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Thread: Random Ramblings About Horror Games

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    Default Random Ramblings About Horror Games

    I originally titled this post "Why Horror Gaming Sucks," but that title was kind of a lie. I actually quite like horror games in general, and just saying a game is horror themed is a decent way to get me interested.

    I'm just frustrated that some things seem to be lost on modern developers, not always just the bigwigs either--sometimes indies are stupid too.

    the Splatterhouse remake from 2009 or so

    So one of my favorite horror game trilogies is Splatterhouse--the original arcade game (and its TG16 port) and its two Sega Genesis sequels.

    Now, I've heard mixed opinions on the X-Box 360/PS3 reboot in terms of gameplay. However, what always bothered me about it was two things: the tone and the story.

    My friend George described it best: "They went all Evil Dead on it." What he means is this: Evil Dead 1 was a serious horror movie, but the series gradually became more of a comedy over time (to the point where the third and final movie, Army of Darkness, was a shlock action flick).

    It's easy to see what he means. The Terror Mask, the ancient Mayan relic that is supposed to be mysterious and vaguely sinister, is now a crass dudebro who comments on how good Rick's girlfriend smells. This isn't the dialogue of a paranormal entity. The original games were perfect: the Mask was encouragement but somehow just a tinge sinister, and you never really knew what it was all about, and when it spoke it had business.

    Even putting that aside, one big reason the original trilogy worked for me is because you get the vaguest of explanations--that a guy named Dr. West did experiments in the eponymous Splatterhouse. Did Dr. West somehow cause all the creepy stuff, or was it already present? Who knows--just, its there, its got your girl, this mask wants to help you, you gotta punch beasties.

    The new story in the reboot commits the dual sin of explaining too much, and the explanation is kind of lame. Dr. West is now an immortal servant of an evil force called "the Corrupted" which is your generic evil demon race that wants to take over the world because Generic Evil. Like, how am I supposed to be scared of this? I mean, your evil race is called "The Corrupted." They might as well be called "The Evilbads."

    The original Splatterhouse was capable of giving me nightmares (as a kid I remember being freaked out by the water monsters). I have no comment on the reboot.

    On that note...

    Games, Either Get Lovecraft Right Or Stop Doing Lovecraft

    Lovecraft is always sort of done wrong by video games. At best, they get the vaguest aspects of his work right, but miss a lot of major themological things.

    Here's a big recurring one: sanity. Video games for some reason always reduce Lovecraft's monsters to big beasties with a magical power to mess with people's sanity. This comes from a recurring thing in Lovecraft's fiction where the protagonists often wind up going a bit nuts because of their experiences... what's missed by games (and to be honest, most of the literary fanbase) is that usually either A) the people who lose their sanity usually had weak or already-damaged minds, or B) the things they experienced were just that fucked up (I don't blame anyone for being a little messed up after the events of "Beyond the Wall of Sleep.") Sanity Loss was not some supernatural power the monsters inherently had.

    In fact part of the point of the Cthulhu Mythos is supposed to be the monsters didn't even care about us, if they even knew of us to begin with. There were occasional groups of humans who thought they could contact the beings who they took as gods, but whether they actually had any sway at all was up to question.

    This leads me to another thing: Lovecraft-themed games often commit the same sin as Splatterhouse 360, where they over-explain things and, in doing so, make it lame. In Lovecraft's actual work, his explanations (when he provided them) tended to be the type that--as Grim once put it--"answered one question, but raised so many others," plus were put in a way where you could have a field day trying to separate factual statement from exaggerated reaction or mythic prose (especially since two stories could have radically different perspectives on the same creatures--the ghouls in "Pickman's Model" versus the ghouls in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" for example, which are explicitly the same ghouls since Pickman is with them). So even when you got an explanation, it was just a part of a much larger story which gave you a feeling that there was more going on in this world...

    ...Which I'll admit, this is why I liked shows like Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings growing up, because the UFO or Bigfoot or whatever stories had a similar sort of vibe, feeling like they were covering disparate parts of a hidden world that one day would all be tied together, or probably already has but we weren't there to witness it.

