Since it’s Halloween time it seems as good a time as to talk about my favorite spooky/scary games, or at least some of them. I’ve always loved Halloween but for the most part I’ve always had something that stopped me from fully enjoying it, be it work, or a busy life, or not enough time to even decorate properly, there’s always been something and even in the midst of my own apartment being renovated I’m trying to find ways to enjoy it. Now I will be the first to admit that scary things (movies, games, tv shows), well, scare me. I’m not a huge fan of things being gross just for the sake of being gross but still, I do enjoy a good thriller and even a good horror movie when the mood strikes. I will also admit that when playing scary games, depending on the game, usually I end up playing from save point to save point (so about five minutes at a time when I tried tackling Dead Space). In short, I love scary games they just, you know, scare me, but regardless of that fact I want to talk about some of my favorite ones so do follow along and enjoy the ride.
Layers of Fear
I want to start off with a game that scares the ever-loving hell out of me and ranks as one of my favorite scary games of all time. I honestly did not know what I was getting in to when I first heard about it and once it was one of the Games with Gold on Xbox, I figured I wasn’t out much as far as trying so I gave it a shot. I don’t swear much in my posts, but holy shit did this game terrify me, I was literally only able to play it a few minutes at a time between the jump scares and the super creepy atmosphere I was constantly on edge. All in all, there weren’t a lot of jump scares it was more about the environment, the mood, and especially the story which had to be one of the most twisted ones I’d experienced in a long time. Now up until this writing I hadn’t played in months up until the morning of writing this entry for an early morning stream, but one of the biggest thing that draws me in is the heavy focus on exploration and story since combat isn’t a driving factor (it doesn’t even exist to my knowledge in the game).
Never knowing what was around the next corner, and often times turning around to a very different setting than what you left, never knowing what was behind you or even around you…I really do love this game and eventually I’ll be able to finish it, hopefully.
Anyone who grew up in an arcade most likely knows of this one, wandering around a carnival and blasting creatures that nightmares are made of, it was less scare and more just the setting that made it creepy yet incredibly entertaining for me. Basically it was a light gun game in the shape of shotguns as you wandered around, clowns were prominent of course because, why not, but also many other nightmarish creatures, and overall it was just a good bit of fun and it was my personal favorite next to House of the Dead 2 anytime I was able to get to an arcade. Now I will concede that it’s been years, actually decades, since I’ve played this one mostly because arcades in my town have gone somewhat out of style and the few that are still around mainly have an overload of racing games, but I still loved it when I was younger and if I ever get the chance to play it again I wouldn’t even hesitate.
Silent Hill 4: The Room
Now I will admit I was never a huge fan of Silent Hill, I remember when the first game came out and everyone told me how terrifying and scary it was and when I first played it I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I wasn’t scared (which was odd since at the time even Super Metroid scared me), I wasn’t freaked out, maybe it was that I didn’t get far enough in but I also didn’t have the patience for it either so I quickly put it aside…and then “The Room” came out.
While for the most part it wasn’t too scary for me to handle, I actually made it much farther than I thought I would, but the atmosphere is what did it for me and I notice that’s a trend amongst scary games for me. Sure jump scares get me, no question, but when the environment is done just right I’ll spend a great deal of time trying to get from point A to point B, longer than I should, because I’m always expecting something just based on the mood the game presents. If I’m being completely honest though, the one thing that actually did really creep me out was a room with a giant head in it, I mean come on, and those eyes, I get shivers just thinking about it now.
Resident Evil 0
I love Resident Evil, as a series of course but there are a few that stand out that I really love and Zero (yes, I’m writing out the word) is without question my favorite. I know at the time the feelings were mixed on the game, ditching item boxes for item dropping which most definitely made things a little more complicated (though if I’m right, that was the intent in the first place, to make the game more difficult) as well as adding a new partner zapping system which allowed you to hot-swap between Billy and Rebecca to solve the games puzzles. Like I said, I loved it but I also loved essentially seeing the original game from the perspective of Bravo team plus Rebecca Chambers was always my favorite character in the RE series so seeing her get her own game (well basically) was pretty awesome as well.
This was also the first RE game I ever finished without even considering a cheat, and I still have no idea how I managed to finish it without extra help as I needed it for the first three games plus RE4 as well. Tis a mystery that will never be solved for sure.
Finally I’m adding Bioshock because why the hell not. When I first tried the demo I “noped” the hell right out as soon as the first slicers showed up before the game even started that’s how spooked I got. Eventually I forced myself to try it and I’m proud of myself for making it through the entire game. Between the environment and location, the eerie setting, the twisted baddies, the entire game was nightmare fuel for me and oh how I loved every second of it. It wasn’t even the jump scares that got to me to be honest, it was always the environment more than anything, everything about the environment alone was done so well that it always kept me on edge because it always felt like there would be a jump scare around the corner and a lot of it was mostly my mind playing tricks on me.
Over time I’ve played through a couple of times I believe, and I’ve played both sequels but if given the opportunity I’d always choose the original each time.
There you have it, not all my favorites but ones that stand out the most and why. I hope you enjoyed reading, I know I enjoyed writing it, until next time…as Elvira would say “unpleasant dreams”. Sorry, it’s late, I’m getting loopy, but I’ll see ya next week folks.