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Feature: Halloween Scares on Wii

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The cute little console's horrors

The scariest night of the year is now only two days away, a horrifying evening when strange children knock at the door and refuse to leave without a toll of sweets and candy. If you don't hand some tooth-rotting treats over, then you could find out what tricks they have up their sleeve; that's not always a smart move.

It's also the time of year when we willingly scare ourselves witless by playing frightening video games. This could mean downloadable horrors so bad they're terrifying, or you could opt for some games that genuinely send a chill down your spine. To finish off our week-long series of fond Wii remembrances, we want to highlight some titles from the system's back-catalogue that are perfect for this time of year.

We suggest turning out the lights, basking in the tiny blue glow of the Wii power switch and trying these titles this Halloween.

Not to be confused as a simple re-make of the PlayStation original, this is a game that decides that having weapons for self-defence is the easy way out. You explore a creepy town, interact with various citizens and then have to run for your life when the world freezes over for Nightmare sequences. Much of this game is done rather well, with Harry Mason's mobile phone and flashlight being his only resources and defence, and the fear of running from awful beasts is only let down by its repetitive nature and the fact that the game telegraphs when the scares are coming. With some of the best visuals on Wii and its ability to unnerve with psychological profiling, however, this is a strong candidate for Halloween gaming.

A re-release of the GameCube original, this is a title that invariably comes up when anyone talks about survival horror/action games available on Wii. While it's easy to quibble about the definition of survival horror — traditional scares equivalent to zombie-dogs jumping through windows are rare — this is a game to get you on the edge of your seat. It's less about "what's on the other side of the two way mirror", but more along the lines of a "does that crazy guy have a chainsaw" kind of horror. Assuming you play through without carrying over ammo in New Game+, you will have moments where you run short of bullets and desperately slash at enemies with your knife. Oh, and Ramon Salazar is very creepy.

Another re-imagining from a previous-generation system, Project Zero 2: Wii Edition puts you in the shoes of two sisters making their way through some of the most creepy environments you can imagine. This is an exceptionally dark game, which we mean literally; if you try and play this with any light in the room you're unlikely to be able to see what you're doing. With an art style and sound design to creep out the boldest of gamers, this is only let down by some rather over-choreographed scares — preceding frights with cut-scenes isn't wise — and some predictable tank-style third person controls. It's wonderfully atmospheric when played with headphones in a dark room, however, and relying on a camera as your only form of defence is likely to get the pulse racing.

If you want to be scared and engage your brain, then this WiiWare title from WayForward may be the one for you. The storyline puts you in the shoes of a teenager — devoured by angst, we imagine — trying to find his missing girlfriend in a school full of spooks. The main idea is to stay in the light in each area by using items, triggering switches and generally being clever, with a neat visual style helping with the tension. If you're afraid of the dark and still have love for your download collection on Wii, this is a good option.

Described as a "fear simulator", this is a title that doesn't pretend to be anything more than a sequence of scares, with a deliberately slow — but awkward — control scheme. Fans of the related movies are likely to get a kick from this, while the "Scare Level" and "Sissy Level" should sort out the wimps from the heroic poltergeist battlers — not that you have any weapons, of course, just a trusty flashlight. It has its flaws, alongside a painfully short length, but is sure to provide traditional Japanese-style scares.

This is, in all likelihood, one of those "hidden gems" in the Wii library, with its share of qualities not necessarily matched by significant sales. Also known as "that one with all the snow" amongst Nintendo Life staff, it incorporates Buddhist philosophies with high production values and a long campaign, making it an attractive and, we suspect, budget option. Of course, it wouldn't be a horror game on Wii without tank controls, but they can be excused due to the atmospheric frights that it'll offer on Halloween night.

Nah, just kidding.

So there you go, there are some of the spooky and scary games available on Wii, the console that many believe has no mature titles. If Scooby Doo! and the Spooky Swamp isn't a mature title, we don't know what is, and there are some games that we haven't even featured, notably big franchise light-gun spin-offs. In all seriousness, it may not look scary, but Nintendo's little system can make you jump this Halloween.

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User Comments (39)

player310

#4

player310 said:

Hey, 'Zombie Panic in Wonderland' is a perfect Wii (Wiiware) All Hallows Eve scare... It's pretty good.

WiiULoveSquid

#7

WiiULoveSquid said:

I have yet to complete REvelations I guess it's a good time to get to it. Also Farsights app release of the table Scared Stiff is great for the occasion (love the screaming frogs) for any pin-ballers out there

NintendoMaster

#8

NintendoMaster said:

I hope Project Zero 2: Wii Edition makes it to the US. With revamped graphics on Wii U this would be great!

SkywardLink98

#9

SkywardLink98 said:

I'll be up all night playing Alan Wake since it's on the Steam Halloween sale... and then on thursday I'll be playing Guild Wars 2 all day... so much gaming so little time...

lakersfanmartin

#10

lakersfanmartin said:

calling should be on this list its got to be the scariest & one of the best wii games out there soo over looked :/

Splat

#11

Splat said:

I really wanted to love Cursed Mountain but I could never seem to get in to it.

FiveDigitLP

#12

FiveDigitLP said:

@SkywardLink98
Alan Wake's a great game! It's not horror per se, but it definitely provides some chilling moments. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Also, I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent the other day. Now THAT'S a horror game if I ever did see one. shudders

Norfair

#15

Norfair said:

@FiveDigitLP: Amnesia, I couldn't play it for more than 5 minutes at a time, way too scary for me. I stopped when I saw the first bad guy, stupid wine cellar.

