October is here, and with it the Halloween season. While I enjoy science fiction, fantasy and the related genres I am first and foremost a horror nerd. So much so I have even dabbled in writing horror fiction and managed to get a few pieces published. What this means is than Halloween is by far my favorite time of year. The Horror genre allows us to confront our fears in a safe environment. Halloween is a reminder of this. Ghouls greet us in the windows of stores and we all watch in anticipation as a little kid walks cautiously toward the animatronic cackling witch. They may have jumped and ran the first time, but damn it they will not let that stand. They will conquer the witch, and with it feel a sense of triumph. On the car ride home they will beam up to their parents regaling them with the tale and explaining that they are no longer scared, and their parent will face the fact that their child is growing up.
Now when selecting games to play for the Halloween season, its not simply about the scariest grisliest game. There is a certain energy and feel to what works for Halloween media. Often times this comes in the inclusion of classic, even cliched images. With these two ideas I’ve chosen two games that I believe embody these ideas.
SUPER CASTLEVANIA IV
This old school side scroller for the SNES is the game I enjoyed the most for this long running series, and have played off and on to this day. Simon’s quest in this 16 bit adventure takes him through many classic Gothic horror environments while battling a wide assortment of creatures. The music contains an eerie atmospheric quality that is perfect for dark late nights. The game play is varied despite its limited interface. The level design is incredible, making it timeless classic. While this was an early SNES game the graphics aren’t great as strong as later Nintendo titles, but the layered backgrounds are impressive making this a great Halloween title.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2, is a vast improvement on the amazing original Left 4 Dead, allowing upwards of four players to try and escape literally unending streams of zombies. This fat paced first person shooter enjoys not only great level design, but a feature that makes replay of each level very exciting each time. Powerups and zombies are scattered randomly through each level, ensuring no two games are ever the same. This combined with the multi-player element makes it a great game to play with friends. While its possible to run and gun through the game, if you die you need your partner to rescue you. This incentive works well to keep you team in formation as you move through this undead nightmare.
What are your favorite games to play around Halloween? Drop me a line below.
Coming soon The Fanboy’s Halloween Guide; Part Two Comics