We’re going old school with this induction into our games of fame and we’re going against the popular opinion. In 1989 LJN released it’s video game adaptation of the popular slasher series Friday the 13th on the Nintendo Entertainment System. As popular as the film had been, the game was met with less than positive reviews. But then again, how many Friday the 13th movies were ever given favorable reviews?
Needless to say the Nintendo game has been ceremoniously considered by numerous gaming magazine and review panels as one of the worst, if not the worst, horror game adaptations of all time. Many of the critics sited the games repetitive music and the frustration that came with the games play.
The authors of Nintendo Power rated Friday the 13th the sixth worst game ever made in the magazine’s September 1997 issue. The writer stated “After playing a few minutes of this aardvark, you wanted Jason to slaughter all the counselors and then you. Anything so it would just end.”
Ouch. That hurts more than an axe to the head from Jason Voorhees himself. So why does this game make our Games of Fame list?
For a few reason actually.
For starters, I’m a huge horror movie fan. I have been my entire life and my favorite slasher series has been and always will be Friday the 13th. Being born in 1982 I was pretty young when the Jason Voorhees craze was at it’s all-time pique. I was also young enough to experience the Nintendo boom and have it be an intricate part of my childhood. My love for video games and my love for having the shit scared out of me easily equated to me natural admiration for the video game.
Does the game have flaws? Absolutely. But i find them more humorous than infuriating. I also found the game incredibly difficult. You have to beat Jason a total of 3 times in the game, each time Jason is stronger and quicker in his attacks. You also have to do this while ensuring that he doesn’t kill all the counselors and all the camp’s children.
Another thing pretty kickass about this game is it is an embodiment of it’s era. In today’s world there is no way a game would be put out to the mass public, on a platform geared for children nonetheless, that had a villain who killed children. The camp starts out with a total of 15 campers (children) and every few minutes, you are alerted that Jason is attacking the campers. If you take too much time responding to the alert Jason kills one or more of the campers. Think about how warmly that would be received by today’s standards. So for that reason alone this makes Friday the 13th a unique game that probably can never be duplicated (who would want to?).
The gameplay is rather straightforward and overwhelmingly repetitive. A player starts out with 6 camp counselors to choose from. Each counselor has differentiating skills in speed, jump power, etc. You also start out with a grand total of 15 campers to protect. Along each player’s path there are different environments like the woods, a cave, lake and numerous cabins. The more an individual character is played the more weapon upgrades they receive. Each player starts out with a rock but can move to a knife, machete, torch, pitchfork and more.
You also have to unlock secret items by exploring the caves and woods which are purposely setup to disorient the player.
Jason can also randomly attack you on your path, which if you’re a kid playing this game can scare the shit out of you as he generally jumps out of the middle of nowhere with very little indication.
Despite what the critics say, this game reeks of awesomeness and deserves it’s eternal place in our Games of Fame section. You can play the game online through this emulator
But for now, Jason will rest eternally on The Deviant Gamer website…..but is he really dead? We’re not telling!