Jason Jumps The Shark
Friday The 13th for the Nintendo Entertainment System is not a great game, but it does have several aspects to it that had underdeveloped potential.
The game has some nice 3D-esque sequences whenever you enter a cabin and, yes, their is certainly a level of 8-bit fun involved in throwing machetes at zombies.
Friday The 13th offers up pretty average 8-bit graphics and animation. They are better then what LJN offered in "Jaws", but very little of the terror or suspense of the films is carried on over into the game.
True, Nintendo had strict censorship policies back in the day and this was before the genre of "survival horror" became popular, but about the only thing really creepy in the is Jason's Mother.
Beyond Jason and his Mother (who appears as a flying head inside a cave) your enemies include zombies (which I do not recall from the films) and standard (for a video game) forest critters like wolves and bats.
Beyond some musical scores from the film franchise, the music is nothing to write home about and may cause you to reach for the mute button.
The player selects from a series of different Camp Counselors, each with some variation in speed and strength. Your primary goal in the game is to locate and kill, several times, Jason's Mother who appears in the form of a flying head.
Each time you defeat Jason's Mother she leaves behind a valuable object, and, eventually, she will leave behind the one weapon that can kill Jason; a pitch fork!
However, you cannot battle her again until after you have come into contact with Jason. Which means that you spend quite a bit of time going back and forth to same places.
Crystal Lake is a rather large campsite and Jason will attack campers or the other camp counselors (who are all located in various cabins throughout the game).
Once that happens, you must quickly walk over to the right cabin (thankfully, the game's made does not make this a secret) and battle Jason.
This can become a bit tedious, especially if the campers in need of help are on a island, only accessible by boat, or someone needs help and is on the opposite side of the map where you happen to be.
Your characters can only walk, jump, duck and shoot whatever projectile weapon they may have. Some of the characters walk slower or jump higher then the others, but basically their is not a huge variation.
It would have been nice if you could switch between the different weapons that you collect and the piece of cloth that you can collect, in one of your battles with Jason's Mom, does not really do much besides protect one of the camp counselors (while in a cabin) from Jason.
Their are certainly times when you are going to wish their was a warp zone or something similar to allow you quicker access to different parts of the map.
Eventually, if you kill Jason's mom enough times, you will be given the pitch fork and, not longer after, you will be able to use it on Jason when you attacks a camper, counselor or he may just show up.
Your reward for your epic battle against Jason is a lackluster ending.
The Bottom Line
Friday The 13th for the Nintendo Entertainment System is not a great game.
It is not "survival horror" and having to run back and forth between the cave and numerous cabins is probably not what fans of the horror film franchise were hoping for in a video game adaption.
However, their is a bit of fun to be had with the 3D-esque sequences inside the cabin and, yes, killing 8-bit zombies with rocks, knives and other weapons is kinda fun.
It would seem logical that Friday The 13th would make a great modern video game franchise, with the advances in technology and entire survival horror genre.