Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Now I'm Playing with Power!

Freddy made his way on to notebooks, t-shirts, toys, candy, and even his own novelty album. So it’s natural that he would find his way into a video game or two back during his heyday. Slasher icons have a rocky history with video games systems, Michael Myers and Leatherface both had their own terrible Atari 2600 games. Jason Vorhees received a Nintendo Entertainment System game that was also awful but nostalgia seems to have repaired its reputation a little bit.

Freddy Krueger’s NES game is largely forgotten, mainly because it isn’t very good. It does feature some innovative elements, such as four simultaneous players, and a waking/dreaming mechanic. The plot is lifted from Dream Warriors (1987); characters are looking for Freddy’s bones to bury him, occasionally falling asleep where they have to battle Krueger and a host of monsters. It is a platforming game with graphics that were sub-par even for something from 1990. The combat is either difficult to the point of anger, or too easy. The original concept for the game was to play as Krueger and have you murder kids who were looking for your bones. That sounds a lot more fun, but of course ‘concerned parents’ wouldn’t allow such a thing to exist.

Even more obscure is Freddy’s outing in a game for the PC and Commodore 64. This is a top-down combat game where you chose a Dream Warrior to do battle with Freddy and rescue the others. Each character has his own power that is roughly equivalent to characters from the movie (Kincaid has a power punch. Ok. Nancy can stop time. What?). Like the NES game it has it’s easy parts but then it grows to be insanely difficult. Still, it feels like a lot of effort was made to be true to the movies in an era where games weren’t as interested in fidelity to the source material.

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