10: Friday the Thirteenth on the NES. Most people think of this title as the awful 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. The music when you encounter Jason is the perfect NES adaptation of classic theatrical 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. If you want to know even more about the sordid tale of 8 bit Jason, we did a full in depth review on this game, because as group we really love it. Two of us even got the limited edition comic con action figure to terrorize out other action figures with his
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3: Fatal Frame 1 and 2. We decided to just focus on 1 and 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, terrifying monsters and 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 back and into oblivion. Of course not being able to beat them into submission is bad enough when you're feeling terrified but, Fatal Frame takes things a step further. Not only can you not beat on them, you have to patiently wait for them to come at you as close as possible, horrifying faces in full view, before you can snap your shot. Should you miss the shot naturally they start killing you and you're powerless to stop it until you run far enough away to set up another shot. But the game isn't all snapping ghost pictures in the most haunted village in Japan, there's also all the fun of wandering through dark dilapidated buildings with eerie sounds, random frightening "pop-ups" and of course demonic whispering voices that seem to be coming from everywhere all at once. Fatal Frame will have you scared to look into the shadows, or into a camera for years to come.
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 by today's standards 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 is 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, not even the rusted out nightmare landscape scares, you scare you. The eerie music, creepy environments, and unsettling sounds provide just enough background to allow you to wrap yourself in your own personal hell every time you play with horrifying results. Like we mentioned with the other Silent Hill entries on this list, Silent Hill isn't a game that can be described. It's barely a game that can be played it's a game that most be experienced to fully understand what makes it so horrible. This video for the intro (the playable intro) of the Silent Hill (and bear in mind it's only the intro, the first thing you see, the thing that eases you into this hell on earth scenario) 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, why not pick up one of these for a perfectly horrifying and fantastic experience.
~Stephanie, Jen and Richard
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