Author Topic: Our Favorite Horror Games

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Towns Car Marty

  • Certified Dirtbag
  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,089
  • the spookiest driest boy
    • View Profile
    • MisanthroPop
Our Favorite Horror Games
« on: October 13, 2015, 02:29:16 PM »
It's the season for spookings, so I thought I'd create this topic to talk about some of our favorite horror games. Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill 2 are pretty high on my list, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on a little-known game called Hell Night.



Developed by Dennou Eizou and published by Atlus in Japan (as Dark Messiah) and Konami in Europe, Hell Night takes place during New Year's Eve and casts you as a hapless Tokyo commuter on your way home from a hard day at work. Rumors abound of a recent spate of kidnappings, and on your way to board the subway you find yourself chased by a group of doomsday cultists.

You manage to get away and catch the last train home, but as your train speeds through the tunnel there's a loud crash, the train shudders to a halt and the power goes out. Just as you start to wonder what's going on, you see a torn-off ear splatter against the window to the next car. Some sort of horrible unstoppable beast (clad in blue jeans) has made its way into the train, killing everything in its path.

You manage to escape into the sewers, linking up with a schoolgirl named Naomi as you both attempt to find your way home but end up descending deeper and deeper into "The Mesh", a derelict and disused underground replica of Tokyo that was intended to be used as an emergency bomb shelter, populated by outcasts and the homeless.

Hell Night could be considered to be a precursor to Amnesia; it takes place from a first-person perspective and you're largely defenseless, your only option to run away from the monster pursuing you. Having a partner grants you a unique ability-- psychic Naomi, for example, and can sometimes detect the monster on the map if it's close enough--but they also function as an "extra life" of sorts: get caught with a partner and the monster will immediately kill and feed on them, giving you a second chance to escape. Morbidly, the only way to pick up a new partner to pursue their story is to let the old one die.

The tension Hell Night presents still manages to be pretty terrifying even today, 16 years after its initial release. The real star, however is The Mesh itself. When you're not running away from your pursuer, you're interacting with its eccentric residents in adventure game style, sometimes doing them favors to get items, or sometimes just hearing the bizarre stories of how they ended up down there. Every character in this game is interesting, especially the more nefarious ones like sadistic serial killer Kyoji, one of your possible partners.

Hell Night starts to lose speed in the last quarter, when it abandons the The Mesh and its characters in favor of a non-euclidian Lovecraftian setting. It largely doesn't work, and just goes to highlight how strong the game's first half is and just how important its characters are to the experience. The multiple endings are no great shakes either, all consisting of a short FMV with minimal dialogue.

Although Hell Night is by no means perfect and has a pretty terrible endgame, it's still a unique and frightening survival horror game that remains criminally unknown today.

Dennou-Eizou and Atlus later developed a pseudo-follow up for Dreamcast called de'Spiria, a Japan-only horror FMV RPG/adventure about a psychic woman named Allure, a worm-snorting agent of "The Church", an organization based around hunting down psychic terrorists.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 02:31:43 PM by Towns Car Marty »


Rucks

  • RPGFan Survey Hero
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,947
  • Salvum est Vita!
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 02:44:00 PM »
The original Clock Tower.  An exercise in horror minimalism.  Very little dialogue and about a bazillion endings. To this day the hairs on the back on my neck stand up if I hear Bobby's music.  Giant scissors wielding psychotic 9- year olds still pop up in nightmares from time to time.

Edit: does Catherine count?  because that game is great.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 02:45:44 PM by glassjawsh »


Frostillicus

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,558
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 03:03:39 PM »
The OG Silent Hill is still one of the spookiest games I've ever played. I remember renting it when it was new, and being apprehensive as hell about going into any dark areas. Hell, even outside in the fog was scary enough. I should re-play it some day soon... In the same vein, (and I just stated this in the game journal section) RE 2 & 4 will always be among my favorites in the series, and overall genre.

