Into the Vault: Predator (NES)

It’s time for a look back into the sordid past of licensed games based on properties owned by Disney! The Predator franchise is a more recent acquisition thanks to the Fox deal announced several years ago at this point but also one that you would think doesn’t fit the Disney mold and they wouldn’t know what to do with it if they tried. Though to be fair, neither has Fox or for that matter most of the companies that have tried to make video games based on the popular franchise. You can count the number of good Predator movies and games on one had and arguably still have a couple of digits left unused.

However, in the year 2022, things are suddenly looking way better for the future of the Predator franchise with the recent release of Prey, an astoundingly excellent sequel on Hulu that stands right up there with the Schwarzenegger classic. Whether this means a fresh shot in the arm in terms of games based on the franchise remains to be seen, but at least we’ve got some positive buzz for the first time in years.

And with that fresh buzz, I thought it might be a good opportunity to look back at the first game based on the original movie, a game that really has all the hallmarks of a rushed licensed product that has little to do with the property it is based on.

First off, Predator for the NES just has some very weird things going on in it. Clearly, they got the rights to use Arnold’s likeness in some fashion because he’s right there on the cover and in what passes for cut-scenes, but the in-game model bears no resemblance whatsoever, it’s just a very generic-looking dude with really barely any defining characteristics period.

Though the movie sports some fantastic action sequences, Predator doesn’t really translate well to a good video game experience sticking to the movie, so obviously some liberties had to be taken, but boy these are some weird liberties with radioactive scorpions, alien rocks, and so forth.

And all that would be kind of a fun weird thing if Predator for the NES was any fun to play at all instead of the absolute exercise in frustration it is. You start pretty much every level with just your fists which are pretty useless and while you can find weapons in the level the enemies are so cheap and reappear so easily its best to just run past them so Predator really is more of a 2D platformer than anything else and the jumping and hit detection is absolutely atrocious.

You can tell the developers even knew they made a terrible game because you can literally get stuck in parts of a level with no way out and your only option is to “self-destruct” and give up one of your very few lives handed out to you. This is not some weird easter egg, it’s literally right in the instruction booklet.

So unfortunately instead of being a fun little oddity, Predator for the NES is really just another in a long line of poorly made licensed games with some weird quirks to it that might’ve been interesting if again it was any fun to play at all but I think like me most would just be done after about 30ish minutes of absolute frustration.

That’s all for today, but tomorrow is the opening night of Gamescom so I’m hoping there will be something there worth writing about. If not, I’ll have something else before the end of the month so see ya real soon!

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Main Street Electrical Arcade

All about Disney games, past present and future. Mix of reviews, opinion pieces and anything else that fits here.