‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Game Strangely Used ‘Devil May Cry’ and ‘Bayonetta’ Fighting Mechanics

The Tim Burton and Henry Selick stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas marks an annual Halloween tradition for several families. However, it marks a whole different tradition for gamers. When adapting The Nightmare Before Christmas movie into a game, few would suspect it to have influences from the Devil May Cry and Bayonetta series.

Halloween Jack-O'-Lanterns at 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' screening
Halloween Jack-O’-Lanterns at ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ screening | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge’ video game features

The game takes place one year after the film, serving as a sort of sequel. Oogie Boogie returns and tries to take over the holiday worlds with the help of his minions, Lock, Shock, and Barrel.

In addition to returning fans to Tim Burton’s twisted fantasy world, several actors return. Chris Sarandon returned as Jack, taking over his singing role from Danny Elfman. Ken Page voiced the villainous Oogie Boogie once more.

Paul Reubens and Glenn Shadix also returned, voicing Lock, and the town Mayor, respectively.

The official genre of The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge is ‘action-adventure hack and slash.’

However, the film features next to no fighting at all. In the climactic face-off between Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie, Jack avoids a few traps. The game features heavy combat as Jack fights ghouls, skeletons, and demented toys.

Strangely, the game takes inspiration from the Devil May Cry and Bayonetta series in terms of fighting.

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge’ had the same developers as ‘Devil May Cry’ and ‘Bayonetta’

‘Action-adventure hack and slash’ games are an entire genre, but what makes The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge similar to Devil May Cry and Bayonetta in particular?

Well, all three games feature similar names in their development teams.

Both Devil May Cry and The Nightmare Before Christmas saw development from Capcom

Producer Tatsuya Minami, Planner U-Sake Hiwada, and Cinematic Designer Naoki Moro were just three names that appeared between the credits of The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge and the Devil May Cry and Bayonetta series, TheGamingBritShow notes.

However, The Nightmare Before Christmas game actually predates several Devil May Cry titles and the entire Bayonetta series.

Some mechanics carried over into future games

While Devil May Cry and Bayonetta became gaming juggernauts, The Nightmare Before Christmas game did not rate too well with critics.

The Xbox version received slightly higher scores than the PlayStation 2 version. However, both landed in the 60% range, according to Metacritic.

However, many mechanics found in The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge would influence both Devil May Cry and Bayonetta.

Grappling mechanics, dodge rolls, and even alternate animations to stop from spamming the same moves all originated in The Nightmare Before Christmas game.

Everyone needs a start somewhere. For several developers who would work on massive gaming series, the Halloween classic marked a significant turning point.

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