THIRTY TWO DAYS OF HORROR GAMES! This is actually a livestream from last night, but hey, it’s archived here now. Enjoy.
tag 'the revenge of 31 days of horror games'
Eric plays what I consider to be a largely unsung entry in the legendary franchise.
Eric plays Anatomy, and creepy indie game.
Eric plays some Porky’s Haunted Holiday while Kurt and I hang out and jabber about old Looney Tunes that have horror parodies or elements. We made it! Happy Halloween!
Remember when Brasel did a thing for us last week? Well, he turned it into a video! Enjoy!
A follow-up to an episode several years ago, I’m looking at the last entry in the original Ghouls ‘n Ghosts trilogy.
Eric is checking out 2014’s Alien: Isolation!
Today’s article was written by Jetta Rae Robertson who’s been a guest on What a Maneuver, hosts her own wrestling podcast and runs a food blog called Fry Havoc. She’s taking on EA’s weird football monsterpiece of the 16-bit era.
Politicians and celebrities are easy to parody; to mock people who are overly concerned with their public image, you tweak or distort the image. It’s harder to parody something that openly and demonstrably does not give a fuck for the damage done.
Today’s entry comes once again courtesy of Nick Rycar, who is looking at the horrific aspects of a classic RPG and its sequel.
Today we’re going to take a look at yet another game with a colorful aesthetic and cheerful characters that make it an odd choice for an article in a series about horror games. Unlike our last go-around, however, this time we’re not going to need any personal anecdotes or surprising revelations to get to the dark implications at its core; this time, the abyss is right there in the story’s text, if we take the opportunity to see it. Since H.G. Wells popularized the concept more than a century ago, time travel has always been a fertile breeding ground for uniquely existential crises, and today’s topic is no exception. Set the Wayback Machine for 1995, and make sure your flux capacitor is in good working order, because we’re about to get wibbly wobbly and timey wimey with Chrono Trigger.
Everyone has a game or game series that makes their skin crawl, be it Resident Evil, Silent Hill, or any number of very easily defined “horror” games. I’m not much for the horror genre. I’ve never really been a fan of scary movies or spooky stories. While I’ve enjoyed the odd horror game, they have never been and will likely never be a staple in my normal gaming routine. There is one exception to this: The Castlevania series.
When people talk about what makes the older Resident Evil games scary, they usually talk about dogs jumping through windows. While that was shocking, and it very quickly established that you should always be on guard, it isn’t what makes the overall experience scary. Some of the tension of the series comes from the horror, but most of it comes from the survival. Those dogs would be a lot less scary of they were easily dispatched without consequence. Every choice can be a wrong choice, and while it may feel good to blast something, this can leave the player in dire situations.
Eric checks out the decidedly not VR Super NES game based on The Lawnmower Man.
Another video! Roger is back for an Obscure Old Games Halloween special! He’s looking at five exclusive games for five different SEGA systems, all with spooky themes!
Eric checks out “rhythm violence” title Thumper! Is it spooky? Violent? Rhythmic? Watch to find out!
At a glance, you can look at Tokyo Mirage Sessions and go “Oh, it’s Persona with some sort of weird Fire Emblem theme.” And honestly, that’s completely accurate. That’s what it is. But I feel like that really belittles the game as well. All of the menus in Persona 3 and 4 look cool, and catch the eye, but they’re mostly just pretty. They don’t tie into what the game is doing especially well. But even down to the menus in Tokyo Mirage Sessions, the game is trying to push it’s themes forward. It’s trying to say something. It’s a wonderful something.
This installment was written by long-time friend of mine, Jefferson Taylor, who also penned last year’s piece Nightmare in the Dark a similarly off-beat horror-themed title.
In all of my years spent thoroughly enjoying the vast library of the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom, I’d somehow overlooked The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang. This may have been due to the higher profile titles of the time (Super Metroid, Final Fantasy III, Earthworm Jim, etc.) streeting around the same time. This may also have been attributed to the fact that (in comparison to the Japanese release) the U.S. boxart is a substantial turn off, with it’s generic, almost ‘edutainment’ vibe. Whatever the reason(s), I’ve finally paused long enough to give this quaint little action RPG it’s due time in my life, and here’s what it had to offer:
Today’s entry is by our friend Nick Rycar, who is taking a look at what is arguably Peter Molyneux’s last good game.
