With Halloween creeping up on us slowly, relentlessly and with added creepy noises to scare us, it seems only right that we write about it. The season isn't just about dressing up and eating candy / sweets until we're sick, but it's also a time to either embrace scary gaming or, alternatively, find something cute and cuddly to take our minds off of Halloween.
In any case, plenty of your Nintendo Life writing crew want to share their Halloween gaming plans with you, and as there are quite a few of them we're splitting this into two parts. So... enjoy!
Usually what I do every October is pick a big ol' spooky game and play it all month. Various reasons this year (named Super Mario Maker, MGSV, and NHL '96) have stopped me from doing just that. So instead, I'm gonna pick a few smaller games this week and see if I can get through at least one of them.
Likely, this'll mean a bit of Slender, a dash of Extreme Exorcism, maybe even a touch of The Fall (not "horror," per se, but spooky isolation = creepy), and definitely some Decap Attack.
But let's face it: I'll just end up making more stupid Ghost House stages in Mario Maker.
For my Halloween gaming plans, I'll begin by doing my annual playthrough of Super Metroid. Though it may not inherently be a "horror" title, the creepy, isolated corridors of Planet Zebes provide an excellent atmosphere that's still just as engaging as it was decades ago. After this, I intend on moving on to Super Castlevania IV for some classic Halloween action. I've had this game on my hard drive for several years now and never actually gotten around to playing it, so now is as good a time as ever to see what all the hype is about!
In terms of more recent games, I'll be getting some co-op action in with a run of Resident Evil Revelations 2 with one of my hallmates. I've played through this one once before solo and quite enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to seeing what another person would bring to the experience. Otherwise, I'll give PT a go again just for the experience of playing through a game that is genuinely terrifying. I might pick up the new Fatal Frame, too, but I'm leaning more towards waiting for that one to go on sale.
This Halloween, it's time for me to settle a decades-old score with Friday the 13th on NES. I don't care what it takes or how long I'm at it - that purple and blue freak is going down.
I've always been the oddity in that I really like Friday the 13th. It's clunky and overly-difficult and unfair, but all of these things make it into a really good horror game. You've got an unpredictable enemy that can show up out of nowhere, one who can kill you in a single, unprepared instant. You've got clumsy, uncoordinated player characters who barely stand a chance against the enemy. You've got a confusing, twisting maze of a world that hides some dangerous secrets. It's all a recipe for a solid horror game.
I'm looking forward to the fight. To the random, tense appearances of Jason on the camp paths, trading blows while praying he leaves first. To the shrill, sharp note that plays as he rushes toward you in the cabins, machete streaking towards your head. To the confusion of the forest as I search for the tools that'll give me an edge against my overpowered opponent. I'm looking forward to this. I'm looking forward to ending it.
I've said this before, though, as the little red light on my NES came on. Said it many times just before that lightweight controller was airborne, carried along on my anger and defeat. Jason is unbreakable. A brick wall that hits like a truck, fading away as he slowly whittles away at my best-equipped players. How am I supposed to take a handful of klutzy teenagers and keep them alive against something like that?
I don't know how. And I don't care. I've got the willpower. I've got Nintendo Power. This year, that poorly-written, super short ending is going to be mine. Chrissy and Mark, you're going home. As for the other counsellors…well…we'll see?
Narelle Ho Sang
Halloween usually starts every October 1st with Jack appearing in my Animal Crossing town. That mischievous Jack-o-Lantern spirit always seems to come a-haunting my life every few years, across console generations. This year though, it's going to be a little bit different. I think I'll be the one playing a trick. With Happy Home Designer as my latest Animal Crossing obsession and finding its way into my heart, I am going to bring Mr. Resetti into my game to scare up a little Halloween fun for him.
Between my real-world trick-or-treating with my nephew and his friends in a brand new neighbourhood, I think I'll design a very spooktacular home for that mole. Picture this nightmare if you will: A storm-weathered patch of land for a grey shanty of a house. Tombstones outside. Black flowers on each. Inside the house, a vampire bust. A creepy, old rug. Jack's album on the wall with K.K. Dirge playing on the basic cassette player. One wax-candle on a wooden table for ambience. In a tiny backroom over-looking the cliff there'll be a single cauldron. Maybe a skeleton in the corner.
But best of all, his house will have concrete walls and floors for a dirtless home. It's the one detail that's very important: Try to bust out of that to tell me how wrong I am about life, Mr. Resetti!
So here's what happened last Halloween...
I dug out my old Ash costume from my closet - literally the same one I wore for the Pokemon Mall Tour in 1999. Here I am as a handsome 12 year old in the city paper:
I was astounded that the costume still fit, minus the jeans. Knowing that the Pikachu on my head wasn't going to cut it, I asked my girlfriend to dress up as Ash's special comrade, and later that night we took on the San Diego nightlife. On one of our stops we wandered into a karaoke bar and decided to hang around to watch the spectacle: drunk, costumed singers up on a stage.
Before we could leave half an hour later, the MC took hold of the mic and began to announce the winners of the karaoke costume contest: the Ash and Pikachu couple! I'm proud to say that we won a costume contest just by randomly walking into a building.
So this year, I guess I'll just do that again.
Check back tomorrow for more gaming plans from the NL team; in the meantime let us know what you've got lined up for Halloween gaming!