Who Was Jack Skellington BEFORE He Died?: Disney Theory

The Pumpkin King - Intro

Source The Nightmare Before Christmas: The events of the game take place before those of the movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Pumpkin King Share. No winter wonderland in this GBA game. Not a whole lot of originality, either. The Pumpkin King isn't the most timely of licensed products, as more than a decade has passed since the movie the game's based on hit the theaters. But there's something about Jack Skellington and the NBC universe that's attracted the pop culture market to make it a worthwhile videogame franchise, plus the fact that the world fits like a glove anytime during the Halloween holiday.

The game produced for the Game Boy Advance was released in time with the PlayStation and Xbox Oogie's Revenge, and just like those games it does a better job at presenting a virtual Nightmare Before Christmas environment than it does a creative, original, or challenging experience.

It's fun while it lasts, but it's no elaborate Nightmare presentation. The Pumpkin King is a game design that takes place before the situations of the film, so in reality the game's more the Nightmare Before The Nightmare Before Christmas.

It introduces the first meeting between Jack and Oogie, as well as his original encounter with his ragdoll love interest Sally. The story is told through shoddy cutscenes that are more stylized than they are images lifted from the movie. The characters look like themselves, but it'd be even more special if the developers of the game retained the original stop motion appearance of the film than creating a visual style specific to the Game Boy Advance that nearly oversaturates the colors to a very non-nightmarish palette.

Hassle at the Castle is just like the company's past platforming games in that they offer a solid, clearly confident production that doesn't really add anything new to the genre.

In the case of The Pumpkin King, the team bring Jack Skellington into an adventure that's clearly inspired by Castlevania: But the levels are almost entirely barren and only offer a couple of on-screen enemies at one time, and because nearly every enemy drops a health pick-up, it's not easy to die in the game.

The game is clearly aimed at the younger crowd, and this becomes even more evident in the unbelievably predictable boss battles. Though The Pumpkin King has an extensive adventure, it's not chock full of variety. The game revolves around a bug invasion in Halloween Town, so all the enemies are -- surprise surprise -- giant bugs to vanquish.

And not a whole arsenal of bugs, either. Just a giant beetle here, a flying insect there, and they're reused throughout the whole adventure.

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The game does have a decent focus on exploration where it encourages players to find hidden elements to unlock the multiplayer mini-games and conceptual artwork. But these items aren't exactly hard to find -- just go off the beaten, non-signage path and eventually you'll come across a package that contains one of the unlockable items. And, of course, the Castlevania-style map makes it simple to track the unexplored areas.

The Verdict Nightmare Before Christmas might not be all that amazing visually, and audio-wise it's the absolute pits. But it does give kids a solid Nightmare Before Christmas-based adventure, even if it lacks that special "zing" that the unique license could have afforded. But forget the above-average game in the package -- collectors of Nightmare Before Christmas have a nice little knickknack with this GBA game thanks to one of the coolest box designs in the Game Boy Advance library.

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You can help by adding to it. Unfortunately, Oogie heard from his henchmen , Lock, Shock, and Barrel that Jack was scarier than him and sent the henchmen to kidnap Jack.

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