Oct 252010

Let’s be honest, games are rarely scary. What I mean is actually disturbing and scares you on a psychological level. Instead games are more about the “boo”  scare. You know, the cheap, scary movie, cat throwing, moments in video games. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and we’re all aware of games that use this method to scare us. Which is why I couldn’t call this Top Ten the Top Ten Scariest Games, because saying “Boo” isn’t scary, just surprising. So that’s why it’s the Top Ten Startling/Disturbing/Scary games, I categorized the games under what they belong as well. Whether it is scary on  a psychological way, eerie or disturbing way, or just plane out “Boo” moments, here are the Top Ten Startling/Disturbing/Scary Games.

10 .Haunting starring Polterguy (Disturbing)

Haunting Starring Polterguy might be a little confusing because this game isn’t SCARY but this game is scary in theory. The actual game is funny and you can view our really bad made video here. Haunting is actually a  funny game, with people peeing their pants and fainting but some of the scares truly are disturbing. This includes watching an arm get sawed off and crawl around on the floor, a body falling from the ceiling splatting into a tub full of blood, the eerie music from the music box with an 8 foot ballerina comes out and her head spins a full 360 degrees. Eesh, just creepy. Like I said it’s disturbing more then anything, the idea of having a ghost coming around and doing all these messed up things just to kick a family out. One wonders why a HD remake has yet to be done…hint hint…EA

9. Splatterhouse (series) (Disturbing)

By today’s standards this game is not that big of a deal, but put yourself into the shoes of a 5 year old and imagine playing this game. Besides the intro still scaring the hell out of me (view video below), the monsters you face are disturbing as hell. Babies hanging, nerves of muscles walking around, splatting enemies into walls, ghosts, ghouls this game had it all. One of the contributing factors to the ESRB rating system. Sure we all thought we were playing as Jason from Friday the 13 but as the series progressed so did the mask. Which sort of became a skull mask rather then a  hockey mask. the terrible Sega Genesis sound chip really added to the disturbing nature of the game with the scream of your girlfriend sounds worse then probably was intended. Here’s hoping the remake has the guts to hang babies.

8. Dementium: The Ward (Disturbing)

Besides being a hidden gem on the Nintendo DS this little jewel is pretty creepy. The game looks terrible but looks good for a Nintendo DS game. The monsters are OK and the screaming head’s actual scream is disturbing, but play this game with head phones and it’s definitely a new experience. The echoing eerily sound of a piano played in the distance and the sound of your heartbeat through does give the game a rather disturbing feel. It’s even better to play with the lights off and just head phones where the only light is the one illuminating from the Nintendo DS.

7. Alone in the Dark (Remake) (Startling)

Alone in the Dark was once creepy then it jumped to XBOX 360 and PS3 and it became just below average. It is a very badly programmed game but there are moments where you will actually jump from being startled. The story is ridiculous and the F word is thrown around for no other reason but besides they can. But, Alone in the Dark does offer moments of good scares. This mixed with a surprisingly fabulous orchestrated score during some fights or car chases gives it more frights. Alone in the Dark is big on boo scares rather than psychological scares as a body falling from the top of a car onto the windshield when you’re inside the car, or something breaks open a  door and goes “Blah!”. Really a shame that the controls weren’t that great because although the story wasn’t THAT interesting the characters and puzzles were some what interesting.

6. Manhunt (Startling, Disturbing,  Scary)

Everything is dark, there is laughter all around and people are all afraid…of you. Manhunt brings in a different perspective to the whole horror thing, when you take on the perspective AS the killer. Mind you everyone you kill is meant to be killed because they are some f’ed up guys. The whole thing is recorded  because it’s basically a Snuff film and even the Instruction Manuel is in on the joke with prices for weapons and a website which I was too terrified to go to. Manhunt puts you in the shoes of a killer and sees what they see. Hide behind walls, knock on walls (or if you had a headset, scream something to lure them towards you) and kill them with whatever you had. Whether it is something like, say a machete to say something like a plastic bag. Put the bag over the buggers head and punch him until he chokes and drowns on his whole blood…terrifying. Although some people probably won’t see this as a HORROR game it IS however quite terrifying. Your heart races as a baddie looks into the corner of the room where you are and you hope that he doesn’t see you, 90% of the time they won’t but when they do, you’re in for a thrill.

