Halloween is right around the corner.
We are less than 2 weeks away from Halloween, and it is a great time to cover my top 5 Halloween themed NES Games. These are in no particular order, and of course are just my opinion. Feel free to leave any games I have missed or that you would substitute in the comments below.
1. Friday the 13th.
Friday the 13th always seems to get a bad rap on the NES (LJN). Yes it can be somewhat irritating between the controls and constant Jason alarm, but I have always liked it. It also gets a lot of grief from the colors on Jason’s jumpsuit being purple. The game basically follows various camp counselors as they try to save the Crystal Lake campers from Jason. Jason must be defeated 3 times to finish the game and he gets more difficult every time (in a punchout style view). Throw in some cameos from Jason’s mom and you have a great Halloween themed game.
2. Ghosts N Goblins
Ghosts N Goblins follows Arthur as he fights through many levels to rescue the princess who has been kidnapped by Satan (yes Satan, hows that for Halloween?). The game is incredibly difficult however, 2 hits will kill Arthur and you will die many, many times. Ghosts N Goblins must be played methodically, if you just rush in and try to run though then you will never make it. The game is relatively fair however as most deaths can be avoided. However once you finish it once, you find out it was a lie and you must beat it a second time. Yes, the game is already crazy difficult and it makes you beat it twice. All with no save system!
3. Gargoyle’s Quest 2
Gargoyle’s Quest 2 is actually somewhat related to the previous game on our list. It actually follows the gargoyle Firebrand that is introduced in Ghosts N Goblins. The game does play different however. The side scrolling stages do return (much easier), but are now coupled with and overhead world. Firebrand controls well, being able to fly and breathe fire. This game is one of the rarer in the NES library however, so be prepared to shell out a pretty penny.
Castlevania, the original. Full disclosure, I have never played the other 2 on the NES so they may actually be better games. I have played others in the series like the Gameboy Advance games and Symphony of the Night so I am not blind to the series. Castlevania is the standard kill Dracula story, with Death, Frankenstien, etc peppered in along the way. You play as Simon Belmont, equipped with your trusty whip. Like many other NES games Castlevania is a platformer. Its another somewhat difficult game (as many of the era are, it coined the term “NES Hard”). My biggest gripe is getting used to the jumping mechanic as it can be kind of wonky and all adjustments must be done before actually jumping. Definitely worth a shot, just remember the other 2 may actually be better.
5. Monster Party
Finally we have Monster Party. This one is a bit more peculiar. We have a boy name Mark, that while on his way home from a baseball game is sucked into “Dark world” by a creature named Bert. This pseudo fuses Bert and Mark together allowing Bert to be controlled at times. Mark attacks with his bat, and as a cool little feature, can hit some enemies projectiles out of the way. Monster Party is peculiar to say the least. Even though it features some of the standard monster themed enemies, some are just out of left field. There is boss that is a piece of fried shrimp. Yes you read that correctly, fried shrimp.
See? Like I said, the game is just bizarre.
That’s all 5 of my top picks for Halloween NES Games. There are still many others that are available for the console like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Maniac Mansion, and the horrible Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde. So there are many options to get your Halloween fix on the NES.
Honorary Mention. Gremlins 2 The New Batch
I just realized I totally forgot about Gremlins 2. I remember playing this many times as a child so I can’t believe it slipped my mind. You play as Gizmo, armed with a number of weapons and gadgets. The goal is to reach the Gremlin control center and wipe them out once and for all. Gremlins 2 plays from a somewhat overhead standpoint like the Legend of Zelda. The game is reasonably priced and relatively common so I would recommend everyone to pick it up