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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Beuna Vista

 

Developer

Capcom

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

October 10, 2005

 

 

- Stays very true to the source material
- Great animation
- Good voice acting

 

 

- Repetitive attacks, exclamations, and exploration
- Dancing/rhythm games for boss battles aren't fun
- Overall boring

 

 

Review: Viewtiful Joe 2 (GC)

Review: Onimusha Warriors (PS2)

Review: BloodRayne 2 (XB)

 

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Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge

Score: 5.0 / 10

 

nightmare before christmas oogie's revenge         nightmare before christmas oogie's revenge

 

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

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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

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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 combat.

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 possible.

 

nightmare before christmas oogie's revenge          nightmare before christmas oogie's revenge


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.

- D.D. Nunavut
(November 27, 2005)

 

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