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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Top Ten Horror Video Games

Happy Halloween!

Thia Halloween instead of candy, we're gonna to give you the Top Ten Horror Video Games. Clearly this list is very subjective but we'll do our best to explain our reasoning.

10: Friday the Thirteenth on the NES. Most people think of this title as the terrible epitome of LJN's game making career. However there's actually some genuine 8-bit terror going on here. The music is excellent, with the cabin theme taking the cake for some of the eeriest video game music of the 8bit era and the music when you encounter Jason is the perfect NES counterpoint to classic killer themes. The real terror though, comes when you make your way to one of the surprisingly labyrinthine cabins never knowing where exactly Jason going to pop up until BAM! he's on your screen.

See the rest after the break

9: Halloween on the Atari. Widely considered to be a terrible game and a failure. However, it's got some surprisingly upsetting parts. Michael pops up from a random location at random times which can cause some distress. You'll know him by his tell-tale theme song. But once you get into the harder difficulties, even that clear warning sign (the game is otherwise fairly quiet) won't help you as Michael Myers gets fast, mean and unpredictable.

8: Rule of Rose on the PS2. This game isn't so much scary as it is unsettling. I mean really, a bunch of kids and their secret club. What's so scary about that? You are the older kid of the group, so why should it matter that these kids are giving you some sort of initiation tests? Well, because these kids are not normal and neither are their tests. All your most horrible adolescent nightmares about acceptance or lack thereof fully rendered in 3d with a few sick twist even the darkest pre-teen wouldn't have thought up. This is easily one of those games that will have you looking over your shoulder wondering who around you is watching what you do. This game was banned in Europe and in spite of a lack of gore and truly "violent" images it's actually pretty easy to see why. There are few games, books, films or anything else for that matter the present such upsetting situations.

7: Haunted House on the Atari. One of the first survival horror games to ever grace a home console. Not so bad on normal/easy difficulty levels, but on hard when you find yourself running from the extremely speedy ghost of Mr.graves into unseen walls and locked doors it's one hell of a shot of adrenaline.

6: Clock Tower, the series. I have to admit that none among us have actually completed a clock tower game for a variety of reasons. But we've played it enough to know something horrifying when we encounter it. Chase games are bound to be a little bit scary, but normally it's just a gimmick and the chase doesn't stick with you once your out of that part. The Clocktower series blends a good mix of terrifying enemies, interesting stories and well a good chase to make for a satisfyingly scary experience. 3 is full 3rd person experience, but 1&2 are the scariest point and clicks you'll ever encounter.

5: Resident Evil 1, Gamecube remake. We have some reservations about not citing the original version of Resident Evil here and it's a good game, but it could be a lot more scary. The Resident Evil series has traditionally always relied on cheap tricks to scare you. And sure dogs or zombies breaking through the windows is jarring the first time it happens, but it doesn't stick with you and you're prepared for the next time you play. However, while the remake version still uses these tricks, it takes things to whole new level. Hallways have been darkened, "jump" clues have been massively scaled back, and then there are the super zombies. It's essentially a cleaned and polished version of RE1 and of course for these purposes by cleaned and polished we mean made dirtier and grittier.

4: Silent Hill 2. There's not a lot we need to explain here. It's a Silent Hill and it's got pyramid head. If that's not enough for you it's got a prison, a labyrinth under the prison and Pyramid head in that Labyrinth. That should be enough for you. There's a lot more going on here like mysterious game shows,crazed NPCs and a lot of mind games. It's and experience that's best fully appreciated and discovered on your own time, preferably late at night in a darkened room.

3: Fatal Frame 1&2. We decided to just focus on 1&2 rather than just one game because the mechanics and environments are very similar. These games contain the one element that scares every game player, a lack of weapon. Oh sure, you have the Camera Obscura,but it is much harder to deal with your enemies when you can't just beat them down and make them go away. Not only can you not beat on them but you have to patiently wait for them to come at you horrifying faces in full view, before you can snap your shot. Of course the game isn't all snapping ghost pics there's also wandering through dark dilapidated buildings with eerie sounds, random events and upsetting voices. Fatal Frame will change the way you look at your camera forever.

2: Silent Hill 3 on PS2. The story of Alessa and the dark town of her origin comes roaring back in this horrifying continuation of the original, chilling game. The classic atmosphere of Silent Hill now enjoys the benefits of four years of advances in game development. This progress allows for a merciless assault on your mentality with amazing new effects such as glass rooms will blood running down its walls and on-screen transitions to the devouring darkness of the Otherworld. All of this and more makes Silent Hill 3 one of the most successful video game sequels and most frightening titles available.

1: Silent Hill, the original on PS1. It deserves it places at the top of this list if for no other reason than it's got admittedly crappy early first gen PS1 graphics and it still leaves you sleeping with the light on. The environments are some of the dirtiest, grittiest, and most unsettling you're ever going to see in any media. The music the audio manifestation of abject horror, you could set it to a sunny field of flowers and butterflies and it would still leave you foul taste in your mouth and a healthy sense of paranoia. This game is all about atmosphere, the monsters don't scare you, the story doesn't scare you, you scare you. The eerie music, creepy environments, and random sounds provide just enough background to allow you to wrap yourself in your own personal hell every time you play with horrifying results. We normally like to take our own videos but it wasn't possible this time. However, this video for the intro part of Silent Hill (PAL version) sums up the game a lot better than anything we could ever say about it.

So if you're looking for the perfect way to celebrate Halloween night, why not pick one of these for a perfectly horrifying and fantastic experience.

~Stephanie, Jen & Richard

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