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Friday the 13th Hard Copy to Be Released
Everyone knows the story of Jason Voorhees. From that first iconic moment on screen (technically the second movie, if you are well versed in the franchise lore); some 10 sequels, a reboot, and a versus movie- the obsession with the Friday the 13th franchise has never really left popular culture.
So why is it 2017 as we are just getting the first decent video game adaption?
Neglected by camp counselors as a kid, Jason alleged drown at Camp Crystal Lake in the 1950's, and in the first movie adaption, Mrs. Voorhees. whom had been the camp cook at the time- for some reason; waited a ridiculous amount of time- read as the 1980's, to get revenge on camp counselors. Often debated in lore if Jason actually appears in the first movie at all, Mrs. Voorhees offs an entire staff of returning counselors except for one lone survivor that goes on to tell the police about the little boy she had seen in the lake that had tried to drown her.
"But Miss, we didn't find any boy..."
Jason went on to be the living in the woods somehow all these years in that cabin with his mother's severed head, and then later becomes an undead killing machine in the later movies. It isn't really clear. What we love best from the evolution of the series in the change in Jason's costume including the signature hockey masks, remember when he just wore a sack over his head?
What is important about the 2017 adaption of the Friday game is how much the developers had gotten right by actually consulting staff that had worked on the movies to recreate some of the best movie deaths. Using green screen and motion capture, we are brought back to the movies we love and allowed to take on the roll of fleeing counselors and the iconic killer in a stand off.
Jason may even feel familiar as his most celebrated actor that had taken the role in the franchise, Kane Hodder, had the playable Jason modeled after him.
2017 and we finally get a decent Friday the 13th game
Everything about this game is closely tied to the movies as the developers smartly made a game that fans had asked for on Kickstarter. Contacting actual personnel that had worked on the movies, the death scenes, backgrounds, and costumes are as close to the real thing as we have ever seen in a game.
Throwing rocks at birds and running from zombies
The first attempt at making a Friday the 13th game left a lot to be desired.
Where gamers still dote on the game for its silly plot, ridiculous game mechanics, and the occasional appearance of a nearly impossible to kill Jason...for some reason purplish blue and is he wearing a track suit?
There was a lot wrong with Nintendo's tie in Friday. As a kid, this was one of the games I would often rent over a weekend from the video store and obsess over when I had shelved the latest Zelda or Mario for the time being.
What had been presented as Friday had so little to do with the franchise, I wonder to this day if they couldn't get the licensing or were just desperate to slap the name of an existing product on something already in development. (Back to the Future, anyone?) This strange side scroll adventure did have cabins and campers- and maybe that was as far as anyone actually looked into the franchise; the iconic feeling of a cabin in the woods was gone. Argued among friends, some people found Jason all the time along the paths of repeating Nintendo background screens and in the cabins where there were only about six kids to keep alive in the entire game. The change of music and a kind of swooshing sound signaled Jason's arrival and you had to hurl objects at him and get him to low enough health to run away to the next screen. I'm told that if you have enough boss fights with Jason then when you fight him for the last time he's kind of a three hit kill NES type boss, but my childhood for some reason lacked very little of the purple track suit Jason.
I played hours on end extensively through the bits where zombies shot out of the lake water and crows attacked. Armed with rocks, I got really good at memorizing the patterns of AI but rarely did I have a stand off with Jason.
Youtube if filled with content creators who have mastered speed rounds of the game, some seeing Jason as rarely as I did.
Purple skinned Jason and is that a track suit?
What the NES release of Friday the 13th got right was the intense creepiness and anxiety that filled their long looping repeating levels. When the music signal changed alerting Jason was spotted on the map, your heart jumped into your throat.
A long way from perfect
Here it was, our 2017 early access to Friday the 13th, and fans that begged for the project were dying for the first game play videos.
Visually, it was stunning. Side by side comparison of the cabins placement of the oars above the fireplace, pictures were on the walls where they should be, the lifeguard tower, the archery range. It was like being back in the movies. Also genius was the opportunity to play Camp Blood at different stages of its evolution, allowing for a change in weapons, costumes, the type of Jason you could play as, and locations around the camp. Depending on the Jason you were, it also impacted how you played the game and what type of kill mechanics you could unleash upon the other players. Unlock-able Jason skins were a big part of the game.
To be the killer of the prey was random selection. Your group all logged in, picked their survivor, and the same classic cut scene played. Then you are on your own scrambling to live through the sequence of events. The objectives were pretty simple: if you are a counselor there are hidden objects along the game map that you need to repair two cars, one a two door and one four door. Depending on how many survivors are in your game session, you must find keys, gas, a car battery, repair the phone, call the police, and stay alive until the police arrive or your party is able to drive off the map.
Sounds simple right?
A similar game mechanic in Dead by Daylight.
Since the game play style is dependent on your playable Jason, the killer always has the advantage being able to sense players and teleport around the map to the exact location of the players.
Reception of the title was great until early downloads were plagued with crashing servers that couldn't support the game play. Collectively, the fans in love with the franchise sighed.
True to their word though, many improvements have been made new DLC material in the form of smaller maps, costume changes, and software glitches have been fixed due to our bellyaching.
The hard copy of Friday comes out for Playstation 4 and Xbox One on none other than Friday, October 13 to compete with the long awaited sequel to The Evil Within.
A frightful return to consoles
The hard copy release of the Friday The 13th game will be released on none other than Friday, October 13.
Gamers have already taken to the internet to discuss the one topic that is all on our minds, can you actually kill Jason or just escape him?
While most of us have tried pummeling him from behind as he attacks a teammate or tried to run him down with one of the cars to no avail, I haven't experienced anyone in my playgroup actually kill Jason.
People swear though online its not impossible.
Legend gives a convoluted tale of taking the Mrs. Voorhees sweater that must be worn by one of the females in the game, and finding Jason while a player that is Tommy Jarvis puts down all their weapons to be able to pull the Jason mask off.
I have Googled a few attempts of people trying this harebrained scheme only to see players dying miserably at the feet of the relentless killer.
In the world of video games, there is always that legend of someone that knows someone that knows someone that had the timing down and actually did the impossible thing we have all wasted a half dozen lives trying to do. It makes me think of a simpler time when I would wonder what other backgrounds you can get behind in Super Mario Brothers 3 and go sliding off the screen.
Somewhere, there is someone that has killed Jason and I want to know about it.
Camp Blood and beyond
We may never get enough the Friday the 13th franchise and I really hope to keep seeing more added on to the game play. What I would really like is an unlock-able Mrs. Voorhees to get the chance to terrorize the players old school.
The franchise it self aside from the 2017 and NES game, and its twelve movies; depending how you count the Freddy VS Jason, and the reboot several years ago where for some reason Jason kidnapped a woman, perhaps only to get that famous scene where he is outsmarted by a woman pretending to be his mother.
Novels, comic books, bear the name of Jason and to be honest while most tie in merchandise can get a little cheesy- says the person that owns a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt; reading about Jason is pretty fantastic.
The short lived television show that borrowed the name of Friday the 13th however was one of the worst things I have ever sat through. With the focus on cousins running a shop of cursed items, I don't really understand if this was an intentional tie in to the series but its noted on the official franchise forums.
Many documentaries have also been made about the story of Jason. His Name was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, released on 2009 is fantastic if you ever come across it.
Another reboot movie was slated for 2018, but last year Paramount had dumped the project. Does there need to ever be another Final Friday? After Jason has been to space or come back to battle Freddy Kruegar, I think he's earned his retirement.