Games: Friday The 13th on Nintendo's Switch offers gamers a feast of hand-held horror

Jason is back to haunt Nintendo's Switch with a new hand-held conversion of Friday The 13th
Neil McGreevy

Friday The 13th (Switch)

By: Gun Media

IT'S BEEN over 30 years since a hockey-masked maniac last graced a Nintendo console, when the hilariously poor Friday The 13th had NES players chucking rocks at an 8-bit Jason Voorhees.

However, the lumbering lunatic has been scaring up good times on PS4 and Xbox since 2017 in a game that, once early bugs were slaughtered, has become a firm favourite for murderous multiplayer mobs.

Now, Jason finally gets his murder on in portable form with a bells-and-whistles port to the Switch.

It may have been a shameless Halloween rip-off, but the original Friday The 13th movie spawned one of the biggest horror franchises of the 80s. Counting reboots, there have been 12 flicks chronicling the misadventures of the Voorhees clan to date – with interest in a 13th ironically scant.

And there's a lot of love for the franchise in Gun Media's game, which finally saw light of day in 2017 after the original movie's director and writer duked it out in court over the rights.

A game of campfire cat and mouse, one player controls Jason while up to seven others play the counsellors at Crystal Lake. Jumping into a game means rolling the dice to decide your role and, while he may look like a Belfast Giants goalie who's let himself go, slipping on Jason's mask is incredible fun.

If slaughtering innocents rankles, just think of it as a bundle of annoying American teens ganging up on a mentally disabled man – so go nuts on your counsellor quarry. The teens range from the jock and nerd to the stoner and prankster, while a range of Jason models run the gamut of his many cinematic incarnations.

As a counsellor, you'll stymie Jason by laying traps or staggering him with weapons, collaborating with your partners to survive long enough to escape as he stalks his barely-legal quarry. But while its focus on cooperation is straight out of Sesame Street, the violence is more Elm Street as Jason, hunting the unhappy campers of Crystal Lake with a rusty machete, puts some manners on a gaggle of horny teens.

Everything from the voice acting and 80s slasher ambience to a score from the original movie's composer screams authenticity. And in this Ultimate Slasher Edition, Friday The 13th is brimming with goodies, offering every dose of DLC, single-player challenges, Jason skins and the Virtual Cabin exploration mode.

Of course, being on Switch, corners have been cut, with rougher textures and lighting effects. And as a game which demands a rock-solid online connection, you won't be straying too far from your wi-fi.

But with a whole lotta love for the source material and more slashing than an incontinent racehorse, Friday The 13th is a brilliant homecoming for the hockey-masked horror hero on Nintendo hardware. Scary enough, in fact, to give you paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Go on, look it up.

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