It has often been stated in my reviews that great movie licenses have yet to be converted into decent video games. Sure every once in a while there are those that succeed, for example the Chronicles of Riddick or the Harry Potter franchises, but more often than not these sort of movie games turn out to be absolutely horrid. So today we are going to check out a game that makes use of an older movie license and tries to see if they can find a winning formula to stand the test. So will Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge succeed where others have failed? Read our full review to find out!
For those that have or have not seen the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, let me first just start by stating that this game remains playable for you. Right out of the gate Oogie’s Revenge, makes sure you know what is going on. The whole plotline is very well constructed, and I must say that what the developers of this game did with the story was actually pretty impressive. Without really giving any of the story line away, basically the leader of Halloween town, Jack Skellington, gets a new gadget that he really likes and decides to go out of town and give it a test drive. Well once he leaves, three sly kids Lock, Shock, and Barrel decide to stitch back up the evil Oggie Boogie, which spells bad things for the town. So basically when Jack comes back, it is up to him to put everything back to normal.
I have to say that although the game’s story won’t win any awards, the people over at Capcom did a great job as it is extremely impressive and has a great deal of voice acting. What Capcom managed to do was keep the same great flow and style that was found in the original movie.
So sure the game has a good storyline, but can the gameplay keep up its fair end of the bargain. Well the main source of gameplay is found in the SoulRobber, which is your main weapon and one that you will be using consistently throughout the game. Now at first this weapon is actually pretty neat, as it allows you to just really wale on your opponents, grab them and really throw them around. However, as time progresses, this "wow" factor begins to fade away and leaves with just a beat em up/ platforming game that really is lacking some serious substance.
As the game progresses, you will fight more of the same sort of enemies over and over again. Instead of making this game more difficult, it decides to throw more dumb enemies at you that is just tedious rather than entertain. But not only does the computer AI because some problems, but the controls are not perfect either. There is nothing essentially wrong with the controls, in the fact that they are mapped nicely on the controller. However they don’t manage feels overly smooth and thus the game suffers.
When I got through playing Oogie’s Revenge, I must say that I was really disappointed that the game, with such an engaging story, did not manage to put more into the gameplay. Sure the boss battles could be entertaining at times, but the core of the gameplay just felt sloppy and uneventful. There was nothing in the gameplay that ever stands out in my mind. This is a game that just doesn’t get over the average mark, and is stuck being a pretty mediocre action/platforming title.
Well there are things about Oogie’s Revenge that are good, and the main solid quality this game has is being able to mimic the style of animation that was in the movie. Now of course I can’t say the game does this perfectly, but for the most part it does it in a very fashionable way that works well with the game. The visual score would have been much higher, had the camera cooperated and given us a better view of the action on screen. Instead you are consistently fighting it trying to get a better view of the action, but in the end the visuals just seem moderate with a decent amount of detail and nowhere near enough variety.
Oogie’s Revenge is one of those games that you just hate to say it, but it is quite honestly one of those games that just once again prove why movie licenses don’t seem to make for great games. At first I thought Oogie’s Revenge had enough to it to manage to be at least a good game. But as time progressed I found myself wishing more and more that this game had more to do than just the typical running through environments. In the end Oogie’s Revenge has some upsides with the story and a neat idea, but in the end the fun value of the game drops as the game progresses.
It is safe to say that this is another example of how a movie has been made into a below average video game. Whether you are a huge fan of the movie, or have children who is really into the movie, it is also safe to say that this is not one that I would put on the top of my Christmas list. Oogie’s Revenge is a decent action game for a rental, but sadly nothing more than that.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.