Bio
blue internet nezumi

5⭐perfect video game. without meaningful flaw
4 1/2⭐ amazing video game. does almost everything right
4⭐ delightful video game. not revolutionary, but does little wrong
3 1/2⭐ good video game. i have some reservations, but it has appeal
3⭐ middling. a fine video game, but i don't love it
2 1/2⭐functional, but i don't like it
2⭐ it has problems
1 1/2⭐ it has a lot of problems
1⭐ legit miserable
1/2⭐actually offensive. i wish this didn't exist
Personal Ratings
1★
5★

Badges


Shreked

Found the secret ogre page

Elite Gamer

Played 500+ games

Liked

Gained 10+ total review likes

2 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 2 years

Donor

Liked 50+ reviews / lists

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others

Noticed

Gained 3+ followers

Roadtrip

Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap

Gamer

Played 250+ games

N00b

Played 100+ games

Favorite Games

Kirby's Adventure
Kirby's Adventure
Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Cuphead
Cuphead
Metroid II: Return of Samus
Metroid II: Return of Samus

631

Total Games Played

001

Played in 2024

546

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Spanky's Quest
Spanky's Quest

Jan 02

Little Nemo: The Dream Master
Little Nemo: The Dream Master

Jul 30

Cuphead
Cuphead

Jul 02

Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course

Jul 01

Castlevania: Bloodlines
Castlevania: Bloodlines

Jun 06

Recently Reviewed See More

Poor, strange Little Nemo: The Dream Master. A strange little licensed platformer that's too ubiquitous for those who lived in the era to truly be a cult classic, but too obscure to be a regular one. Among NES and Famicom games, this is one that I've long known to exist, but not one that I've seen much acknowledgement for much deeper than that.

I didn't think much of it myself from what I'd seen or played at first. It was Capcom quality, but it was easy to look past it before I played it because there were so many stronger, or at least more well-known, outings by the same developers on the console. As a game it doesn't offer anything groundbreaking to the player, and the unique ideas it has are only somewhat committed to. Open, exploration-focused levels are broken up by straightforward autoscrollers that effortlessly "hide" all progression items at the goal itself, nullifying the game's central design entirely and reducing itself to a series of strange platforming challenges. The animals you sedate, skin alive, and pilot become reduced in function for several levels to their most rudimentary actions, with some only appearing once and never again. Its design is definitely not as airtight as something like Ducktales or whichever particular Mega Man game is supposedly the best one these days.

I say this out of love. Because despite everything, this game is a literal dream. It's a delightful reverie of a tough-as-nails NES platformer on par with Capcom's other outings, but with so many unique settings and circumstances that it never gets tiring. The artwork brings to mind Windsor McCay's own drawings, dream-like without being derivative. The settings are imaginative and largely unlike anything in any other NES game at the time, taking place in defined locations while still making for challenging design and puzzles to conquer. The soundtrack is at times dreamlike, at times whimsical, at times daunting, with the waltz-like pieces of the game's cutscenes and the upside-down house level being particular stand-outs. The game drops everything it's taught you previously about its level structure to put you into a house of toys where you ride on a giant toy train and avoid model planes and hot-air balloons, and it's a GLORIOUSLY fun time on the strength of the jaunty little background tune and the beautiful artwork of the walls and windows you pass by. And that's without mentioning the delightful little interstitials between stages that directly harken back to the original comic's structure. Glorious.

Even the game's climactic final three-stage gauntlet, which you have to replay from the beginning if you game over -- against the spirit of the game's lenient continue system prior -- succeeds perhaps not gameplay-wise, but on sheer TONE. It's a seriously awesome bit of game design that shows that both you and the game have evolved just as its protagonist has. The fact that you aren't even given a proper weapon until the final act of the game is a design choice I legitimately ADORE, and one I definitely think some modern games could stand to learn from on the sheer strength of both how little and how much it changes, especially tonally.

I don't think Little Nemo: The Dream Master is one of the best NES games. It's outclassed enough by some of its contemporaries in terms of being a cohesive, well-oiled experience that I would not be surprised if the general impression it gets from players past its time is middling at best. But it cruises by so well on the sheer creativity and charm that I can't decry it in good faith. It does things wrong as a game, but it's such a delight in terms of sheer vibe that it's quickly become one of my favorites I've played. If you can get your hands on it, I can't recommend it enough; it's not too demanding as a challenge until the final act, and if you can look past some of its jank, it's an amazing game to play in a single session or two.