Thursday, October 30, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 30: Maniac Mansion for NES

Day 30: Maniac Mansion - NES

I have already stated that I love Tim Schaffer, Haunted Mansions, and Point and Click Adventures. Given this information I am sure Maniac Mansion being on my list comes as no surprise to anyone. One thing that is different about Maniac Mansion from other games on this list is that I didn't get it for a birthday, and I didn't play it for the first time in October. Maniac Mansion was ported to the NES in September of 1990 but I didn't had never heard of it. I picked this game up in the summer of 1994 on a whim for a local game store that sold used video games for $5 (cart only).

Very shortly after beginning the game I knew I had found a gem, and a game almost custom tailored to my individual taste. I have since played through this game 3 or 4 times all in the month of October. Maniac Mansion is a splendid Halloween game that story wise still holds up. Maniac Mansion did receive a sequel  called Day of the Tentacle but it was for the PC only, I keep hoping it will be ported to Xbox Live or PSN. Something interesting I just found out is that it had a TV show that ran for 3 seasons and was over 60 episodes.

I must find the TV Show

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 29: Parasite Eve for PS1

Day 29: Parasite Eve - PS1

Parasite Eve was released in September 1998 for the Playstation. At this point in time I had just joined the military and was getting ready to spend my first birthday away from my family and friends. Given my lonely state of mind I decided to fill the void with a new game. I went to the BX, think Target but on a Military Base, and decided to buy the first game that caught my eye.

Parasite Eve would be the lucky winner, as I was already a fan of SquareSoft and for some reason the game was rated M. I didn't know anything about this game when I bought it, so I was expecting an RPG more along the lines of Final Fantasy and was very surprised when this game went more the way of survival horror. This title is rated M, and features: exploding people, a race for sperm, a an opera, mutation, birth, dead sisters, purebreds, ultimate beings, and a hastily explained resolution.  All in all a solid Halloween title, that had a pretty good sound track, and a mood befitting a Halloween game.

How are your mitochondria?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 28: Shadowgate for NES

Day 28: Shadowgate - NES

Shadowgate for the NES is a point and click adventure set in the dreaded Castle Shadowgate, where everything you click kills you. This game should be called 1000 Futile Clicks and How They Kill You! I know that sounds like criticism but it's not, I love this game, the best part about Shadowgate is dying, and then dying again, followed up with more amazing deaths. Shadowgate gives you a very clear sense of consequence, you know right from the beginning of the game that your choices matter and that you need to think through the puzzles. This game was originally released for the MAC in 1987 but was ported over to the NES in 1989. It was later remade for the GameBoy Color, and a successful Kick Starter funded a totally revamped version that was just released in August. 

This game is a blend or horror and fantasy, and is a fine choice to fulfill your Halloween gaming needs. The Uninvited, also form the makers of Shadowgate, is another point and click adventure but this time set in a Haunted House. The Uninvited isn't as well known as Shadowgate, but you if you are looking for a Halloween game and you don't want to revisit Shadowgate this would be an excellent alternative.

For your enjoyment I have added pics of a few of the Shadowgate death, and at the very bottom a link to a video that shows all of them

It's a Sad Thing...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 27: BioShock for Xbox 360

Day 27: BioShock for Xbox 360

BioShock originally started out as an Xbox 360 exclusive and was released in Aug 2007. The buzz around the game was pretty strong but I was playing something else so I just figured I'd wait and get to it eventually. After finishing The Mansion of Hidden Souls as my Halloween game  in the first week of October I wanted to play something a more modern so I pulled BioShock out of my pile of to be played games and gave it a whirl. That "whirl" would last 12 straight hours and eventually lead me into calling in sick from work because I hadn't slept and wanted to keep playing.

I didn't really know anything about BioShock when I started, and it was a great experience to go in without any preconceived notions about the game. If you have played the game you know the setting of the game is dark, eerie, and kind of haunted. I wasn't expecting a game that would make me think of Halloween but this game did. I can go on and on about how much I love this game, but if you have played it you probably already know. I can sum up how much I enjoy by showing you the following picture

Amazing Cosplay
BioShock is one of the few games for the 360 where I made it a goal to collect all the achievement. 100% in this game means multiple play throughs, which I did happily. BioShock is one of my favorite games of all time, and I only wish they has shown a little more care when they made BioShock 2 because it was a pretty big let down by comparison. I can probably never give BioShock 2 a fair review as I will always be holding it up against the original. BioShock Infinite I enjoyed a great deal, but that game doesn't make me think of Halloween at all and I wasn't looking to compare it to the first one. My only real knock against BioShock is the cover, I just don't like it. I like the special edition cover way better.