    But getting back to video games... whenever you see Cthulhu, he's turned into basically just a kaiju. This big, dark, mysterious creature... and he's lame. Then there's things like Azathoth, who in the original fiction its unclear if Azathoth is a real being or just a metaphor for the bazillions of random atoms and particles that make up a universe... but in games Azathoth is always a literal entity who you can summon and have tea and cookies with, who loves long walks on the beach and reruns of Dancing With the Stars.

    I'm not at all believing this is some inherent weakness of video games, I mean if stories that were nothing more than text on paper could create these kinds of worlds, then video games should be able to bring them to brilliant life. The problem is the creators just keep taking the cheap and easy routes.

    Character Drama

    Okay, so... this is where I'm in a minority, but honestly, I don't give a crap about character drama. Like when I play a game and it starts off telling me the hero has a lost son or whatever, it just sends alarm bells. I don't wanna play Dude Guy's Angst Quest.

    I'm a concept man. Horror interests me because its a vehicle for ideas that can raise questions about our own universe, and explore philosophical grounds we might not always be kosher with. To use Lovecraft again, the idea that humanity isn't all that important, some sort of cosmic accident, and any number of beings easily outclass us and we survive only because we're beneath their notice. On a more prosaic level, common stories of ghosts and poltergeists get us to think about the nature of life after death and what lies beyond. On some level I actually suspect the Lovecraft mythos is reality and our puny human minds just had to reduce it to a story with a "canon" in order to make sense of it all.

    When I have to hear about Dude Guy's Lost Son, I tend to be more annoyed than anything. Yes yes you got a bad hand once, screw you, one of my IRL best friends committed suicide and nobody made a game about me, so suck it up you whiner. Besides your dead son is nowhere near as interesting as the ghosts which, if they're real and not a Scooby hoax, means you could actually still contact the kid somehow and get your closure. Which is likely what's gonna happen.

    Really, that's the biggest problem: I've just heard that story so many times, all the emotional manipulation you can wring out of me with a dead child or whatever, it's already used up. I just don't care anymore.

    It's really kind of strange to me that these days character drama of this sort is seen as "must have," when for most of human history it wasn't. Most horror protagonists from the 1910s to the 1980s didn't even have names, and they were only interesting insofar as "here's a weird thing that happened to me," again the exact same quality as an episode of Unsolved Mysteries about a haunted hotel might have.

    So there's a new Call of Cthulhu game for the Nintendo Switch, which I almost bought... but the box had the damning phrase "his own troubled past" on it, which makes me feel like the actual interesting part--the mythos stuff--is gonna take a back seat to his lost son or his gambling debt or that time he misplaced the remote or whatever his issue is. Again, Lovecraft's protagonists usually didn't even have names. If you're gonna call that a condemnation of Lovecraft, then why is this game titled after one of Lovecraft's short stories and based on his lore, and not (say) an adaptation of one of Stephen King's novels (all of which are character-heavy to the point where the actual horror element gets lost in the shuffle)? In fact, almost nobody talks about Stephen King these days...

    (For what it's worth, King himself considered Lovecraft the superior writer).

    Look, I know we all liked [title redacted to avoid spoiler] but...

    So...

    I am sooooo freaking tired of horror games where the big twist at the end is "the game was entirely in this one guy's head and everything you saw was an analogy or metaphor for his personal demons."

    I always feel so ripped off when a game does this. It combines the "character drama" flaw with the "explanation that makes the entire game lame" theme.

    There was this one game (which I won't name but I will describe) which dealt with various periods in the player character's life, and weird stuff happened and you constantly got told you had committed some grave betrayal. At certain points you're doing research on alien stuff, at another point you're in an arctic outpost... it turns out your "big sin" was you once managed to pin a drunk driving charge on someone else, and all the alien stuff was just you hallucinating while in a coma during which you somehow saw some horror movies.

    Facepalm facepalm facepalm.

    Like, seriously, I thought the twist was gonna be that he had somehow sold the Earth out to aliens or was a sleeper agent or something... which might've actually been awesome. But instead no, the whole thing was a dream and a guilt complex with an unconvincing explanation. I don't give a crap about personal drama, I want REAL aliens.

