Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES)

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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Jan 30, 2010
Rating  :  3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars

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A Classic Capcom Game

The Good

Gamers of a certain age, will have many fond memories of the library of 8-bit games by Capcom. From original titles such as Mega Man to the excellent titles based upon popular cartoon franchises, such as Little Nemo.

Little Nemo, created by Winsor McCay and later adapted into a 1989 animated film, features Capcom's trademark; i.e. great graphics, animation, sound and playability. Popular cartoon characters making the transition over to the video game format were in good hands with Capcom.

The Bad

The major problem with Little Nemo is that it is simply too hard for anyone but the most patient teenager or young adult. Nemo can take few direct hits before lose a life and cannot defeat enemies by jumping on them or shooting projectiles.

Nemo has an unlimited supply of candy that can be used to stun enemies or feed special animals. The former is not especially helpful given that touching the enemies still hurts and the later, while creative, is something of a mixed bag.

Upon giving them enough of your candy, Nemo can ride or transform into these special animals who have special skills that are critical to success. Alas, not all of these helpers have an offensive attack and thus you will spend a great deal of time trying to avoid enemies or risk lose precious health points.

Only near the end of the game is Nemo given a magical staff that shoots energy bolts. While the special animals are creative, my personal favorite being the bumble bee, you may find yourself mumbling a few profane words as you will die often and be forced to retrace your steps.

Luckily, the game does offer unlimited continues and a secret code that allows you to skip levels. The second major problem is less important, but worthy of some thought.

Capcom does little, if anything, to acknowledge the fact that this is a game based on the work of McCay and, at the time, most western gamers were unaware of the original source material or the 1989 anime film. Hence, the game is probably more popular now, then when it first came out in 1990.

The Bottom Line

Little Nemo: The Dream Master has all the trademarks of a classic Capcom game. The graphics and sound are great. The storyline is interesting and the gameplay is smooth with creative elements to keep it from being just another side-scrolling platformer.

It is based on a classic American comic strip and one of the first Japanese anime films to receive a wide release in the United States.

However, the game is certainly not for 'kiddies', given the high degree of difficulty involved. Be prepared to die often and make detailed maps of each level. The game may not be everyone's dream title, but it remains one of Capcom's classic titles for the 8-bit Nintendo.