A Nine-Point Guide on How to Scare The3rdPlayer

20160731192339_1.jpgI would never call myself an expert on horror. I’ve watched a ton of horror films and played my weight in horror games so I’m no stranger to the tricks and tropes of the trade, either. I’ve gained enough of a reputation to be considered an aficionado, though, somewhere closer to an expert than a layman. What I do know is that after spending probably half of my life taking in an appreciated horror media is that I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

Something I’ve talked to a few folks on Twitter and in my life about is not necessarily what is done well or isn’t but what actually works to give you the creeps and keep you entertained. When it comes to films, for instance, a solid slasher movie will keep me watching while a lot of movies with possession or vampires don’t tend to strike the right chords for me. On the other hand, I know people who have the exact opposite inclinations. Some people are claustrophobic and can’t take certain camera angles. I know plenty of folks who can’t stand when movies victimize children because it feels like low hanging fruit for the sake of a reaction.

Games are a little different, though. There’s another level of immersion because you’re the one controlling the person going through the ordeal. By extension, these things are happening to you and if you want to finish the game, you’re going to go through a gauntlet of jumps, creeps, and “You Died” screens to see the end and find salvation. How do you know which horror games are for you, though? Do certain mechanics work more effectively toward embedding that dread into your bones? Are there effects that make you roll your eyes a bit or get so frustrated that you need to put your controller down for a minute to compose yourself?

Allow me to open up my own discussion with five ways that games can creep me out- and four ways a number of games have rubbed me the wrong way while trying. As always, since this is discussing a multitude of game mechanics and situations from video games, there will be spoilers below. Nothing that will ruin a game entirely, but it may take some of the punch out of some scares you might not want ruined. Consider yourself warned!
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My Top 10(ish) Predictions for Games Coming to the PSOne Classic Mini

Playstation Classic Mini
With the recent announcement of the Sony Playstation Classic Mini being produced, speculation has been running wild as to what games might be joining the five that have already been announced: Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Wild Arms, Tekken 3, and Ridge Racer Type 4.  Following in the traditions of the other Mini systems that have been released, there has been a promise of 20 titles that should be on the final list of games available.

Of course, everyone has their predictions and their reasons behind them- so why shouldn’t I join in on the fun?  I loved my Sony Playstation growing up with Final Fantasy VII being the first game I purchased for it (even before memory cards, which is a story in an of itself)!

After the jump are ten games that are a mix of logical predictions and wishlist games that I would enjoy seeing on the upcoming Mini.  By no means are these all of the games I would like to see- that list stretches a bit longer than I have time to write about- but I’ve got plenty of thoughts as to what would make the Playstation Classic Mini an actual classic.
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Missions Off The Grid – Game Boy Color – Resident Evil Gaiden – 2002

REGaiden Title
Resident Evil Gaiden

Game Boy Color
Capcom / M4
Genre: Action Horror
2002 (2001 in PAL region)

I missed out on the Game Boy Color for the most part so a lot of the games that were designed for the system are still mysteries to me.  Somewhere between the Game Boy, the Super Nintendo, and the Super Game Boy, this little handheld slipped right under my nose while I moved from console to console.  When I find games that would have snagged my attention back then in the current day, I immediately try to jump on them so that I can see exactly what I was missing.

Having loved Resident Evil since my friend described it to me on the original Playstation years ago, I spent hours with Chris and Jill on their flagship venture through the Spencer Mansion.  Resident Evil 2 also became and continues to be a favorite of mine.  I remember briefly seeing something about a Game Boy entry of the series in some magazine, but I couldn’t tell you which magazine it was or how deeply the article explained it.  I never saw it on the store shelves so it slipped from my memory pretty easily, especially since it had come out in the PAL region before coming over to the US so I had no idea if I would even see it.

The next time I ran into Resident Evil Gaiden was on a random shelf at a Wal-Mart down the street from my house well after they had stopped selling GBC games.  I didn’t pick it up then, either, but I was always curious about it. Part of the Resident Evil experience had to do with the scope and the narrative, both of which were things I hadn’t experienced on the Game Boy.  Having the chance to play Resident Evil Gaiden recently, I finally got to see how I would feel about the ‘lost’ chapter of the series.
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Twitter Topic – Get Down With The Sequelitis

dr mario nurse peach

In a recent post over in The Well-Red Mage’s neck of the woods, he brought up a topic I’ve had conversation with some folks about over the course of my gaming career that I realize I haven’t posted at length about:

“What video game series got infected with Sequelitis?”

As a fan of many- many- horror movie series, the concept of sequelitis is not a new one to me.  Once a series hits a certain point, they start to shows symptoms:

Maybe a character comes back completely changed, shrugging off everything you knew about them.  Maybe your favorite action movie decided to appeal to a new demographic and has a forced romantic subplot.  What if the locale changes from a quiet blood-soaked summer camp to a space station?

…okay, that series was a little sick by then anyway, but you get my meaning, I hope.

Why don’t you grab a seat while I diagnose a few gaming series that may have fallen to illness for a time- but bear in mind, you’re always welcome to a second opinion elsewhere!

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The 3rd Player’s Top 5(ish) Games of 2017

Legend of Zelda, The - A Link to the Past000

In mere days, 2017 will have left us, and in its wake, there was a glut of fantastic games that graced our various consoles and electronic devices.  Being that I tend to focus more on old-school games and more cost-effective options than new releases tend to lend themselves to, my experiences with games that were released in 2017 are slim.  I did still manage to play a few great games that were actually released this year.

Most of my criteria for the games that I added on to this list were simply that they were released within the year and that I had played enough of them to really formulate a solid opinion on them.  Some games that didn’t make the cut I’ve been enjoying but I’m still cutting my teeth on- Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey and Deep End Games’ Perception being two notable titles that are very promising- and a lot of games I completed this year are a year or two off- Night School Studio’s Oxenfree comes to mind.  Honestly, if you’re looking for recommendations of games outside of the past year?  I’m a wealth of information and offerings.

What did I manage to play from this year, though, that has stuck with me and made some kind of impact?  After thinking thoroughly through my playlist over the past twelve months and sequencing them by relevance- well, I’m just impressed by people being able to work out top 10 lists without endless agonizing.

Now, to add to the top lists of the year of 2017- here is my list of my completely subjective and biased top five games from the year (and one honorable mention) for your consideration and entertainment!

(Oh, and as an added note, while I try to skip over spoilers as much as possible since I’ll be writing a bit more about some of these in upcoming posts, there very well may be spoilers.  As vague or minute as they might be, I’d rather warn my readers than not!)

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