Just a Short Trip Back for More – PC – DreadOut: Keepers of the Dark – 2016

20190811102407_1.jpgDreadOut: Keepers of the Dark
PC
Digital Happiness
Genre: Survival Action Horror
2016

Certain games lend themselves to a convoluted and drawn-out mythos. Taking into account some certain popular horror games, you could easily find essays about Silent Hill’s background and characters. Personally, I’ve poured through a number of analyses about Rule of Rose and the symbolism within the world drawn up over the game’s events. While a lot of that is in the eye and explanations of the analyst behind the keyboard, most franchises are not foreign to the idea of adding more to an already existing mythos to explain mysteries or flesh out their universe. It’s what endears people to their work, after all.

The original DreadOut (which I reviewed a while back here) took its inspiration from some already existing mythology, sending a group of trapped teenagers and their teacher up against some of the specters and demons in Indonesian stories. The game didn’t just rest on this, as it had its own plot and story to tell, but the combination of existing and specifically created histories made for an interesting plot to watch unfold as the horrors played out.

Keepers of the Dark is not a straight sequel to DreadOut as one might be led to believe from the title and timeline. I say this not only informationally but as a bit of a warning for the discussion to follow since there is almost no way to discuss the game without referring to elements from the original DreadOut and possibly giving some spoilers. Acting more like a “missing chapter”, according to the game’s page on Steam, it sort of takes a quick sidestep from the plot of the original and has events that relate to it. If you haven’t played the original game and don’t want it ruined for you, feel free to turn away now. No hard feelings here, I promise!

Otherwise, take a peek at what I thought of this extra chapter from the DreadOut universe and how effective it may or may not have been as a standalone piece. Continue reading

A Downward Spiral – Sega Dreamcast – The Ring: Terror’s Realm – 2000

TitleThe Ring: Terror’s Realm
Sega Dreamcast
Asmik Ace Entertainment/Infogrames
Genre: Action Survival Horror
2000

In the early 2000s, American cinema found itself with a glut of remakes from the Japanese horror market. Plenty of countries borrow films from one another and put a bit of their own spin on them to put in their respective movie theaters, but it felt like there were a bunch of films that released here like The Grudge, One Missed Call, Pulse and probably most famously, The Ring.

The Ring kind of felt like it was the start of a popular movement at the time. Based on a series of books by Koji Suzuki- which are well worth reading if you have any interest- the film followed the first of them in which a young girl, Sadako Yamamura, died a terrible death and inflicted a curse to spread, killing those whom it afflicted seven days after contraction. The books explore how this plays out when humans become involved and set up for an interesting a relatively fresh horror angle to be played at.

Like many successful films, The Ring spawned its own media including a little known video game for the Sega Dreamcast called The Ring: Terror’s Realm. With the American remake arriving two years after the video game released, it’s understandable why the game fell to the wayside in the US. Still, there weren’t a ton of offerings on the Dreamcast in the horror genre so to fans of games like Illbleed and Resident Evil: Code Veronica, this probably felt like a dream come true to someone looking for a scare.

Like most films and games, though, those scares come at a cost. Read on to see exactly how expensive the frights of The Ring: Terror’s Realm are and whether it’s worth the price of admission. Continue reading

Some Viscera-l Feelings on This One – Commodore 64 – Friday the 13th – 1985

Friday1

Friday the 13th
Commodore 64
Domark Software
Genre: Action Horror
1985

Continuing in the October spirit, I thought about a lot of the unrecognized horror games from the ages. Having just covered the Atari 2600 chapters of some of these games, I figured why not jump to the Commodore 64?

I know there’s a Friday the 13th game there. I’ve played it before.

I love Friday the 13th.

Heck, I could even publish the review of it on Friday the 13th to get everybody as psyched as me that the day falls in October this year!

Well, let me tell you why I’m posting about this game now: because Friday the 13th means too much to me to post about this on that day.

Listen up, and I’ll tell the interesting and sordid tale of the Friday the 13th game that even the NES version may outshine.

Continue reading

Let’s Mix It Up! – Nintendo Entertainment System – Monster Party – 1989

Monster Party (U)_001

Monster Party
Nintendo Entertainment System
Bandai
Genre: Action Platformer
1989

Early Nintendo games are not known for being horrific, at least not in the States.  Sure, some of them are dark- you don’t have to look much further than Castlevania to see that.  Where Nintendo’s prime market was located, though, was squarely in heroic fantasy.  While titles like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda were made accessible to all ages, games like Uninvited were made more accessible to a higher age bracket by way of design before the ESRB came into play.

When you find a game like Monster Party, you can be sure that some parents were a little more surprised by what they had purchased.  Yes, the box of the game shows a variety of classic looking monsters like a vampire and a fishman.  It still looks more like a budding monster movie fan’s dream title than a disturbing romp through a bizarre world of terror and blood.  Those who played the game, though, may have found otherwise.

So just how well did this game fare in the sterile land of Nintendo’s early library?

Continue reading

Bamf, snickt, skrazzkoom, fshraakk! – Sega Genesis – X-Men – 1993

X-Men (U) [!]_001

X-Men
Sega Genesis
Western Technologies Inc
© 1993
Genre: Action Platformer

It’s been said before, on this very blog: franchise games tend to be cringe-worthy.  Once in a blue moon, clever developers realize that they shouldn’t make a game based on a franchise merely to sell games, but they ought to put some damn effort into it, and maybe check out the source material.  Tapping into a long established franchise to produce a game that does both of these things is a rarity.  Considering how old this particular comic franchise was, and that it had been dug into before (and after), it was unsurprising that the Genesis’ X-Men came to be. Continue reading