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A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) artwork

A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) review


"Don't deny it! You were afraid of Freddy Kruger. You know, the guy who was killed by his neighbors because he murdered their children... or something like that. Well, he comes back to haunt the remaining neighbors by entering their dreams and killing them there. Of course, the drawback to this is that they would parish altogether, asleep or not. "



Don't deny it! You were afraid of Freddy Kruger. You know, the guy who was killed by his neighbors because he murdered their children... or something like that. Well, he comes back to haunt the remaining neighbors by entering their dreams and killing them there. Of course, the drawback to this is that they would parish altogether, asleep or not.

Yeah, me and my seven year old buds would play this game, that uniquely featured delightful 4-player support, and spout off random blutterings such as ''OH MY GOSH!! DID YOU SEE SCORPION FROM MORTAL KOMBAT!!?? HE WAS ON TEH SCREEN HELPING ME BEAT FREDDY! WOOOW!'' Before we knew it, the wonderful experience of playing through this game would be concluded. Finally, we would subside to my backyard and claim that Freddy ''Kooger'' is hiding behind the old tool shed in the far corner of the yard.

Nine years later, the experience is all still there-- minus the tool shed. The game would plop you right at the beginning slate of cement of Elm Street. Your quest would include you going from house to house collecting bones that would unlock new areas in the house. More bones leads to more houses, etc. Eventually, you would hit the end of Elm Street where the eerie Junkyard and Graveyard would lie. Then finally, you would travel to Freddy's house and confront his ugly face there.

The levels themselves are pretty basic in design, consisting of a few platforms in which you would have to maneuver about collecting the missing bones. Naturally, littered about the area are bastardful and unrelentless henchman of Freddy that would like to eat you. These would include bats, jumping spiders, zombies, ghosts, snakes, etc.

The foes meander back and forth in an easily recognizable track, but they still somehow pose as a threat. You see, the game keeps you at a constant haste. With the chore of fetching these bones, which are cleverly placed about in places where you have to actually work in terms of jumping to higher platforms and timing of the jumps to get to... wait. What the hell am I talking about?

...

Whatever you would like to call them (I would deem my character ''Shang Tsung'' while my friends insisted on naming their brutes after dumbass Castlevania characters), the heros have no dimension to them and all share the same looks, set aside the color in the clothes they wear. In fact, they punch at the same rate, run at the same speed, jump at the same height, etc. But who cares? There are little powerups that are located throughout the levels in difficult places to reach that upgrade your fighter to kickass fighting styles like Karate, Wizardry, and Acrobatics! Each have their own attacks and jumping differences, so don't worry!

Well, back to the matter at hand. ''Keeping you in haste'' basically means that you always have to keep your eye on a certain game play element that divides NoES from others. Across the top bar of the screen, next to your health, is a ''ZzzZzz'' bar in which it measures your sleepiness. If your bar fills all the way, the whole world changes. While the background essentially stays the same in terms of architecture, the overall tint of the environment turns a darkish blue, as oppose to the ''awake world'' in which it's all normal colors. Oh yeah, the enemies turn into more devilish versions of themselves that are ultimately faster and harder to get past.

But the real consequence of this metamorphosis is when you are in ''asleep'' world, you have a high chance of being attacked by Freddy himself. If you do, it's a disappointing encounter that is quite more simple then most of the boss fights in the game. He just walks back and forth in this flat room, punching the air in front of him hoping that he makes contact with your face. The bosses that occupy the end of the levels are a different story though, and usually are a great deal faster and have some more clever techniques up their sleeves (like flying around, where you have to time your punches).

But oh my God, the best part of this game is the presentation. It's like, perfect. The levels are sparsely populated by objects and can overall feeld empty (especially on Elm Street itself), but retain a good amount of detail anyhow. More satisfyingly, though, are the colors and overall atmosphere. You've never played a REAL game until you fight a huge Freddy ''Kooger'' hand attached to a string of balls, while the background does nothing but blink red and black reallyreallyfast.

But the visuals don't even shake a stick at what the audio has to offer. I don't know how to explain it, but this game has the most awesome music soundtrack I've ever heard. I'm not kidding. Hell, I'm listening to it in NSF format on Winamp right now. The bleeps on blops combine into a perfect atmosphere setting score.

Everyone that gave this game an 8/10 or below should be shot. They never had a childhood. Me on the other hand-- I was busy throwing basketballs blindly behind a shed hoping I would hear the body of Freddy ''Kooger'' collapsing on the compost heap. The day would end with a purplish sunset on a rolling mountain foreground, and a new day would start where the adventure would begin yet again! -Shin (3/12/2003)

Rating: 9/10

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Community review by shinnokxz (December 18, 2003)

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