A Nightmare on Elm Street is yet another licensed Nintendo game that makes 2D sidescrolling not very fun. You play the role of some random teenager who’s caught within Freddy’s grasp, and you must collect all of Freddy’s bones and throw them into the furnace in the basement of Elm Street High before you are killed.
Now, most of you are already familiar with the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. If you aren’t, then I probably don’t respect you enough to offer up an explanation as to what the movies are about. Obviously, this lack of respect doesn’t apply to the ladies who aren’t familiar with the series, so I’ll write this for their benefit. Basically, Freddy Krueger was a child molester/ serial killer who, years ago, was plaguing the families of Elm Street. One night, they decided to enact some vigilante justice and firebomb his house. Now he’s returned to kill the children of Elm Street, who are now teenagers. The good news is that he can only get them in their dreams; the bad news is that he is all-powerful in these dreams.
In this Nintendo game, the only meter you have is a sleepiness meter. It takes more than one hit to kill you, but it never tells you how many hits, so you have no way of knowing until you die. When your sleepiness meter runs out, you fall asleep and enter into the dream world, which is like the real world, but the enemies are stronger and you can turn into one of three Dream Warriors. These three are the Acrobat, the Ninja and the Wizard.
The most accurate aspect of the game is that it’s damn near impossible. In the movies, once you see Freddy in your dreams, you’re pretty much fucked. And that’s how it works in the game. The Dream Warriors have projectile attacks, but you can’t always use them. For the most part, you’re forced to fight enemies with your stubby arm that reaches just far enough to get you killed any time you fight something.
For a Nintendo game, A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s graphics are decent. I know that’s not saying much, but at least you can tell what’s what. The music is blaring and high-pitched with a lot of buzzing. So it’s about on par for Nintendo. It actually isn’t too bad.
For the most part, A Nightmare on Elm Street is boring, repetitive, and insanely difficult. How they managed to pull off insane difficulty with mind-numbing boredom, I don’t know. But rest assured, they did.
Among the greater ironies of A Nightmare on Elm Street is the fact that it was one of the earliest games to offer four-player support. The irony of this is that is that if you were compelled to play for any amount of time, then it’s most likely that you don’t have any friends, let alone three of them that also want to play.