being able to punch as your offense ( you can also duck and punch at the same time as well ). The screen scrolls which is really smooth while enemies will attempt to stop you in your tracks, bats, skeletons, zombies to name a few. The one thing I will mention about these minions of hell is that they are pretty relentless in their pursuit to stop you, kill one and another will spawn immediately to replace it’s fallen brethren. Along the way you will find houses to go into which will zone you in, here you need to locate Freddy’s bones and reach the end of the level to confront the boss and gain a key. Bosses come in all sorts of forms, the first one I faced was a giant Freddy glove on a chain made of red balls, all that was needed was to punch the glove a set number of times while dodging the attacks. It’s fairly simplistic in terms of game play with it’s left and right scrolling, reminds me of one of the early Castlevania games but without the polish. Have to mention the sound track though as I really enjoyed that bouncing away in the background. Making full use of the NES sound board the music is actually very well done. Combat in this game is used via the punch button OR you can just jump and duck your way through enemies. Once you have depleted your life meter you turn into an angel and float off and re-spawn where you last died. The game is generous when it comes to continues, but they are not unlimited, so use sparingly. One of the major issues is the amount of times a bat or nasty will just knock you off a ledge and it’s instant death below.
Graphics:- Not a bad effort, it gets a bit of Ghosts and Goblins flavour in the out door levels from the bats and zombies which I thought was quite good. Backdrops from the movie are used too which you will recognize as set pieces as well, not a bad effort and colour is used well here too.
Sound:- The Music is a saving grace to the game, it’s good quality and keeps you interested, the same cannot be said for the game sounds unfortunately as they are a very bland affair.
Overall:- As a platformer goes it’s not a bad effort at all, fairly simplistic in design and tries too hard to be Castlevania but we can forgive that as it’s such a great game to benchmark against. In terms of repeat game play, it’s not brilliant, but I suspect with a full compliment of friends gathered round the NES it could be a lot more fun than it is when playing alone.