In the ultimate entry for The Return of 31 Days of Horror Games, I bring you a puppet talking about an import only Ghostbusters game. Enjoy!
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The Halloween of SEGA! I look at two Ghostbusters games developed by Compile and published by SEGA.
And don’t forget, I have a Patreon page for the videos now, so if you want to help me out, you can go here.
Our buddy Stiv Tramer returns to hide from an alien menace.
Alien is my favorite movie. In fact I watched it just the other night in a theater, and the film is still riveting and suspenseful even after having watched it some dozen times or so. It’s an almost perfect alchemical product, a b-level haunted house movie elevated by its precise staging and great actors. I’ve been waiting for a good game based on it — not Aliens — basically forever. The last time one was made was in the early 1980s, for a handful of British micros. So, we come to Alien: Isolation, a game that in no way could ever live up to my fevered imagination of what an Alien game “should” be. But it comes so close, reaches so ambitiously near, that it’s all the more frustrating.
Our buddy Nick Rycar feels the full-force wrath of nostalgia in today’s entry.
I’ve made a huge mistake.
See, when Joe sent out this year’s call for spooky Halloween articles, my immediate knee-jerk, nearly subconscious, thought was “_Hugo’s House of Horrors_!” I couldn’t tell you why. Truth be told, I remembered next to nothing about it, other than that I played it when I was young. Still, I thought it, I typed it, I sent it, and so it was that I found myself assigned to write an article on it. I’m still not sure why it popped into my head, but at least now I can tell you a little more about it: turns out it’s not great.
Stephen Hopkins of Poverty Game Night returns again to escape the embrace of the vampire.
My love of Castlevania is what initially got me interested enough in Dracula to read the novel back when I was in high school. Since then, I have played a whole bunch of Castlevania games and watched a whole bunch of Dracula movies, not all of the movies, because that is impossible, but a lot. One of the things that is very intriguing about the story of Dracula is that it has had as many interpretations as Castlevania‘s Dracula has had resurrections. The Dracula of the novel is a completely different character than that of most other versions, but that’s cool. The subtext of sexuality in the character a hundred years ago is the plain text of sexuality today. Anyway, I’m not here to write some college thesis, I’m here to simply write about some Draculas.
Friend of the site and loyal What a Maneuver listener Lee Spriggs returns to battle the Nazi menace.
In 30 seconds, a man I barely know is going to sacrifice himself to help me.
A minute after that, I’ll be crawling through the destruction he created in order to find the next piece of a grand plan to take down the Nazis.
I could actually be describing several different parts of Wolfenstein: The New Order with those two sentences, but there’s one scene in particular that I’m thinking of. It starts out with a short conversation, and ends with an explosion that I wasn’t expecting at all. Wolfenstein: TNO does a great job of conveying horror in a way that I haven’t often experienced in a shooter, a sense of dread and tension and shock that combines in one of my favorite games of the last several years.
Hello, everybirdie! I know you’re super excited to hear me ramble about the bird smooching game, but I feel it important to note that I am literally going to spoil everything that happens at St. PigeoNation’s. Hatoful Boyfriend is a ridiculous idea for a game, but it is legitimately heartfelt and a wonderful experience to play, even if you’re not a dating sim kinda person. Well, I think so, anyway. If you haven’t played it, I highly suggest it! But if you don’t care, at least you’ve been warned.
Friend of the site Kenny Riot returns to brave a haunted village with only a camera.
So, a good friend of mine, Caitlin, is a big fan of this survival horror series that I’ve been hearing about since its creation, Fatal Frame, yet I had personally never played any of them until she convinced me to try one of ‘em. So, she started me on the second entry in the series, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. Now, Survival Horror as a genre, and I, have a bit of a tense relationship. It’s not like I’m some kind of wuss when it comes to those games, it’s that certain tropes of the genre kinda get on my nerves, and those tropes ARE present in this game, but I digress. The point is that despite my personal issues with the genre, Fatal Frame II does a whole lot of things right, and firstly, I have to give props to the setting and premise. You’ve got these twin sisters, Mio (who you play as) and Mayu (the damsel in distress) who are visiting their favorite spot to play at when they were children, a forest in Minikami, when a butterfly entrances Mayu, and so she follows its lead. Mio, trying to not lose her sister, follows her, and the two of them end up in a strange and seemingly abandoned village. Turns out, an urban legend known as the “Lost Village” is true, and now they’re in it. Mayu is now acting strange and there’s all these butterflies all over the place. Mio has to try to get her sister back and get them both out of there. Why? Well, play the game and find out.