    This is actually why I don't bother with modern horror, because it seems nowadays horror writers (at least in the gamesphere) are way too intent on shortchanging you with this "its all in your head" bollocks. I don't wanna play a game or experience a story where its all in your head. If there's not an actual thing happening, then the experience is stupid and pointless. Very often the thing the person did to be torturing himself over is pathetically trite and in no way makes up for shortchanging us like that.

    I get the feeling writers like this for two reasons. First is its an easy cop-out--found a plot hole or inconsistent explanation? Well, it's a hallucination anyway so there's your answer! Second, because they have this misconception that they're somehow being "deep." Third, it means they don't have to rack their brains finding a real thread to tie everything together--finding a reason ghosts are haunting this one place is hard, but if its all a hallucination then there ya go, there were no ghosts.

    Part of me also suspects it might be a statement on modern nerddom, so hidebound to science and technology that they won't even accept the concept of a ghost or an alien being in an otherwise realistic environment except as something people are just making up.

    Which.... is kind of missing the point, since horror is supposed to be about tackling ideas you refuse to accept.

    Again, a Lovecraft comparison... recently I was discussing the story "Herbert West: Reanimator" on Skype, and I mentioned that in the original short story, there's a part where West uses his reanimator fluid on a decapitated man, expecting only the body to start moving (since the head is cut off and on another table)... but the head also starts talking. I gave my interpretation, which was that Lovecraft was an atheist so to him, something like this happening would be confirmation of a soul or something like it, and thus everything he believed is wrong (or at least, deeply in question). Essentially Lovecraft was applying his own "what you believe is irrelevant to reality" philosophy to himself, not just everyone else.

    Today, no writer would have a scene like this (hell, that scene was redone in the 1980s Reanimator movie so it is the potion that resurrects both head and body, with the result that instead of challenging anyone's beliefs, it just makes Herbert West look like an idiot) because their heads are so far up their hidebound science asses that even saying "in this fictional universe, ghosts exists" is too morally impugnating for them.

    Lack of a sub-reality

    So, let me mention Lovecraft one last time.

    At the beginning of the short story "The Silver Key," Lovecraft broaches the idea that while people don't think much of dreams and imagination because they don't tangibly exist... well, they actually do, and real life is just as much an illusion. This story also kicks off a three-story cycle in which a guy named Randolph Carter tries using his dreams to go on a sort of quest, with an implication that the thing he wants is actually attainable--that his imagination can affect reality.

    Right there, there's a lot you rarely see in video games. Video game storylines are always depressingly physical. Even when you have creatures who exist on different wavelengths or whatever, they're a big growley thing that slashes you with its claws.

    The next story, Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, has this scene where a ship sails right off the edge of the world... and through outer space, landing on the freaking moon (which cats can get to just by jumping, apparently). Okay, so with all the amounts of fantasy genres like RPGs have indulged in, how come I've never played a Final Fantasy game where a ship has ramped itself off of flowing water and into the sky? Sure, those games have Airships, but those are again putting a material spin on a fantastic concept--they fly because they have propellers like a helicopter, of course!

    This is where I'm sure some people are gonna mention The Evil Within, which is close to what I'm thinking about... and even that does it in a sci-fi-ish way (and really, I find the environments a little oddly prosaic for dreams. Seriously, a normal-ass police building? Not even gonna have a room with an inexplicably high ceiling and a logicless monorail where you're in a room one minute watching Rainbow Brite but then suddenly you're not really there but actually just remembering doing this... yeah I've had weird dreams). Actually, to be fair, the Half-Life mods Afraid of Monsters and Cry of Fear do get aspects of this down pat, as do some of the Silent Hills.

    Too bad any game about dreams tends to also use the "none of this is real, its all just him torturing himself" thing I complained about earlier.

    On a wider scale though (getting beyond horror games here), how come I never see an RPG villain whose master plan is to chip part of an eldritch entity's tomb and use the resulting psychic waves to get into people's dreams and grab certain concepts he likes to weave them into the cosmic chaos and... what the hell am I even talking about?

    But no, its always some douche who wants to sic his soldiers on people out of good old power-hungriness. Even when the bad guy is a freaking sleeping wizard on the moon, he's just a really mad guy who hates Earthlings and wants to rule everything. They're all just masquerading as men with a reason, their charades are the event of the season. If they claim to be a wise man, it surely means that they don't know.