Nero

#16

Nero said:

Good to see Cursed Mountain here. One of my favorite experiences on any console.

RevolverLink

#17

RevolverLink said:

If I still have power on Halloween, I'll be getting my Resident Evil: Revelations and Lone Survivor on.

I'd play RE4 again, but I'm so desensitized to that game's scares now that even the regenerators and Ashley's hallway sequence barely register anymore.

DarkCoolEdge

#18

DarkCoolEdge said:

Cursed Mountain is a very atmospheric game although not scary. It has a very well research story and interesting setting. I'd give it a 7'5. Give it a shot.

Silent Hill is a very good game but knowing when the monsters appear takes away the scares, but not the chills.

NintendoCat14

#19

NintendoCat14 said:

Pikmin 2 isn't on here? XD Those wandering Bulbears and Wollywogs are so scary D=

When I was younger and childish, I thought it was a horror game. =S Then I played Resident Evil...

sinalefa

#21

sinalefa said:

I always saw Cursed Mountain but I was never sure about it, so I avoided it. I don't know if I did right or wrong.

The one I did pick up real cheap was Fragile Dreams. The thing is that White 2 is taking all of my free time now, so it is still wrapped.

WaveBoy

#22

WaveBoy said:

Resident Evil: Archives and RE: Darkside Chronicles needed to be up there.
Also, i don't think I'll ever give Cursed Mountain a chance. :p

And here's hoping Fatal Frame II gets an NA release...

accc

#23

accc said:

@lakersfanmartin Agree 100%! Calling was a great game that would've earned a lot more praise if it was on any other system. One of the all-time hidden gems for sure.

brooks83

#24

brooks83 said:

I've said it before and I'll continue saying it, Cursed Mountain is an absolute must play if you are even slightly interested in the survival horror genre.

Ichiban

#25

Ichiban said:

Ive got project zero 2 on wii and it is indeed scary! So much that i could only play it in short bursts! hahaha!

madgear

#27

madgear said:

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is one of the finest games I've ever played on any format. If you've not played it then check it out.

I also should point out it doesn't really have "scares" in the traditional sense. The monsters are telegraphed because they're supposed to make you feel uneasy rather than scared, like they're trying to stop you finding out the truth. I've never been scared by any game (how can you be when you're not in harm and can simply re-try) but trust me when I say you'll definitely feel other emotions when playing it. I don't want to spoil it, but you'll be choking up by the end.

It's very much in the spirit of an adventure and mystery game set in a spooky town. Not having combat (something I've always felt an unnecessary distraction in other Silent Hill games) and the use of flashlight is a stroke of genius. Can't recommend that game enough.

MAB

#28

MAB said:

I agree with this list 100% ;)

It's lame when people say that about the chase sequences in SH: Shattered Memories because there was a reason behind it as a psychological sensory of emotions ;)

There's a game missing from the list though my lads...

ESCAPE FROM BUG ISLAND :P

MAB

#29

MAB said:

You guys also forgot about 2 more great horror titles for wii...

OBSCURE: The Aftermath
A pretty cool old-school style survival horror with teens battling their way out of a college campus full of monsters complete with sexual and drug references. Also has an awesome 2 player co-op mode ;)

MANHUNT 2
You are a killer that escapes a mental asylum and must piece together your past while also murdering people in weird and wonderful ways. Great game highly recommended by me ;)

Araknie

#30

Araknie said:

At the end you trolled me.
I'm sorry but i packed out my Wii already, halloween means goodbye for it to me.

Rapido

#31

Rapido said:

WTF!!!!! Project Zero 2?!!!! Crimson Butterflies??!!! The best in the series (well i havent played the 4th installment). Dang, gotta get the groove on. :)

Banker-Style

#32

Banker-Style said:

I have to say,while Silent Hill isn't really scary,it's one of the best experiences I've had on Wii. So I might play this tomorrow,even though I haven't even played Project Zero 2 yet.

I always wished I went for Cursed Mountain.but I never bothered,and to be honest I regret my decision to this day.

rambo2

#33

rambo2 said:

Ju-on seems interesting, altough the other games look great too. I wonder what kind of experience would someone have on a wii with scary games.

WhiteTrashGuy

#34

WhiteTrashGuy said:

Hey everyone, he mentioned light-gun spin-offs in the closing paragraph. So the article DOES reference RE: ARCHIVES/CHRONICLES, DEAD SPACE: EXTRACTION, and the 2 HOUSE OF THE DEAD games.

Still need to play SHATTERED MEMORIES and THE GRUDGE.

LittleIrves

#35

LittleIrves said:

Shattered Memories was a great, great game. Sometimes my wife runs after me like the Silent Hill monsters and it is seriously the freakiest thing ever. Please stop doing that, wife.
I've been gearing up to finally play RE4 this season, but instead I started Alan Wake and I'm really getting into it. Love the Night Springs episodes dotted throughout. But one day, RE4... one day.
Lastly: Played Costume Quest on XBLA, too. Cute and short, just how I like my trick or treaters. (Hm?)
Also: What about Devil's Crush on the VC??

EvisceratorX

#36

EvisceratorX said:

Finally, you've gotten around to the halloween specials! :) I was worried that you guys might not do any features like this with the WiiU just around the corner...

warioswoods

#38

warioswoods said:

Shattered Memories was fantastic. If time permitted, I would gladly play through it again this year.

OuijaU

#39

OuijaU said:

Great feature! I loved the atmosphere and presentation of Cursed Mountain. I thoroughly enjoyed it, until the broken combat control scheme rendered it unplayable for me. I was so disappointed. Anyway, I'll be celebrating Halloween today by playing Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the first time.

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