Gamer's Piece: Horror games and Halloween spirit
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 22:10
As the clock turned midnight from Sunday night into Monday morning, we officially entered October. I’m a fan of October; the weather’s still nice occasionally, the dropping temperatures remind us that snow’s slowly on its way, pumpkin-spice is in every food and Halloween season has arrived.
I have my costume (Wilfred, from “Wilfred”) and I have my personal favorite horror films that I always rewatch to get in the season’s mood (“Shaun of the Dead” in recent years, though this year “Cabin in the Woods” might have stolen its spot). But gaming in October, especially when it’s a scary game, can make the ambiance of the season that much more powerful. Here are a few of my favorites when it comes to getting into the Halloween spirit.
The famous “Resident Evil” series has to get a mention here. The zombie franchise has spun off five live-action movies and at least two more CGI ones, not to mention its impressive sales and usual quality. It’s been hit-and-miss over the years. “Resident Evil 2” and “RE4” are classics; the former built on the debut of the series to give a harrowing escape from Raccoon City, while “RE4” reinvigorated the franchise with its over-the-shoulder perspective and thrilling gameplay. “RE5” was less successful, though it occasionally hit highs consistent with the series, and “RE6” comes out tomorrow to continue the stories of Leon, Chris and Jill, among others.
A personal favorite on the 360 that was lost in the mix of 2010, “Alan Wake” is a deceptively terrific story wrapped up in a perfectly fine game, making for an experience somewhere between good and great. It’s much like “Twin Peaks” and its knockoffs, content to tell a disturbing tale about an author fighting his demons in a Washington small town possessed by darkness. The tale was thrilling, with twists and turns and a few jump-scares that gave me chills. The game’s cheap two-and-a-half years after release, going for about $10 on Amazon and PC with a downloadable sequel available.
Since I mentioned “Resident Evil” and its success at the box office, it would only be fair for me to mention the other horror video game franchise that’s about to receive a sequel. While “Silent Hill Revelation 3D” will surely be an abhorrent film made to grab dollars from idiots, the franchise it’s based on deserves a look. “Silent Hill 3” on the PS2 was the series’ peak, combining disturbing scenarios and another “Twin Peaks”-esque mystery to create a compelling experience. Those looking to try the franchise might be interested in the “Silent Hill Collection,” remakes of the second and third games for modern systems. But be wary: the game was rife with glitches due to use of unfinished code and doesn’t even have a patch on the 360. If you’re willing to risk it, though, they’ll be perfect to prepare for your Halloween boofests.