Dead Space is really good, too. It's kind of like playing Event Horizon. I have the 2nd game in the series waiting in the wings.

Also, I don't care what anyone says. The first half of Condemned 2: Bloodshot is really creepy. Especially the abandoned hotel level. It's one of those games where you have to take a break earlier than expected because it wears on you (or maybe just me) psychologically. It transitions to a not-nearly-as-scary FPS in the second half, though...

One game I do want to play this season is the original F.E.A.R.  I've never played it, but have heard plenty.

Tooker

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14,046
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 03:08:24 PM »
It wasn't universally liked, but I was a fan of a game called Shadow of Destiny (Shadow of Memories in Japan).  In it, you travel through time trying to prevent your own murder and find out who keeps trying to kill you.
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
—Kurt Vonnegut

mecharobot

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 372
  • Trombe!
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 12:58:13 AM »
Not my area of expertise, but I was somewhat disturbed after I confirmed the ghost sightings in Dear Esther. I was sure I saw something while playing, but couldn't quite see what.

Maxximum

  • Posts: I am Error
  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,813
  • Fills you with determiantion
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2015, 05:10:18 AM »
The first Silent Hill. PS1 graphics or not, that game was just plain creepy and awesome. Also, the original Residen Evil, before the next iterations turned your character into a walking armoury (though RE2 and RE4 are still great games), RE1 was actually tense as heck because you had to make every shot count.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 05:13:30 AM by Maxximum »
NOW PLAYING:
I can't tell you

Dincrest

  • Foot-in-Mouth disease
  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,482
  • Overuser of analogies, similes, and metaphors
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 07:35:36 PM »
I found System Shock 2 unsettling.  And back in the day, I found the Splatterhouse games on Genesis unsettling as well.  Even in 16-bit, the Splatterhouse games fueled some childhood nightmares back in the day, I'm sure.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 07:48:23 PM by Dincrest »
"I think I'm losing it.  I'm pulling out my hair trying to figure out what couch defines me as a person.  This is freaking madness.  This is hopeless.  This... my perfect little habitat here, and I still don't even know who I am."  - from Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom by Burnt By The Sun

MeshGearFox

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10,519
  • HERE ON RUM ISLAND WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN RUM!
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 08:27:41 PM »
I think the scariest gaming moment is when you're playing something on your DS and you hit a load screen and you see your face reflected in the screens and just can't shake how completely old your eyes look.

Serious answer, Shadow Tower. My problem with ST though is hat as much as I love it /it makes me more viscerally uncomfortable than any other game I've ever played/. Also it's tenser than Dark Souls because there aren't many things that kill you outright but you DO have to know when you're operating at a loss and whether you should keep going or revert to a previous save and take less damage and the way that every action has a cost and all resources are finite and those SPIDERS and the SKULL BLOBS and the LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE.

... Also I wish Hell Night would show up on eBay at some point, I've always wanted it >:T
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 08:46:14 PM by MeshGearFox »
o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Annubis

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5,468
  • ee yan~☆
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 08:30:21 PM »
System Shock 2

It gets in your head.

Maxximum

  • Posts: I am Error
  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,813
  • Fills you with determiantion
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 08:10:33 AM »
I've never played it, but there a gamecube (I think) game that messed with your head, including making you believe that it just deleted your saves.
NOW PLAYING:
I can't tell you

divingfalcons

  • Honorary Blue Rogue
  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,219
    • View Profile
    • Blog
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 08:34:08 AM »
I've never played it, but there a gamecube (I think) game that messed with your head, including making you believe that it just deleted your saves.

Eternal Darkness! I've never played it, but from what I've seen, it looks amazing. A psychological horror more or less. I really should pick it up.

I'm actually not a huge horror fan. I'm probably the most jumpy, tense, nervous person to play horror games with. But I'm going to use this thread to get ideas on what I should play. Clock Tower is something I've heard tonnes about, and it looks great.

