Review by greatdreamhero
Nightmarish Gem Overlooked
Have you ever considered trick or treating in a the virtual world? Well do not fret you can do it within this entry. However instead of treats or obtaining bones of an undead serial killer. This game is based on the wildly popular Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise. The basic narrative is that a demonic force of an undead child serial killer Freddy Kruger is reeking havoc on the youth of Elm Street. His targets are a bit older than his previous targets in life but his methods are just as deadly. He attacks his victims in their dreams or better yet their nightmares. However we see throughout this series that his victims aren't completely defenseless. They are able to gain powers to fight off their would be killer by using these powers against him! This is where we come in with this entry.
In this game you are a dream warrior. A hero who gain powers of the dream world to take on the onslaught of the hordes of demonic evil. There is actually an ability to play with four people using an adaptor the NES four score, which is kind of cool as there were several heroes battling against Krueger in the Later entries of the franchise. However I am looking at this through a single player approach. You are not some weak teenager in this game though. You are tasked to duking it out in the form of some powerful fisticuffs to many kinds of baddies including bats, spiders, ghosts, creepers, rats, as well as the many forms of the monstrous Krueger himself. You are not ill equipped though especially when you enter the dream world. In this world you are able to obtain dream tokens the ninja token , the warlock/wizard/magician token, and the acrobat/gymnast/olympian token. These form all have great bonuses and you will cycle through all these skill sets to overcome the arduous path set in front of you. You will want to stay in the dream world mostly, because you will be the most powerful in this realm. But you can return to the awake world if you hit a boombox it will waken you and you will not be able to transform in to your dream warrior forms. Also in the wake world you will find coffee that will make you stay awake. Its ironic that the game does the opposite of what the film franchise shows where the youth want to stay awake. Guess you are more courageous than the youth in those films!
The soundtrack is an epic one that is diverse and fits perfectly into the realm of horror that you are thrust into. It changes to fit the mood of all the scenes you are in.
Probably the best aspect of this game. It is extremely eerie and foreboding and fits perfectly with the soundtrack that accompanies it. You really feel like a hero who doesn't know if he is waking up tomorrow.
It is very intuitive. Your goal is to gain the bones of your antagonist and throw them all into a furnace at the end of the game. This seems simple enough but you will have a lot of bones to collect on many different stages which is randomly found by searching several places ending with the high school as the last location. The game gets increasingly more difficult requiring you to learn certain skills that you have learned from each of the levels you have beaten. You also have lives that can help you during this quest and you can gain more through by obtaining points. Also if you die you start from where you died off thats sorely lacking in games like Castlevania.
This game was developed by Rare so you know you are getting a treat. Unfortunately the LJN distributor status may tarnish this gem for some. I actually think this game is probably one of the best the NES has to offer. I think with slight refinements this game could be superior to the juggernauts that the NES has like Zelda. If this game had cutscenes and more of a story it would really make it awesome as well as a superior ending. That unfortunately feels slapped on. This game way outshines it's horror counterpart Friday the 13th. It makes sense to just play as one character as being forced to play as multiple characters in Friday the 13th. The platforming element works really well in the horror genre. A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps to that genre. It knows what it is and allows the player to feel integrated into it's world. It allows the player to develop and become more skillful as the game progresses. The best part is that it wants you to go into the dream world to face fearsome foes to show your ultimate potential! This is highly recommended! Its time to end the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET !!!
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: A Nightmare on Elm Street (US, 10/31/90)
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