Would You Kindly?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 26: The Mansion of Hidden Souls for Sega Saturn

Day 26: Mansion of Hidden Souls - Sega Saturn

I picked up my Sega Saturn in 1999 and at the time I bought 1 game, It was Shining Force 3. Fast Forward to 2007, I am just starting to become an actually video game collector rather that just some guy with a lot of video games. I decide that my Halloween game for 2007 is going to be for the Saturn and since I had just picked up a lot of about 20 games I had a few to choose from. In the lot was The Mansion of Hidden Souls, D, and Lunacy. My discs for D were a little beat so it was really between Mansion and Lunacy. Lunacy looks pretty good, it's made by Atlus and the cover is nice, but the description on the back is beyond stupid.

 Quick side quest about Lunacy. The back of Lunacy says "There Exists a legendary city where every wish is granted but wishes have a price. Those who have walked into the city wear a special mark upon their foreheads - and have no memory of who they once were." Okay so that's the story, and it goes on to say you have to stop the magical realm for destroying itself and your home land all while recovering your most precious possession - your memory. Seriously, this is the language it uses, home land not one word but two, and magical realm. What the eff is with all the vague description? How about he Magical City of (Name Here)?  So while I have a problem with the bad and vague descriptions my bigger problem is with the premise. It might just be me, but if I live in a magical land of wishes and I am having a problem, and again this might just be me, but I just make a wish for those problems to be solved. Let me solve this game real quick, I wish for my memory back, and I wish for the worlds to not blow up....BOOOOM problems solved, hooray magic, hooray wishes. Also, what kind of shitty magic city is this? The one cost is you lose you memory, for all the wishes ever, but this magical city can't even get that right.  How am I suppose to trust that my wishes will all be granted if this city can't even get such a simple detail right. 

So having compared both games I went with The Mansion of Hidden Souls, plus as it shows on the cover this is a Saturn EXCLUSIVE...except it isn't or is it. When I begin collecting for the Sega CD in the very first lot I buy, I find this

Yup, Mansion of the Hidden Souls for Sega CD. The one for Sega CD was released in 1993 and the one for the Saturn in 1995. So are the games the same, turns out no. The title of the games is not actually the same. For Sega CD its Mansion of Hidden Souls, and for Saturn it's THE Mansion of Hidden Souls. The one Saturn takes place in the same location but 20 years later.  Anyway these games are first person point and click adventures in a haunted mansion, very much Like D, 7th Guest and 11th Hour. You might be seeing a pattern here, point and click adventures, and haunted houses. So yeah, the idea of haunted houses or mansions are my preferred Halloween go to, some people like gore in the vein of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, I am more a House on Haunted Hill, The Grudge, Haunting in Connecticut, and The Conjuring kind of guy. Anyway, the game was only okay and it was pretty dated by the time I played it. I forgave some of the dated conventions, but bad voice acting is hard to ignore. the ending of the game is pretty weird, not what I was expecting so bonus points for that. The experience of choosing The Mansion of Hidden Souls was very memorable and now when I see either version of the game I can't help but think of Halloween.

Read All Titles Carefully,

Games That Make You Think of Halloween Day 25: Dead Space for PS3

Day 25: Dead Space - PS3

I was looking forward to Dead Space from the minute I saw the first trailer. It instantly made me think of Event Horizon and Alien. While I am sure you have all seen Alien you may have missed Even Horizon. You should go watch it, it is one of the scariest space movies I have ever seen. Dead Space nailed the release date coming out on October 13th in 2008. This was a day one buy for me, made all the easier by some sweet birthday gift certificates. Dead Space delivers on nearly every level, it's has an interesting story, the game play is fun, and the atmosphere is spooky. It is hard to find flaw with Dead Space, I liked it so much I actually have held off playing the sequels. I had such a good first experience I feel like the sequels could only take something away for this A+ game. I know that sounds crazy but playing Bioshock 2, took away from how much I liked Bioshock 1, not by a lot but enough to make me regret playing it. Do yourself a favor, buy this game, wait until sundown, turn off the lights, turn up the sound, and enjoy the experience.

Where We're Going We Won't Need Eyes To See

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.