    God I wish I knew how to program, maybe the kind of thing I want would be a good indie game.

    (On that note, I'm shocked nobody used RPG Maker to make a game of Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows." Seriously that thing seems perfect for an RPG Maker horror game).

    So, the short version

    There needs to be another remake of Splatterhouse and this time, don't play it for camp.

    The greatest sin a horror game can pull is "none of this actually happened, it was all in his head." Dreams are okay if there's an element of tangibility to them and NOT if they're used as a cop-out to avoid having actual supernatural elements.

    Nobody cares about Joe Bob's Dead Son, we're here for the aliens.

    Please involve concepts more complicated than something you'd hear in a child's campfire story.

    If you're gonna do Lovecraft, please do him justice.

    Carry on my wayward son. There'll be peace when you are done.

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    You ever hear of Laplace's Demon? I haven't played it myself and don't know if you'd like it, but Daria thought highly of it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2jcJ9TYkwQ

    Personally, I think it'd be boring if all scripts of any particular genre were handled a certain way. There should be games where monsters, ghosts, aliens, etc. just plain exist, and there are tons where that's the case, but I think there has to be some unknown factor to make it scary. Otherwise you just accept it as a normal part of the fantasy world of the game. I don't think anybody's freaked out by, say, Starky from Chrono Cross. Being unable to distinguish from reality and hallucination is a pretty terrifying concept, so I think it's fine for a horror game premise. And it's more interesting if there's a backstory to explain why characters can't than to just be like "they're crazy, the end."

    If a bajillion works take inspiration from a single source, again, I think all different kinds of approaches keep things fresh. It would be boring if every work taking inspiration from Lovecraft strove solely for faithfulness. Personally, I enjoy a series called The Elder Sister-like One. It's basically a demented romance manga about a boy and a demon girl version of Shub-Niggurath. I'm guessing you would hate it, considering it focuses almost entirely on the relationship between the characters. I'm all about character dynamics and psychoanalysis of characters and so on.

    Maybe I've just had back luck, considering I haven't played many, but under-explaining has been a reoccurring problem I've had with the horror games I've played. Keep me guessing through the whole game, fine, but I expect something definitive to come out of the ending at least. But some leave it open to interpretation all the way through, which makes me feel like there wasn't really a plot to begin with, just a bunch of random creepy scenes that you can headcanon in whatever way you want. If it was all in the character's head, at least tell me as much. Don't leave me hanging with "Maybe it all really happened, maybe it didn't."

    All that said, I think video games are, generally speaking, a poor medium for storytelling. For most games, the story has to serve the gameplay, which invariably hinders storytelling. The only genre of games (which some would deny are "games" to begin with) with stories that can rival novels and movies is visual novels, in my opinion. And there are some pretty cool horror-themed visual novels.

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    I've heard of Demon of Laplace--apparently some people see it as a spiritual followup to Sweet Home, which I liked despite it being a rather typical ghost story.

    To be honest I used to think video games weren't a good fit for storytelling... but a couple of things convinced me they could be, and made me think the problem was creative stigmas similar to what haunts the comic book industry--basically, "because it hasn't been done, then it can't be." But when you find an author who says "screw that" you get brilliance. The Metal Gear series could've continued to be brilliant if Japan wasn't a conformist culture and Kojima wasn't bound by corporate interests (screw critics, Metal Gear Solid 2 was brilliance on a disc).

    Then there's games like Ib and the Crooked Man, a pair of indie RPG-Maker games (which aren't RPGs despite what they were made with) that show how effective games can be at telling stories and the latter really does do some thinking outside the box, managing a sort of subdued idealism which points out the potential drawbacks of trying too hard and never letting go of your ideals. It's not quite the antithesis to every kids anime ever made, its more like a counterpoint.

    I haven't heard of Elder Sister-like One, but I did hear of this anime/manga which reinterprets Lovecraft peeps like Nyarlathotep as.... high school girls. I think it's called like Nyarko-san or something, and to be honest it sounds adorable.

    See, in a case like that... well, one of my favorite anime is Ranma 1/2, which is character drama, but in that case you know what you're getting into when you sign up for it, and the Ranma cast is entertaining and likable, the kind of people you could imagine having a few sips of whatever beverage with while they tell you about whatever antics (probably involving mind-control mushrooms or secret societies based around cursed pools or really serious games of kick the can) they got up to recently.