When September rolls around, I know it’s time to put on my thinking cap. That’s when the annual rallying cry is sounded to the On the Stick extended family and we’re given a singular task for the coming month: Share your best spooky game story. I often find this to be a fairly challenging ask because, quite frankly, I’m a wuss. I’ve never met a jump scare that didn’t actually make me jump, and unsettling imagery tends to linger in my head for quite a long while. In short, I just don’t play that many scary games.
Eric’s been streaming a lot of spooky games on our Twitch channel this month. They’ll all get archived here by the end of the month. But today it’s Albino Lullaby! A game Eric actually Kickstarted, if you can believe that!
You awaken in a dark house, with no memory of what is going on. You stumble around and find a flashlight. Finally, you can see. You walk through the only door in sight and almost trip over a dead body.
Today’s entry was penned by longtime contributor and friend of the site, Jonathon Howard. He’s pretty consistently talked about point and click games for this feature in past years, and, well, here we are this year!
Sierra On-line’s King’s Quest series has always been a hodgepodge of fairy-tale, folklore, and mythic elements combined with a simple unifying narrative and Roberta Williams’ famous, and oft-maligned, puzzles. While this combination sounds simple it was effective enough to make Sierra On-line one of the juggernauts of computer gaming during the 90’s. From its first chapter the series toyed with the horror genre. King’s Quest had two dark underground caves featuring monsters, and the second game featured Dracula ensconced inside a haunted castle. But, it wasn’t until the fourth chapter, The Perils of Rosella, that Sierra and Roberta Williams took their first steps into horror, a journey that would ultimately end in such game franchises as Gabriel Knight, Phantasmagoria, and Shivers.
Nanashi no Game is a horror game for the Nintendo DS developed by Epics and published by Square Enix in 2008. It was one of a few Square Enix games for the system that did not get released outside of Japan. I recall reading about the game a long time ago on Hardcore Gaming 101 and being intrigued, but at the time there was no way to play it in English. Thankfully it received a fan translation, localizing the title as The Nameless Game. There is also a fan translation available for the sequel, Nanashi no Game: Me.
Eric does some streamin’ for this year’s 31 Days! Look for more as the month goes on!
Today’s entry was once again written by friend of the site, Lee Spriggs. He once asked me to send him the Billarm from the Action Cast! to use as an actual alarm. Now that he’s written this, it seems he has a deep love for really obnoxious sounds.
What has no head, no hands, two bombs, and yells CONSTANTLY?
I mean, if you’ve played Serious Sam you know what I’m getting at. Kamikaze bombers.
Have you ever sat down with your phone, ready to relax after a hard day at work with a bit of virtual card game competition, started a game of Hearthstone, and then just thrown the phone across the room because none of your cards had anime tits on them? I mean, we all have, right? Truly, it is Hearthstone’s one weakness. Luckily, there are developers out there to fill this void and make our lives more complete. Cygames has stepped up to the challenge.
This year when Joe asked about what people wanted to write about for the 31 Days, I didn’t actually think I had anything to contribute. Eventually, I decided I would write something about We Happy Few. It was touted as an “indie survival horror” game with a unique twist and aesthetic, so I decided to pick it up. However, I’d not dug in to it much, because it was still in Early Access. It seemed like it was a good fit for the 31 Days, so I volunteered to go ahead and cover it.
I think it’s no surprise that I am a big fan of dragons. I am so big a fan, I’ve written so many words about dragons that my tiny laptop literally cannot handle processing the document. That’s a lot of dragon love. So when I learned that LiEat was a game about a dragon, I was there! And then it turns out that the game says “dragon” when it means moe little girl with magical powers. Not a single scale or cool set of claws! What a shame.
Once I got past this sad reality, though, what was left was a very smart little game about the nature of lies that is wonderfully brief and enjoyable all the way through.
It’s the first of three videos that are part of this year’s 31 Days of Horror Games! Roger’s tying this one into the recently ended Super Summer and talking about Majyuuou, a little-known horror-themed side-scroller for the Super Famicom!
