Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's that time of year again

And when I say "that time of year," I'm talking about the time of year when I spend way too much time searching for games that will put me in a Halloween mood.

Speaking of which, here are four "spooktacular" games--two of which I've played before and two of which I haven't--that I'm hoping will scratch that itch in the lead up to this year's All Hallows' Eve:


Cotton 100% (Super Famicom)--This Super Famicom-based shmup, developed by Datam Polystar and published by Success (or is it the other way around?) in 1994, stars a broom-riding witch who is obsessed with candy and who has to fly through all sorts of dark and dreary environs in order to collect a bunch of missing gems. Could there be a more perfect game to play during this spooky-and-sweet season?


Jigoku Meguri (PC Engine)--The point of this pixelated platformer, developed and published by the folks at Taito in 1990: To help a portly monk complete a perilous trek through hell. It all sounds suitably horrific, I know, but in reality said trek is more cuddly than creepy. Still, the game is more than spooky enough to earn a spot on this list.


Splatterhouse Part 3 (Mega Drive)--Originally, I planned to include Namcot's Spatterhouse 2 in this spine-chilling playathon. After reading some negative reviews of that title, though, I decided to include the series' third installment, released in 1993, instead--mainly due to the fact that "Part 3" is less linear than its predecessors and, as such, allows the game's Jason Voorhees-like protagonist to explore each stage.


Sweet Home (Famicom)--I played through a bit of this survival-horror RPG, released by Capcom in 1989, last Halloween, but regrettably put it away after the holiday vanished into the ether like a vampire at sunrise. I say "regrettably" because Sweet Home is one of the most terrifically tense Famicom titles I've ever played. Anyway, hopefully this year I'll stick with it long enough to see an ending screen.

See also: 'Halloween-ish HuCards (and CDs)'

30 comments:

Matthew Bartlett said...

Thank you for posting about Sweet Home! It's probably one of my favorite RPG's and Famicom games, and definitely worth playing through. The movie's not terrible, either!

Awesome list all around!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Matthew! How could I make a list like this and *not* include Sweet Home? I had such a great time with it last year ... no idea what I didn't finish it. Anyway, I'm going to try to do better this year.

Nice to know that the movie's not terrible. Of course, I'm not sure I'll ever watch it. I don't suppose it's on Netflix...

Matthew Bartlett said...

Nah, they have copies online (or has, this was a while ago) for, like, $12 dollars. It's a rarity.

I know I don't get to commenting often, but keep up the good work!

Now, back to Fatal Frame for scaring me senseless this season... ;) Have fun!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, well, maybe I'll pick it up at some point. Thanks for letting me know it's pretty good (or at least not bad).

Thanks, too, for the kind words! I'm glad to hear you enjoy the blog :)

So, you're playing Fatal Frame to get you in the Halloween mood? Which one? The PS2 original?

If so, I've been meaning to pick up a copy of it for ages. The original Siren (also for PS2), too...

apricotsushi said...

Oh, what a great idea! I need something to get me in the Halloween spirit, especially since Brisbane, Australia in the height of spring is about at un-Halloween-like as you can possibly get...

Cotton 100% looks right up my alley! Maybe I'll try to find a rom to check out... I actually watched someone play a bit of Sweet Home via Livestream a few months ago, it was quite interesting! Yet another game I'll have to play someday...

Actually, come to think of it, I've been playing a fair bit of 999 and Persona 2, and both of those have sort of Halloween-y themes to them! I guess the more you think about it lots of games have ghosts/demons and fit the Halloween spirit pretty well.

Will you be going to any parties or doing something special, Bryan? Do you get trick-or-treaters?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Anne! I'd really suggest checking out Sweet Home at some point. I know you know Japanese, but there's even an English fan translation of the game out there at the moment. Anyway, it's like Resident Evil and a traditional RPG were thrown into a blender. What could be better than that?

As for my Halloween plans: Sadly, I/we have none! Actually, I shouldn't say 'sadly,' as I haven't gotten all hot and bothered about Halloween in a few years. We don't get many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, strangely enough, so even that's probably out of the question! Oh, well, at least there'll be candy to eat and scary movies to watch :)

Do you do anything in Australia for Halloween, Anne, or is it not celebrated there? (I feel stupid for not knowing this!)

Famicom Freak said...

