The music is also a mixed bag. The theme that plays when you're outside isn't that great and gets repetitive quickly. In the cabins, you're treated to a nice creepy tune as you try to make your way through, not knowing when you're going to run into Jason. When you do run into Jason, the infamous "chchchchahahaha" sound plays, followed by a nice suspensful theme as you try to survive.
The controls have their ups and downs. In the side-view modes the controls are pretty straightfoward and are easy to use. Trying to move a slow character around can be an exercise in frustration. In the 3D modes, the controls are a little cluncky, as you often have to really press on the D-pad to turn left or right. When you're battling Jason, you'll find you can't duck by just pushing down on the control pad; you have to diagonally push down-right or down-left, and you often don't duck when you want to. This can lead to your demise quickly, especially when fighitng Jason in his turbo modes.
There's no denying it: this game is very difficult. Much of this is due to the randomness of just about everything. The weapons you need to win appear randomly, as does Jason's attacks. The game may even seem repetitive at times. Plus when you do find Jason, he can slay you pretty easily. However if you don't give up and keep trying, you may find the gameplay is rather enjoyable, even fun. The RPG-like gameplay really fits this type of game very well. The fact that each of the counselors has different attriblutes adds to the variety; you have to figure out the best way to use each one. The randomness of Jason's appearences also brings some welcome tension; you never know when or where he's going to strike and this helps keep you on your toes. Fans of the flicks may cry foul about zombies and bats being in this game, but it's better than having Jason as the only enemy in the game. With enough practice, most gamers can find a way to easily defeat Jason for good (?).
So while Friday the 13th isn't the greatest movie-based title on the NES, it still does a decent job of paying homage to the movie series and it turns out to be a surprisingly fun game. Try not to be scared away by the game's difficulty. This is a cartridge you will have to invest a lot of time with to really get into, but once you do you'll find an enjoyable and suspensful romp through Camp Crystal Lake. Fans of the movie series should definelty give it a look-see.
- Review posted on October 13, 2006