5. Dead space (Startling)

One of the kings of startling people Dead Space is the equivalent of a Friday the 13th movie, the idea of something going around killing you is frightening but once you see what’s doing it, it isn’t that bad. Many people argue that this is the scariest game they have ever played and I disagree there are moments that will make you jump due to set ups (e.g. body on the floor you think is dead until you get close enough) but this isn’t scary. This is surprising. Although the atmosphere is frightening. The sounds of critters running through the vents around you, making you on the edge looking around while lights go on and off. There was only one moment in the entire game that made me jump and it was somewhere in the end (for those who completed the game know what I’m talking about, for those who haven’t… You will.) Dead Space is a very overrated scary game but it still does have its moments. Mind you it’s a fantastic game on it’s own, but it isn’t as scary as people seem to think it is. While playing the game the only thing your worried about is when a monster is going to jump in front of you and scare you. There is nothing psychological about it but when the monsters do jump in front of you to scare you, it’s done very well.
4. Resident evil (1-3) (Startling, Disturbing)

We all knew this series would make it on the list. As much as the series went from good to bad (1 to 3) then great to ok (4 , 5) Resident Evil forgets that it started off with startling horror. Seen in Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3 with the damn dogs that jump through the windows, then in part 3 when the zombies do the same. The game is NOT scary. When you’re in a room with 1-3 zombies you’re not scared. But when you slowly walk into a room while the cut scene is of a door slowly opening and the hall way is silent and all you hear are barks from a distance and everything seems calm… Then boom! Dogs! That is quite startling… It will make you jump. Resident Evil started as something simple, science experiment gone wrong, zombies are made. Unfortunately for Resident Evil 4 and 5 this didn’t really matter and any kind of subtlety was thrown out the window so you may run and gun instead of think and survive. The first 3 games added to the disturbing factor because of well, zombies, the way they look, the way they slowly walk towards you and the way you had 4 zombies in a room and 3 bullets left. DISTURBING.

It’s a shame they decided to go the other way with the Gears of Way route.

3. Condemned: Criminal Origins (Disturbing, Startling, Scary)

Mannequins scare the hell out of me, homeless people scare the hell out of me, mix the two together and you got Condemned: Criminal Origins. Condemned 2, although still scary, tried to be scary where as Condemned: Criminal Origins was quite subtle about the whole thing. There is nothing paranormal, and like previous games mentioned the atmosphere really adds to the game. The sounds of screaming from a not too far distance keeps you on the edge and when you  turn around and boom, a guy there. Playing Condemned with surround sound is pretty much the best way to play it because you’ll hear whispers and things getting knocked down behind you or to the side of you.  Besides the sounds in the game the visuals are quite disturbing. Since you are a crime scene investigator you must examine bodies that have been butchered up, and when you zoom into a dead, butchered body you pray that they actually are dead and they don’t scream in your face which itself is scary. One time they do do this, but I won’t spoil when, just to keep you on the edge. This is definitely a scary game.

2. Silent Hill (series) (Disturbing, Startling, Scary)

Of course Silent Hill will make it here too. Here is a game that really knows how to freak you out. Sometimes with no enemies on the screen but rather the fear of having something on the screen. Especially in Silent Hill 1 and 2 where the only thing you can see is wherever the flashlight faces (this was an unexpected success due to the Playstation hardware) Silent Hill unlike Resident Evil actually had a great storyline and maintained the genuine feeling that something about this town was not right. The sound of the radio static always turned into paranoia as you start looking around to see where the monster is, only to see in the far distance something quite disturbing and deformed walking slowly towards you. There are moments when the game tries to startle you but these situations don’t happen quite as often. So far the whole series has been great (even Silent Hill 4) and I recommend playing the games and even watching the movie. Silent Hill creeped me out and I yet have completed Silent Hill, because as I was looking on the map I saw the word “Church” and said forget it. Silent Hill is scary, and a church in Silent Hill would be worse, (this was years ago mind you). The town of Silent Hill is itself a monster, the sirens that go off really adds to the tensions of “this is going to suck” and even the paint peeling effect used in Homecoming was really well done. Every character is different and the only connection is the town. The monsters are actually disturbing and scary, especially the idea of what they do. All I’m going to say is Pyramid Head + Mannequin legs = Bad and very, very disturbing. This is the kind of game that scares you not only by startling you, but scares you on a psychological which makes you question what is going on. THAT IS SCARY!