Heh amazing! We did matched up with Sweet Home as an spooky classic title to enjoy. You can always play Super Man 64 for the N64 as it will make you scream like a little girl from the horrific controls and the spooky environments ^_^

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, I've heard horrible things about Superman 64, Famicom Freak, but never played it. Probably never will, either, as I'm not all that interested in ripping my eyes from my head :)

Adam said...

I've played all the classic splattehouse games, and ironically enough Wanpaku Graffiti was my favorite.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, yes, I love Wanpaku Graffiti, Adam! In fact, I published a similar post to this last year (I'll have to add a link to it tomorrow) and included Wanpaku Graffiti on it :)

What's your second favorite Splatterhouse game, Adam, if you don't mind me asking? I quite like the PC Engine port of the original, but I've never played parts two or three...

apricotsushi said...

Well, Halloween is definitely celebrated here, but it's not near as big a deal as it is in the US! I kind of miss all the festivities, myself, but I'm just as happy to sit around and do Halloween things at home, really.

Actually I just remembered I should be getting Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove in the mail tomorrow! That should be pretty Halloween-y :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

For some reason it seems surprising that Halloween is in fact celebrated there but not as much as in the US. I mean, it seems like you should either celebrate full-on or not at all, right? :P

Anyway, I'm with you, Anne. Doing Halloween-y things at home is nice, too.

As for Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove: I look forward to hearing your thoughts on that one! I really like the looks of it when it was a plain ol' DS game. Haven't read much about it since it became a 3DS game, though.

Adam said...

The turbo-grafix 16 port of the first game is my 2nd fav. I didn't care much for 2 and 3 on Genesis

Pix3l said...

I have played Jigoku Meguri on Arcade, it was named Super Bonze or something similiar. It seem Adventure Island, it's cool! :D

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, well, that's good to know, Adam. Thanks for letting me know!

It seems we agree RE: the PC Engine/TG-16 version of the original Splatterhouse and Wanpaku Graffiti :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Pix3l! I think it was called Bonze Adventure in the US, although I'm not sure what it was called in other western countries. Regardless, yes, it's definitely a bit like Adventure Island (also, Liquid Kids) and definitely cool, too :)

Kamiwoo said...

I'm totally going to have a "load up random Halloween-ish games" night on the spooky eve in question! Hyped up on candy, it's sure to be a blast... thanks for the recommendations!

I should probably finish off Sweet Home one of these days! I kept being paranoid and not letting anyone die, so I ended up resetting a lot~

Bryan Ochalla said...

Kamiwoo: I like the way you think! I'm going to try to do the same, although I'm not sure the hubs will let me :P

Also, my playthrough of Sweet Home was hampered by the same "obstacle" that hampered you: I was terrified one of my characters would die!

Matthew Bartlett said...

Oh man, this bunch of posts is getting me so in the mood for Halloween!

Fatal Frame 2 scares me senseless. Literally. I play through the game, shut it off, and feel like I have to acclimate back into real life. Siren is creepy, but if you don't plan on leaning on an FAQ for it, it's- it's a toughie.

Also, while it's kind of Halloween-y but more comical, Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Ghoul Patrol (the barely recognized sequel) have found quite a bit of play on my system this Halloween.

Hope you fun watching horror movies and whatnot for Halloween, though! I'm kind of jealous, believe it or not, as I live practically next door to the Halloween capital of the US so I get it whether I want to relax or not! :p Again, awesome to get these recommendations!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Glad I could be of service, Matthew :)

You're really making me want to finally pick up the Fatal Frame games, by the way. Sounds like part 2 is your favorite? What do you think of the original?

I've read so much about the PS3 remake of Siren that I'll either have to pick up that version or the PS2 original at some point, even if it's complete crap :)

As for Zombies Ate My Neighbors: I looove that game. Played it with my brother and friends all the time as a teen. I've never played the sequel, though.

Finally, you have a great Halloween, too. I can't believe it's just around the corner! And then Thanksgiving and Christmas ... Man, I love this time of year :)

Retr0gamer said...

Hope you do better than me. I started late this month and quickly beat Overblood. Then started Project Zero two but for the last 2 weeks I've either had not enough time to play it or ended up reading my book! I'm not evensure I'll get to finish it this weekend.

Marcus said...