Spoiler alert: Cursed Mountain is about a mountain that is cursed. That is sort of my biggest issue with the game. There isn’t much in the way of mystery, and I just don’t like horror that’s that simple and explainable. A dude goes missing on a big mountain, his brother goes to find him, it turns out there was some ritual for blessing the climb that went wrong and so the spirits of the mountain are angry. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good angry ghost story. I really like some of the Ju-on movies, but there just isn’t anything interesting about the ghosts in this game. There is a lot of depth to the ghosts in the Fatal Frame games, with different personalities and stories, but in Cursed Mountain they are just angry monsters that want to grab people.
There are relatively few touchstones that we talk about when it comes to the survival horror genre, and it’s not particularly a coincidence that the two with the most enduring legacy came out at opposite ends of the Playstation era, and with nearly opposed intentions of how to best manipulate and frighten the player. Resident Evil, with its b-movie goofiness and jump scares, helped kickstart the Playstation era. Silent Hill came out only a year before the Playstation 2, a much more confident exercise in psychological horror. The surprising and nasty ways in which it intimidates, confuses, and frightens the player could only come from designers who fully understood the limitations and capabilities of the genre they were working in, and how to subvert them.
From the very beginning, there’s the serious sense that something — everything — is wrong.
Friend of the site Justin Hoeger dons a skull mask and trades whale oil for today’s installment.
In Dishonored, you’re a wronged man out for revenge on evil people, and you have plenty of sharp objects to stick in them, and many ways to sneak around without being noticed before and after. At first glance, maybe it seems more Assassin’s Creed than City of the Living Dead.
Lee Spriggs returns to type at some zombies in today’s installment.
My generation learned to type with Mavis Bacon and Mario Teaches Typing. Someday, if I am so lucky, my own children will grow up learning to type with THE TYPING OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL!
Ok, that’s probably an overstatement. Although there’s a surprising amount of educational material in this game, ranging from how many permutations of the word “fuck” you can fit into a cutscene, to various creative vulgarities like “fetid fondle” and then, with the DLC, a whole bunch of Shakespeare!
Nick Rycar’s silhouette returns to write about LIMBO.
Atmosphere is a tricky thing. We’ve all encountered the same scenario at some point or another, I’m sure. Thousands of developers spend hundreds of hours tweaking every knob in the next-generation toolbox, and while the end result might be a particularly attractive rendering of a kobold’s lair or the New York subway system or whatever, within minutes our brains are able to see past the paper-thin veneer and realize that we’re traipsing through what amount to a series of shoebox dioramas connected by cardboard tubes. In other words, the experience is dull, samey, and despite the fancy trappings, not at all immersive.
I’m not even sure how I came to have Knock-Knock in my Steam collection. When we were putting together the list of games to cover, I realized I had it but had never gotten around to playing it. In this state of blissful ignorance, I went ahead and fired it up. What I found was an odd game that didn’t scare me so much as make me mildly annoyed.
Friend of the site Lee Spriggs contributed this article. In his spare time, he enjoys wearing luchador masks in his Twitter picture.
Do you like watching meters tick down on the screen, listening to someone gasping frantically for air and eventually succumbing to death? If so, do I have the game for you!
Capsule is a minimalist game, from the designer of Canabalt and Hundreds on iOS, both games that had simple hooks, but compelling gameplay. You play the entire game on a radar screen, with nothing but the arrow keys and the space bar. The way the game works is this: you are a crosshair on the screen, and you use the forward and back keys to throttle back and forth, and the arrow keys to turn. The space bar sends out a pulse that helps to identify things nearby, indicated on the screen by small squares, diamonds and circles. And that’s it.
Jerod returns after his triumphant Silent Hill 3 entry to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Behold the wonder of his creative powers.
Chris Redfield stood up and walked away from the Smith machine, catching his breath. He had been at it all day, as he had every day for the past three months. He toweled himself off and took a look in the mirror. He had gotten huge over these months, but he knew he still had a long way to go. Ever since he had gotten back from Antarctica, Chris knew that he had to get his act together if he was to continue the fight against Umbrella.
Jessica returns to educate us in the ways of the science machine.
Every death starts off the same way.
You awake in a field. You’re not sure how you got there, or why you’re there. All you know is that as your vision clears, there’s a tall, gaunt man standing above you.
“You don’t look so good, pal,” he says. Then he’s gone.