    It also helps that in that case the character drama is the most interesting thing going on--its not like the series spends three episodes talking about the Jersey Devil and then suddenly drops episodes about an arranged marriage on you.

    Basically, I won't complain about character drama if its what I signed up for. I don't play a light gun game then say there's too much shooting.

    As for explanations, the big thing I demand is that the explanation doesn't cheapen the experience--which I feel springing "oh you were bringing this on yourself the whole time" almost always does. I think I've seen precisely two games where that reveal worked out... largely because of a themological significance it had (both games involved coping with depression). The game I ragged on in the OP, the one that goes on about aliens and betrayals before revealing you're just a guy at a hospital after a car wreck... that was just B.S. (Also seriously, what hospital keeps freaking horror movies for the patients to watch?)

    Though "Maybe it was real, maybe it wasn't", now that you mention it, bugs me as well, but for a different reason: It feels like a cheap cop-out. I kind of feel like the concept of "up to personal interpretation" has become soured--for awhile it was seen as artistic, but it didn't take long for creators to weaponize this and be considered geniuses, essentially just for being lazy. Especially since that take also has the dubious "benefit" of, if a critic ever sees a plot hole, the author can claim it was an intentional clue. I just hate things that give bad writers easy outs like that.

    That said, I do agree there should be variety in horror, with tons of different takes... that's kind of the problem tho: there aren't. I keep seeing the same ideas trotted out again and again, to the point that a genre that should be awe-inspiring and mind-blowing, is now just kind of tedious and predictable. I mention Lovecraft because his stories show places that could be gone to, and I look at those and say "Wait, this could easily be done as a video game... so why hasn't it?" It can't be technical limitations, since many could quite easily be done as RPG Maker or even Text Adventure type games. I mentioned a story of his where one scene has a normal sail boat go over water that is kinda ramping up before falling over into an abyss, and the boat uses this "ramp" to take off flying into outer space... You could easily do something similar with sprite graphics.

    It's not just adaptations that bother me... I used to be big into creepypastas like Slender Man and The Rake. The problem with such crowdsourced properties though is that the crowd is... not very creative. I mean, anyone who has ever been involved with fanfiction has seen fanon basically suck the imagination out of whatever work they rally around (how many fanfics reduce a canon character to a one-note joke or a meme?) and the same thing happened to poor old Slendy. In terms of video games, the guy almost immediately became associated with games where you had to find eight pieces of paper before he killed you.... Slenderman games with an actual plot are much rarer. In terms of the wider Slender/Rake mythos, well... both characters are basically just generic slasher monsters now, basically just Jason Vorhees with a new body. When what made them good originally was that you didn't know what they were about and their mere existence raised tons of questions. Slender Man also developed his own version of the "Lovecraft beasties have a magical aura that makes people go insane around them" thing where making you paranoid is just a power Slender Man has (rather than the much more naturalistic explanation that maybe these people are getting paranoid because some tall blank-faced creature keeps showing up in all their home movies).

    It reminds me of when George Lucas established in Star Wars: A New Hope that "the force is a strong against the weak-minded" but then by the time of episode one the reason it doesn't work on that wasp guy is because he has some racial immunity to the Jedi mind trick.... it's always a sign of a poor creator when something that could be explained with a natural force like willpower is instead BSed away with a kryptonite.

    I actually did a post on Reddit discussing Slenderman and how he could be made not-garbage. There's some thematic overlap with the OP of our current topic, and I think a lot of my ideas work for games as well. Although I notice that there I say explanations are a welcome thing.... although in that case, it was because the default fanon assumptions were the worst, most lazy assumptions you could come up with. "He chases anyone who knows about him?" Come on! Even him being a living manifestation of your guilt over missing a Game Theory livestream would be better than "he's after you because you read a book about him once."

    Ultimately, explanations are a funny thing.... they basically have to exist, but they are WAY too easy to screw up. It's no wonder people like Scott Cawthon go the obtuse route where they make finding out the story a puzzle in itself. They're essentially banking on the dopamine rush you get from putting the puzzle together will distract you from realizing that once you do, its really just a bog-standard ghost story.... up until part four where it suddenly becomes a war between a father and a son with the former core element (killer animatronics) being relegated to just showing up because they're a part of the series, even though they no longer have a core plot reason to be a thing.