Great post! I focus so much of my attention on modern horror games that I often forget about classics like Sweet Home. In regards to your list I'm happy to see Splatterhouse up there as it's a great series. :) The 3rd version is probably the best, alongside the original in my opinion. I have the recent remake still unopened though because I'm worried about how completely different it must be from the older ones!

Retr0gamer said...

Oh BTW, the first Siren game on the PS2 isn't complete crap, it's well worth playing. It's just that there's some stupid design decisions (the obtuse puzzles and having two different and often unexplained objectives in each level) that really require a faq so you don't end in a loop playing the same levels over and over. Haven't played the other two games but have been meaning to.

Bryan Ochalla said...

That's too bad, Retr0gamer! Hopefully you're able to get back to Project Zero soon.

BTW, I haven't done better than you. In fact, I've yet to play any of the games I mentioned in this post! I'm going to do my best to change that this weekend, though...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Marcus! I was going to include some more modern games on this list, but I honestly don't have many (any?) of them. I do plan on getting some of the Fatal Frame and Siren games soon, though. Also, I really need to buy Costume Quest for the 360. Oh, and finish Deadly Premonition! Argh!!

Anyway, enough about me. I understand your hesitation when it comes to the new Splatterhouse. I couldn't be bothered with it at all, to tell you the truth. Still, I'll be interested to hear what you think about it if and when you finally get around to playing it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, thanks for the heads up RE: the first Siren, Retr0gamer. Do you now if the PS3 remake is more playable (i.e., without a FAQ)? I may wait and get that version (after I get a PS3, natch) if so...

Marcus said...

I'm sure Retrogamer will be able to fill you in shortly but I can talk about my own experiences with Siren as well :P.

Siren is basically like he said... it's not terrible, but it is extremely difficult at times. In fact, I feel like the frustration it causes makes any of the fear you might have felt at the start dissipate. It's really too bad... Siren Blood Curse on PS3 is more of a re-imagining than a remake and I think it's better overall. However, you'll miss the "flair" of the original if you go for the PS3 version. The "flair" being like, weeeeird photographs of real faces superimposed over the character models and awkward English voice acting.

I only finally picked up Splatterhouse on a whim when it was on sale. I don't think it'll be that great but maybe I'll enjoy it more because I have no expectations of it! Also, if you ever can definitely grab Fatal Frame 1-3. The horror atmosphere is supremely good and it's not as clunky to control as other horror titles tend to be.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Marcus!

Oh, thanks for the insights RE: Siren. I think I've reason about the "flair" of which you speak -- especially the photos of real faces used on the character models. That actually sounds kind of awesome (and creepy).

We'll see if I ever actually buy the game, of course. I do think I'll probably get the PS3 version after I get that system, but who knows when that will be?

Oh, and I'll definitely pick up some or all of the Fatal Frame games at some point. I've had them on my Amazon wish list (for myself) for some time, but have yet to buy them for various reasons.

Anyway, I hope you do like Splatterhouse when you get around to it. There's nothing worse than buying a game and then putting off playing it for a while, only to find that it suck when you finally get to play it :P

Retr0gamer said...

I wrote about the first siren game on my blog ages ago if you want to give it a read. It's a bit long winded though. I think it's well worth experiencing but it's so very nearly a classic that it's maddening because some really terrible design decisions ruin it. You have to beat every level twice and the secondary objectives are so obtuse it's annoying. For example, one secondary objective forces you to get to the middle of a very tough level in a very strict time limit. However there's no clues given on why or how you must do this. Other times secondary objectives won't activate until you do something obscure in another previous level, none of this is even hinted at sometimes. It ruins what should have been an amazing game. Still though with a FAQ it's well worth playing.

As for Siren Blood Curse, I've not played it. My girlfriend tells me that Siren 2 was a hell of a lot better than the first game and fixed the major problems of the first game so I'm sure it's the same for Blood Curse.

Anyway from what I've played of Fatal Frame 1 you should definitely get the Fatal Frame games. Really enjoying it, just hope I get some time to play it!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Wow, I'll definitely check out your blog post on the game. Based on what you say here, though, I can see why you describe it as a bit maddening! Yeesh.

I'm glad to hear you have a much better opinion of Fatal Frame, though. I've been meaning to check out the series for ages, but have yet to do so -- probably because I'm not looking forward to being scared out of my wits :)