1. Fatal Frame (Series) (Disturbing, Startling, SCARY)

The scariest game ever. Fatal Frame takes the Midnight Rescue approach with the only weapon you have is a camera. It’s dark, surprisingly eerie and apparently based on a true story (and by based on a true story it means completely fabricated with stories from others and rumors). Still just the thought of this being real eesh. I can take zombies and scary towns, crazy homeless people, aliens, nerves and lots of gore. But what I can’t take are ghosts. Mostly because there is so much we don’t know about ghosts. So it IS possible they exist which makes this game plausible and therefore scarier. Fatal Frame 2 especially is by far the scariest game. Things moving unexpectedly in a hall way, walking then catching a glimpse of what looks like a child’s arm. Creepy. Not only is the music and the atmosphere brilliant but the sayings of the ghosts such as “my eyes, my eyes” will make you wet you pants.

Having to go into first person in order to attack is even scarier instead of only getting a glimpse of what is terrifying the game force you to look at what scares you and unlike previous games , they remain scary and disturbing no matter how long you stare at them. I’ve even found some of the screen shots of Fatal Frame in websites about the paranormal, where people used a photo from the game and said they caught it in the house. The ghosts looked GOOD, the game looked GOOD that was one of the problems. Forget the fact that you play as a school girl everything looked good. The shadows the only light source being a flashlight. the sound was brilliant the concept is disturbing beyond disturbing, there is so much GOOD in this game. Good job.

Oct 122010

Recently I’ve been playing Brutal Legend, and although it’s not the hardest game out there, I did find myself dying a lot. The weird thing is that dying, didn’t anger me. I accepted it. In Gears of War I kept fighting the last boss until the bugger would die, and it took a long time. Again, I wasn’t frustrated or angry. Finally in Final Fantasy XIII, while facing one of the hardest enemies during a side quest, I died, although I was 30 mins in this battle and i died from a cheap Doom spell, I wasn’t angry. “Alright”  I thought, so I popped in Modern Warfare 2, and instantly my blood boiled and I woke up in an alley with blood all around me.

What the hell happened?

Then I played Scribblenauts and wanted to throw my DS out the window, not because I kept dying, but because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to.

So then I started thinking why do I accept things that should rage me in other games not affect me, but games like Scribblenauts and Modern Warfare 2 I want to eat a baby? I’ve come to realize it’s not because I’m dying it’s because It’s illogical, highly illogical in fact. Here are some of the reasons as to why we rage while playing video games.

Frustrating Controls/Bad Camera Angles:

While playing Scribblenauts, something as simple as grab fish put on hook, can make you want to rip your chest hair out. It’s because the controls are terrible, that in result creates the thing that is called frustration.  It’s the repetitive experience that throws us over the edge.  It bothers us even more when a simple task becomes the Holy Grail due to terrible controls. It is in the way the one of the many game rages occur. Mostly due to the fact that this is NOT YOUR FAULT. Same thing can be said for the Alone in the Dark remake. Not one of the worse game ever made, but a big disappointment due to the craptastic controls. Something as simple as break a wooden chair that is a on fire on a zombie that could be accomplished by a simple button is turned to an adventure on it’s own because (on the Xbox 360) you must move around the right analog stick to attack!

In Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions during a moment of web swinging and things exploding in the backround you have to web swing your way towards the camera. Meaning that the camera is stuck facing you while you have no idea of what’s coming your way. This is fine, it’s supposed to be intense, but what it’s not supposed to be is crappy. The web swinging aspect is the worst part of the game, when you press the web button it feels like it’s delayed and not only are you always grabbing the web at the last second but due to the crap camera your falling into obstacles that should otherwise be a breeze.

