Friday, October 24, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 24: Night Trap for Sega CD

Day 24: Night Trap - Sega CD

Night Trap was my Halloween game for 2009, I had just acquired a Sega CD and Shining Force and Night Trap were on the top of my list of games I wanted to play. Night Trap was released in October of 1992 (finally, a game that understands timing) and unbeknown to me was a game about vampires. I didn't own a Sega CD as a kid and I didn't even know anyone who owned one. To say Night Trap was not on my radar would be an understatment, but that would all change by Xmas 1993. In 1993 the Congressional hearings about violent video games would occur and Night Trap would be named as a prime offender. The result of the hearings would have Night Trap pulled from shelves of many stores, and whispered about by all the kids I knew. Wild rumors were be passed back and forth, they filmed actual murders, that the girl from Different Strokes get naked, that it was so violent that people actually threw up when watching it. Obviously that was all a bunch of nonsense but none of us had a Sega CD to see for ourselves. One thing is for sure, the Sega Cool Factor was on the rise amongst kids.

Amid all the controversy I was never mentioned that this game was about vampires, and I wouldn't find out until sometime in 2006 when I wrote a paper in college about Controversial Video Games. The lore and the subject matter were more than enough to put this on my must play list, but alas the hype, as it unusually is, was overblown. The controls are rough, the story is weak, the video is pretty grainy and worst of all, it just wasn't fun. Night Trap did not deliver, and it's sad that it is now known for it's controversy rather than the fact that it was pushing the envelope when it came to FMV in games.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 23: Splatterhouse for TurboGrafx 16

Day 23: Splatterhouse - TurboGrafx 16

My first encounter with Splatterhouse was at a friends house, well friend is too loose a term, kid I met on the street that days house.This kid was talking about how cool TG16 was and how the NES sucked and that he had this game Splatterhouse where you got to play as Jason from Friday the 13th. He went on describing the game and I was interested, what kid doesn't want to play as Jason, rather than be chased by Jason all game. I can't remember this kids name but I remember him playing Splatterhouse, and all the gore guts in the background. I was so ready, and I am just sitting their waiting for my turn when this kids mom gets home unexpectedly. Apparently he wasn't suppose to have anyone in the house when his parents weren't home and especially not some kid he just met on the street. I was tossed out, the kid was in trouble, and I wouldn't play Splatterhouse on the TG16 until 2008.

In 2008 for my Birthday I got a TG16 Express and the first game I purchased was Splatterhouse. I played through it in pretty much one sitting, thankfully I had the power adapter for the Express. Splatterhouse was orginally released in the arcades and was ported to the TG16 in 1990. The series has several sequels including 2 for the Sega Genesis. It's most recent release is simply called Splatterhouse and was a multi-platform title that appeared on the 360 and PS3 released in November 2010. I know I keep saying it, but the companies that pick these release days are doing a terrible job.

Splatterhouse has nothing to do with Friday the 13th

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 22: Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge - Xbox

Day 22: Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge - Xbox

It's a bit on the nose, but Nightmare Before Christmas does make me think of Halloween, I almost feel like maybe it should just be headed under Xmas but the line is pretty blurry.  This game is pretty simplistic but the art direction is good and that makes it worth playing. It was released in here in the states in October 2005

Fun facts: about this game, it was actually made by Capcom, and the PAL cover is way better than the NTSC cover.

This is Halloween

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 21: Castlevania 2 Simon's Quest

Day 21:  Castlevania 2 Simon's Quest

Simon's Quest is one of my favorite Castlevania games, I know that is not the most popular opinion as this game has been panned by a few popular game reviewers. The problem with reviews of old games in a modern world is the complete lack of context, also those reviews are not considering how important this game was to the series. Everyone Castlevania fan will tell you how Symphony of the Night revolutionized the series and took it to the next level but very few seem to realize or at least admit the first nonlinear Castlevania with RPG elements was Simon's Quest. Simon's Quest was also the first game in the series to give us a peak into the larger world that was outside the Castle. Simon's Quest showed us how the towns were affected, how the the evil of Dracula had invaded the minds of the people and the land itself. Without Simon's Quest who knows if we ever get a Symphony of the Night, I am not taking anything away from SOTN, but rather giving Simon's Quest its due respect. Now that my Castlevania 2 rant is over I guess I can talk about how it applies to Halloween for me.

