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Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge
Score: 5.0 / 10
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before
Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge (simply Oogie’s Revenge from here) is a lot
like the The Nightmare Before Christmas feature film. It sure looked
intriguing but the final result was a firm load of boredom. I never
finished watching the film due to that very thing – it was the songs in
particular – and I never would have laboured through the game had I not
been assigned the reviewing duties.
Some time has gone by since the events in the film and Jack Skellington
returns to Halloween Town to find the place deserted aside from hordes
of burrowing skeletons. After being brought back from the brink by Lock,
Shock and Barrel, Oogie has claimed Halloween Town as his own. With the
help of his slimy green Soul
Robber – you’ll never forget what it’s
called because Jack yells “Soul Robber!” just about every time he uses
it – and a couple of his alter egos, Jack must put things right.
For what it’s worth, the action is repetitive. Jack whips and throws
enemies with the “Soul Robber!” through a number of areas then has to
retrace that area before a bland cutscene can be watched and the next
round of whipping
and throwing enemies can begin. As progress is made, Jack gains access
to his Pumpkin King (flame spewing ability) and Santa Jack (gift tossing
ability) alter egos but that hardly changes up the repetitive nature of
The game is animated very well, capturing Jack’s loping, slow run that
makes precision control close to impossible. Any delicate jumping or
maneuvering required will almost always result in a bout of frustration
as Jack falls to the ground to repeatedly.
Not helping matters are the fixed camera angles, which do offer a more
cinematic “flavor” to the game but often makes enemies hard to hit and
there are paths that can be completely overlooked if you’re not
constantly flipping to the map screen. 75% of the time you’ll get a fine
view but when the other 25% of the time results in death because you
couldn’t see what you were doing. There’s an argument to be made against
using fixed camera angles in action games and this is a prime example.
But even during the cutscenes, there’s no spark – characters repeat a
series of animation and the camera angles don’t change so instead of
paying attention I found myself skipping through the dialogue as fast as
In a move that will surely infuriate some, Capcom included a
dancing/rhythm element to boss battles. Whipping the boss (or the
minions they spawn) produces musical notes that are collected and added
to a power meter. When the meter maxes out Jack enters a dance mode.
Button icons scroll across a “zone” and pressing the right buttons as
they enter the zone results in more damage dished out on the boss
character. I’m not averse to dance offs in a game, particularly when it
fits the source material well (like the Genesis “classic” Moonwalker)
but I found them to be tiresome, even though the film features much
cavorting and singing.
The audio, like the visuals, pulls its cues right from the source
material. The problem here, again, is the repetition of the songs.
Capcom has some talented musicians on site and you’re telling me they
couldn’t hobble together three or four “battle” songs? (Oh, the dangers
of working on a licensed property!) The voice acting is good though.
Apparently the Nightmare Before Christmas is somewhat of a cult favorite
in Japan and this is clearly the market that was being aimed for – fans
of the cult film that may also be casual gamers. But even they will have
to admit that the shear amount of repetition squelches most of the fun.