“What the hell?!” moments:

I’m talking about moments in gaming such as glitches, lag, unresponsive controllers and bizarre environments.  Mirrors Edge is one of those games that bring “what the hell” moments the most when it comes due to environments.  Thinking you have made a jump only to be way off and die is annoying. Trying to figure out what part of the map is part of the actual game, and what part is there for design purposes can really get confusing. For example trying to jump above a ledge thinking it will make progress and instead takes up a load of time because the way we’re supposed to go is a different direction, you’re not supposed to climb the big house and go on the roof, you’re supposed to duck under a barely visible hole in the fence, silly me. Modern Warfare 2 again, has a lot of moments like this where you can climb most hills or areas but some hills are just too steep for the soldiers..I suppose. Most online games will make you scream “What the hell” especially due to exploits of other players.

In Battlefield: Bad Company 2, while playing Rush you realize that you station has exploded and the match has just begun, you look on the score board and buddy what’s-his-nuts has a score of -1000. This means he’s blowing up your own station and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. You shoot him, you stab him and nothing happens. Then you tearfully send him a message saying “what the hell dude?” then he writes back “F**k your momma son!” that’s just hurtful…and weird.

Unskippable cutscenes

We all love a good challenge. Sometimes when we die in a game or fail in a game we just usually start over and try and try again. While playing Gears of War 2 with a friend on the hardest difficulty setting, there was a moment where a fork in the road occurred. He takes the high road, and I take the low road. Before that there is a cutscene explaining where to go. The thing about this is that every other scene in the game is skippable but not these. So we see the minute long cutscene, then the game focuses on where we go. Make our choice. Game loads. Play game. Friend or I die. Do it again, and again and again. This was really frustrating and actually made us not want to play.

Another example is in Kingdom Hearts. After blowing the dust off my Playstation 2 I decided to play Kingdom Hearts again. I put this in and wondered how come I never finished the game a second time. As in Gears of War it had the same problem that is repeating an un-skippable cutscene before a hard battle. First you fight the first version of the boss, and then the second will instantly kill you. Game loads. Un-skippable 2 minute cut scene, fight first boss. Die. Unskippable cutscene, first boss. Die. Remember why you stopped playing and stop playing.

Out of Your Hands Moments

Now what I mean are moments that happen in the game that result in you failing due to something else that happened that is out of your hands. Let me explain…

While playing Resident Evil 5 on hard. Sheva and I are at the moment where guys start clubbing you with electric prods. “I can dig it” I say, because the game has been hell thus far. Unfortunately these guys like to corner Sheva and not me, so she dies, game is over. Out of my hands. In result I yell at my TV.

While playing Dead Rising there is nothing like trying to:

A) Play the game and

B) Play the game and actually try to save the survivors.

Unfortunately the survivors rather run into a pack of zombies gleefully then follow Frank West. When you have 5 survivors on one side of the mall and you must take them to the safe house, crap will hit the fan. Jenny will get attacked by zombies, Bill will be asking for help, John will need you to hold his hand, and Barbara will be running into a wall. All this is out of your hands, you’ve done your part of gathering them and protecting them as much as possible the rest is up to them.

So there are some of the reason as to why we game rage, I’m sure there are more, but for now that is all I can think of.  We love video games and it’s not only a hobby for us it keeps us entertained and social. When someone hears us screaming outside and wonders why we are screaming only to find out we are in fact screaming at a video game, and evidence of punching a wall shows up. Show them this list and they will understand.

We get frustrated due to cruddy controllers, if someone doesn’t understand just say it’s like pressing the “on” button on their TV and its not working. It should work and it’s not, it’s pretty frustrating.  For “what the hell” moments imagine saying that during a baseball game, the ball was clearly a Home Run but yet was counted as a foul.  For un-skippable cutscenes show them a random 45 second clips on you tube and tell them to hold their breath for 3 minutes after. When they go to take a breath, show the clip again and again and again. Then ask them if they are annoyed.

Lastly for out of your hand moments, tell them to imagine watching a movie on DVD and during the most important part the DVD skips the scene and there is nothing they can do about it. Hopefully by then they will understand our game rage and hopefully they too will see the light.

What games do you get frustrated in and why?

Leave a comment below!