You shake your head. Did you dream this? Is this a mistake? The pinch on your arm feels real. So does the dark, wet earth beneath you. None of it helps to make any sense of what’s happening to you.
You know nothing, Jon Snow.
This article was contributed by friend of the site Kenny Riot, who enjoys music, fighting games and giving ridiculous birthday shout-outs on Facebook.
So, Sweet Home is a video game adaptation of a Japanese film of the same name, made by Capcom for the Nintendo Famicom _. It’s said that this game, which plays somewhat like an RPG, is widely considered to be the precursor to Capcom’s later hit Survival Horror series, _Resident Evil. Now, the game never made it to American shores in a legal manner, but upon learning of the game, I managed to play it via emulation (sorry), and there was something specific about Sweet Home that really stuck out to me: The Soundtrack. Composed by Junko Tamiya, it’s just really amazing how much the soundtrack affected me as I played, and even long after I had stopped. Despite the low tech nature of 8-bit music, a lot of that soundtrack managed to creep me the hell out! Many of the tracks, such as “Central Lobby,” “Upper Floor,” “Caverns,” and “Encounter” have a really subtle ominous vibe to them, and considering the game takes place in a haunted mansion, it really helps set the mood and get your imagination running… even though it’s going to end up running into a dark place with unspeakable horrors.
I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out my angle on this one. I feel like Silent Hill 3 didn’t make much of a splash when it was released, or at least nobody seems to talk about it much these days. I might be a bit biased; this game came out in that awkward period between graduating college and finding a real job, so I had plenty of time to play the hell out of it. As a result, I’m probably looking at it in a kinder light than most. After giving it some thought, I think that Silent Hill 3 probably gets a bad rap because of it’s shallow story, though the game itself is exactly what you’d want from a Silent Hill game.
At Gamescom this year, a new horror game called P.T. was announced. A teaser
was released on PS4 at the same time. There was a lot of curiosity about this new horror IP, and people dug into the teaser. Breaking through the game’s secrets unlocked a video that revealed that P.T. was actually a promo for a new Silent Hill game from Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. Kojima had faked everybody out yet again. Given the participation of Kojima and del Toro, the existence of the new game blazed through the Internet, but the conversation was dominated more by the quality of P.T. and what the demo might tell us about the quality on the forthcoming game.
This article was penned by friend of the site Jessica Sacs.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Crypt of the Necrodancer.
Oh, it might not look like much on the outside looking in. But it’s a surprise delight and a runaway hit.
Maybe it’s the way it goes all-in on its gleeful hamminess. The game’s attract mode depicts our plucky, sensibly-dressed grave robber digging around where she’s likely unwelcome. They told me I was too young, her bitter voice over declares. They told me I needed more training. Her angry mutterings all sound remarkably like your adolescent fist-shakings at the sky (at least, they resembled my own), but it’s played very straight. Her fall through the earth, her death and subsequent resurrection at the hands of the grim Necrodancer – all as straight as you can get from a game that had a double serving of Campbellian influences.
Friend of the site and all around good dude Nick Rycar contributed this article.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I know Fallout 3 isn’t a horror game. Sure, there are zombies, ‘roided out mutants and all manner of post-apocalyptic horror, but they’re presented with such cheerful, comic glee that it’s hard to argue the experience is ever really meant to scare you. Still, I have to admit it got pretty close a few months ago.
Amy and I were in for a lazy evening, and she suggested I play a game for her to half-watch as she dozed off. Seeing as she’s a big fan of all things post-apocalyptic, naturally I thought Fallout 3 would be a good fit. What happened after about an hour or so in, however, I never saw coming.
D is a game that does not respect your time. In fact, D seems custom built to not give a single fuck about your time. D cannot be paused and it cannot be saved. And if it is not completed within two hours, the game isn’t over and you must start over from the beginning. I would say the cutscenes can’t be skipped, but the game is basically just one long cutscene. Yet, in spite of all of this, all of these things that I feel would make many modern game players recoil from the thing as though it were toxic to the touch, the game is good.
Oh me, oh my. For the FOURTH year running, we’ve got 31 Days of Horror Games coming your way starting TOMORROW. We’ve got a ton of rad people writing about them, too! And some video content, of course. AND… AND AND AND all of our streams for October will be extra SPOOOOOOOOOOKY. Starting with tomorrow’s. 10pm, eastern, Twitch.tv/OnTheStick, you know how it goes.
So, get ready, because we have a TON of content ready for you. And, of course, check out CountdowntoHalloween.com by clicking on the Creature above for a ton of other sites doing the same thing. Cheers!