Nightmare Before Christmas has to be one of my top 10 movies of all time. It has a charm that no other animated film has a grip on. It has so much charm from all of its creative characters and creepy atmosphere. A lot of the charm also comes from the music made by the famous Danny Elfman. Though it seems like they haven’t made a lot of games for the film, they did show the world in the Kingdom Hearts series, but it wasn’t an official game or anything like that. Though the Nightmare Before Christmas levels are some of my favorite levels in the Kingdom Hearts games, we finally got our hands on a game based off the famous film called Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie’s Revenge. Before I start this review, I know there is another Nightmare Before Christmas game for the Gameboy Advance, but I haven’t played it yet, so that game is for another time. So is this game as good as the film? Or is it just a throwaway game?
The story of the game actually takes place after the film, which in a way makes this a sequel to the film. It’s weird since Tim Burton didn’t want to make a film sequel to the original to keep its purity, so it doesn’t have the same fate as a lot of films that Disney kills. Basically, Jack goes off on another adventure to find something unique for the town of Halloween. During his absence however, Oogie Boogie decides to take over the town and rule it as his own. It is up to Jack to get back his town and defeat Oogie Boogie so he doesn’t destroy the other holiday towns. I admit I’m glad this is just a game and not a movie since a sequel wouldn’t work for the first movie.
The game play is like games like God of War and Devil May Cry, though this game has more in common with Devil May Cry since Capcom made it also. You control Jack, our hero of Halloween Town, as you travel across huge levels to help get back your town and take down Oogie’s forces. Your main weapon of choice is the soul grabber, which is kind of like a green gooey version of the blades of chaos from God of War or Rygar’s Discarmor. During the game, you get to wear two different costumes. The first one is Jack’s Pumpkin King outfit where he gets to use fire attacks, but not much else. The final outfit is Jack’s Santa Claus outfit where he uses different presents to attack your enemy with. Overall, it’s pretty cool since it stays faithful to the movie in spirit. A cool thing that can happen during the boss fights is you get into a DDR or Dance Dance Revolution kind of battle where you need to press the button at the right time, and in the end, if you did it all correctly, you can take a huge chunk out of the boss’s health.
The graphics are quite impressive I would say that they are almost as good as Devil May Cry 3’s graphics. Though the Nightmare Before Christmas art style has always seemed like a good idea for games, the music is eerie, but it fits every level. You also get redone versions of old songs and some new songs that are sung by the cast of the movie. The enemies and boss fights are always fun to play through, and bring up a challenge every time.
It’s time to talk about the bad parts. Pacing between levels can be pretty long since you can’t just go through a cut scene and get to the area. You need to walk to every point in the game, which can get pretty boring. Since we are talking about the levels, I have personally gotten lost in the later levels because I didn’t know where to go and it just gets tedious when I don’t know where I’m going. The lighting is fine in most places except for one area in the game where I can’t tell if I can make it to that platform or not.
So, is this a good game? I personally think it is. It’s whimsical and charming, which caused me to buy it. I would say I recommend it for Nightmare Before Christmas fans, but rent it if you’re not. I love this game and I love the movie. Nightmare Before Christmas will always have a huge place in my heart as one of the best movies of all time.
This game gets an 8 out of 10.