Of course, I've sat through all the Resident Evil games - 1 and 2 stand out the most from the early ones because they were so restrictive on bullets, and they were new, so you didn't know what to expect. 4 is my favourite, but 4 isn't scary at all. Silent Hill 1 and 2 messed with me too. I've got Until Dawn sitting around as well, which I want to give a go.

Frostillicus

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,558
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2015, 10:09:58 AM »
I remember Friday the 13th on Commodore 64 really gave me the creeps. Probably cuz I was pretty young when I played it. You play one of several characters, walking around various areas/screens, and you would see random kids wandering aimlessly in the different areas.. Of course, patrolling the whole game was Jason, who would randomly kill these directionless kids. You had to find and "kill" Jason before he killed all of the wandering kids.
The thing was, you never saw a kid's death coming, unless you happened to be on the same screen as Jason and the victim. If you weren't, suddenly you'd get a loud 8 bit scream and a violent death picture would flash on the screen. It was very similar to those once-popular videos and gifs that are all quiet for a bit, and suddenly an evil whatever pops up and screams. So the whole time you would be trying to find and ultimately fight Jason, you would be on edge, expecting a death screen to pop up at any moment.
Looking at the screenshots, I doubt it would have much effect on me now.


I found the Splatterhouse games on Genesis unsettling as well.  Even in 16-bit, the Splatterhouse games fueled some childhood nightmares back in the day, I'm sure.

Good name drop. I distinctly remember Splatterhouse 2 and 3 rattling my nerves a bit. Mostly because they can be frustrating as all hell.



I've never played it, but there a gamecube (I think) game that messed with your head, including making you believe that it just deleted your saves.

Eternal Darkness!

I played that briefly when I rented it back when it was sort-of new. I don't remember too much about it, but it definitely was a unique experience. The glitchy/horror effects are well done. It's more psychological than outright scary, as was said.  I don't think I'd go out of my way to play it again.

Dincrest

  • Foot-in-Mouth disease
  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,482
  • Overuser of analogies, similes, and metaphors
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 11:26:23 AM »
I also remember Friday the 13th for NES creeping me out as a little kid.
"I think I'm losing it.  I'm pulling out my hair trying to figure out what couch defines me as a person.  This is freaking madness.  This is hopeless.  This... my perfect little habitat here, and I still don't even know who I am."  - from Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom by Burnt By The Sun

Yggdrasil

  • Loathed by Six Heretics
  • Banninated
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6,714
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 08:18:50 PM »
I've sat through all the Resident Evil games - 1 and 2 stand out the most from the early ones because they were so restrictive on bullets, and they were new, so you didn't know what to expect. 4 is my favourite, but 4 isn't scary at all.

RE4 is self-aware of the nature of the series after Code: Veronica jumed the shark pretty much once Chris and Wesker show up. The humor, action and overall atmosphere of RE4 goes for tension like RE3 did before it rather than whatever anybody believes "pure horror" is. Besides, horror manifest itself from whatever fear or trauma a person has. Team Silent with SH1~4 made their flavor of psychological horror work so well because they were one of the few teams that have come to understand from where those fears and traumas come from and made a twisted physical representation of them with the issues each character have going on within them.

Also, I never touched Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem but that one is totally about cosmic horror rather than psychological horror.

Wild Armor

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,517
    • View Profile
Re: Our Favorite Horror Games
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2015, 08:53:08 PM »
List:

  • Siren
  • Rule of Rose
  • Haunting Grounds
  • Clock Tower 1 & 3 (#2 is a really good comedy ;))
  • Friday the 13th nes game
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Resident Evil (series)
  • Nanashi no Game
  • Corpse Party
  • Ao Oni
  • Skinwalker

Siren, the original, PS2 one, downright creeps me out. Same deal with Rule of Rose.

It wasn't universally liked, but I was a fan of a game called Shadow of Destiny (Shadow of Memories in Japan).  In it, you travel through time trying to prevent your own murder and find out who keeps trying to kill you.

Wait, so Shadow of Destiny wasn't a comic adventure? ;)