I wouldn’t be writing this right now if it weren’t for On the Stick and Nick Rycar. Reading his article about 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for a previous 31 Days of Horror Games was the tipping point for me to get the game and play it. Now, the third game in the Zero Escape series, Zero Time Dilemma, is out and here I am. The central premise of all the games in the series is that a group of people are forced into a situation where they have to solve puzzles and follow the rules, or they will die. Zero Time Dilemma is a little different, as all the characters are gathered for an experiment where they are to go into isolation together to simulate a trip to Mars. They all have different reasons for signing up for the experiment, but soon after it starts they are all knocked out and wake up to find they are playing this nasty game.
This is another one from one half of the Guy Gardner Colon Warrior team, Jerod Mackert.
Sometimes games invoke fear in ways you wouldn’t expect. Oddly enough, the first time I encountered unexpected terror in a game was playing Taito’s timeless classic Bubble Bobble as a child. I’ll be honest here; Bubble Bobble is not a scary game (though, if you think about it, a game about two children turned into lizards and forced to travel into the center of the earth to fight a drunken elder god is about as frightening a concept as anything else out there). Bubble Bobble‘s aesthetic is completely cheery and optimistic, which is probably why my sister and I have been playing it since I was eight. But there is a dark side to the cave of monsters in the form of one of gaming’s most terrifying enemies: Baron von Blubba.
Today’s entry was written by friend of the site Lee Spriggs. As he points out, this write-up gets spoiler-y, so you may want to take the few minutes to play the game first.
Ok, let’s get the easy part out of the way first: Moirai will take you 10 minutes to play, tops, and it’s free right here. You can install it via Steam or itch.io. Just go do it. It’s right here, at this link. If you read on and ruin this experience for yourself, you’re going to miss out on something unique.
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there are a lot of dating games out there for your phone. They’re not well known, but once you search from them, you get tons of them, in English, even! Many of them are not translated super well, and many of them are so incredibly generic and by the numbers that you really have to wonder who is playing them. On the other hand, there are also plenty that are just a bit out there. I have found a lot of games that have made me laugh through the sheer awkwardness of their titles, descriptions, and intros. Would my life have been complete without knowing of the existence of Forbidden Romance: My Secret Pets!! Animal Boys In Heat!? I think not.
Today’s entry is by the other half of the team behind Guy Gardner Colon Warrior, Jerod Mackert. This one does not contain spoilers for this board game, so everyone should feel free to read on.
October is here, and fall is finally underway. After what seems like an endless summer of miserably hot weather, the leaves are changing, temperatures are lowering and soon we can go outside for more than 30 minutes without melting. What better celebrate than by locking yourself indoors with a few friends for a nice, long game of Arkham Horror? Arkham Horror will indeed take up a good portion of your day, but it’s the perfect game for Halloween, and one of my all-time favorites.
Today’s entry is by one half of the team behind Guy Gardner Colon Warrior, Jenn Mackert. You should check that site out for lampooning of some of the worst of ’90s comics. And let this also act as a big fat SPOILER WARNING if you haven’t played Eversion yet somehow.
Browsing through the Steam tag for “Lovecraftian”, you may spot a game that seems out of place. The banner for Eversion sticks out like a sore tentacle, featuring the full spectrum of color among a host of other games that barely branch out past blood red or putrid green. It’s hard to believe at first glance that what looks like a cheerful little Super Mario Bros. clone has such an authentically Lovecraftian atmosphere.
So Hustle Cat is pretty queer. And I don’t really mean just the obvious things, because there are obvious things. The protagonist, Avery, can use any of three different pronoun sets, and you can pair those with masculine or feminine builds of a variety of skin tones as you want. I must say it was kind of a treat to be able to play a dating game protagonist that actually has a similar build to me, for once. You’ve got a selection of both guys and girls you can pursue in the game, so your sexuality is covered as well. It’s got the obvious sort of stuff someone like me, who plays a lot of dating games and is quite gay, wants from them but so rarely gets. It’s very nice and queer.
Welcome, boils and ghouls, to the sixth annual 31 Days of Horror Games feature here at On the Stick. We’ve got a full month of spooky videogames being covered by a bunch of cool folks, so I hope you’re as excited as I am.
As has become my wont, I’ll be starting this whole thing off with an older game (and, as has also become the case more often than not, it will be a licensed game). The game this year is Konami’s 1992 NES outing, Monster in My Pocket. And if we’re going to talk about it, we should probably discuss the license.