Castlevania is very much something I identify as Halloween, and it is a series that I visit every October but at the tail end of September in 1988 I received in the mail issue 2 of Nintendo Power which featured Castlevania 2 on its cover. The first issue of NP featured a very kid friendly claymation cover but, this cover was far more adult featuring a beheaded Dracula, blood red mist, and a creepy skull. My child's mind was on fire and Castlevania 2 is all I would thing about until I got it for Xmas later that year.

Simon's Quest also gave us this gem.

Author's Note: The rant I have in defense of Castlevania 2 is almost identical to the one I have for Zelda 2, I feel both games are under appreciated and not recognized as bold titles that took daring steps to advance their series. These games are the middle children in their respective series and as a middle child myself I feel the need to stand up for them.

The Morning Sun Has Vanquished The Horrible Night

Monday, October 20, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 20: Deadly Premonition Xbox 360 / PS3

Day 20: Deadly Premonition - Xbox 360 / PS3

Deadly Premonition is a horror game that is both very interesting and surprisingly terrible. This game is unique for placing the sandbox world style inside a horror title, with changing weather, time of day, triggered events, and nonlinear game play. The game begins with a gruesome murder scene in it's opening that reels you in, making you want to know more. The  town that is the setting of the game is very strange and unsettling, giving off a heavy Twin Peaks vibe. The murder, the town, and the strangeness of the game are all of it's best parts but even as good as those are it is marred by terrible dialogue and worse controls. I started this as one of my Halloween games for 2013 but I have not finished it. I really want to know how Deadly Premonition ends and I think watching a play through on YouTube might be the way to go. I recommend everyone who is into survival horror or Twin Peaks checks this game out, even it it just by watching a play though.

Fun Facts: This game has a Directors Cut on the PS3, It has an interactive guide available on the iPad,  and in 2012 Guinness Book of Worlds Records stated this is the most Polarizing Survival Horror game of all time.

I See A Play though In My Future

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 19: Simpson's Tapped Out For Mobile Devices

Day 19: Simpson's Tapped Out - Mobile Devices

I  D'ohn't (sorry) know how to talk about Tapped Out since it is a mobile game, and freemium. In general many gamers think these kinds of games are the scourge of the earth, since they allow non-gamers to quantify video games into some lesser form of art or skill or for people who only play games on their phone to identify themselves as gamers. Many console and PC gamers do not consider these to be real video games. I am not here to establish the validity of either side of the argument, it's complicated and that is not what this series of posts is about. I can tell you I play this game and have for two years, it is for a lack of a better term "my poop game", some people read the paper or browse the Internet, I play this. I enjoy the TreeHouse of Horror episodes of the Simpson's very much and the Simpson's in general, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I also look forward to the annual Tapped Out Halloween Event. This game might just be a time waster but that doesn't lessen my enjoyment of it.

Below you will find some of the splash screens from previous Halloween Events.

TreeHouse of Horror is Tonight.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 18: Friday the 13th - NES

Day 18: Friday the 13th - NES

Friday the 13th for the Nintendo was released in Feb 1989. I honestly don't recall the exact year or month I played it. This was not a game I owned but borrowed. The best part about this story is that I borrowed it from some kid I met while renting a cabin by a lake. I still haven't beaten this game and I am not sure if I ever had a firm grip on what I was suppose to do. What I remember most about this game, aside from feeling frustrated, is the game over screen which is amazing.

Here is a fun fact, this game was actually made by Atlus and only published by LJN. A classic horror franchise like this can't help but be associated with Halloween, and when you add to that one of the most memorable game over screens of all time; you have the reason it makes my list.

Freddy or Jason?