    I'm just rambling now, so I thinkest I will taketh a nap.

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    I don't know if it's because the horror genre in gaming isn't as old as many other genres or because things get muddled when horror can be both a theme and a genre, but I think horror games have always been lacking in diversity. I mean, you can make just about any kind of game horror-themed, be it a platformer, RPG, first-person shooter, you name it, but those games wouldn't necessarily be considered a part of the horror genre. When talking about games that are within the genre itself, there were barely even any 2D horror games prior to indies. And even then, a lot of horror indies have started with the mentality "I want to do a pixel Silent Hill/Resident Evil/etc." I can't really blame developers for copycatting when experimentation isn't always welcomed. There are still people who are mad that Resident Evil 4 didn't play like the prior Resident Evil games, not to mention all the hatred out there for 5 and 6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    I don't know if it's because the horror genre in gaming isn't as old as many other genres or because things get muddled when horror can be both a theme and a genre, but I think horror games have always been lacking in diversity. I mean, you can make just about any kind of game horror-themed, be it a platformer, RPG, first-person shooter, you name it, but those games wouldn't necessarily be considered a part of the horror genre.
    I know I've run up right against this--I remember when people pointed out Castlevania was technically a horror game and it's like... they're right, it just wasn't the kind I was looking for.

    Kinda dealing with it in this topic too, since horror is actually kind of vague (a lot of "horror" fiction is really more like dark fantasy or just fantasy that doesn't go the normal Tolkien ripoff route). It seems like if someone calls something horror, the label probably works in some capacity.

    nb4 someone names Smurfs Racing as the scariest game ever made.

    When talking about games that are within the genre itself, there were barely even any 2D horror games prior to indies. And even then, a lot of horror indies have started with the mentality "I want to do a pixel Silent Hill/Resident Evil/etc." I can't really blame developers for copycatting when experimentation isn't always welcomed. There are still people who are mad that Resident Evil 4 didn't play like the prior Resident Evil games, not to mention all the hatred out there for 5 and 6.
    And yet Minecraft is one of the most successful games of all time precisely because there was nothing like it (for the most part).

    I'm not really sure Resident Evil is the example you want to use of people hating experimentation. RE4 has its critics, yes (I'm one of them) but it was largely beloved, and most of the complaints I've heard about 5 and 6 had nothing to do with experimentation--in fact, the opposite: that they felt stale and formulaic. Then RE7 was a major shookup and cured cancer and caused the resurrection of Optimus Prime. At least according to most reactions.

    I have run into people having irrational hatreds and fears of stepping outside of hidebound mindsets, which I tend to put down more to cowardice than experience. Like I once posted somewhere a thing pointing out thematic similarities between Undertale and Crusader of Centy... the one response I got pointed out "this'll get flamed because, remember what happened when Game Theory connected Undertale to Earthbound?" Except, as I pointed out, the problem people had wasn't the mere fact he drew a connection--the problem they had was he drew it poorly (I tend to sympathize with Matpat here, as he admitted he really just wanted an excuse to talk about Earthbound).

    Besides which, well... if we always took the "it didn't work the first time, so NEVER TRY AGAIN" Route... we'd never have gotten Mega Man II.

    But yeah, I have noticed that people in general--even people who aren't actually employed in these kinds of jobs (or in some cases, not employed at all) have these kind of "corporate suit" attitudes. Like, there was a guy I saw elsewhere who was writing a story for fun, didn't care if it was popular and planned to put it up for free, so asked for feedback (he just wanted it to not suck).... all the feedback he got was the kind of thing you would hear from a marketing department. "Add a thing here to appeal to X demographic" and such like that. Again, for a story this guy wasn't planning to profit off of, and which he was hearing from randos on the internet.

    Jim Sterling did an excellent video on a similar topic, where he pointed out that the gaming industry just one day up and decided--without any evidence--that certain genres weren't popular anymore, and then were shocked when these things were still successful in the indie scene.

    Seriously, fear is the worst and most pathetic human emotion. It literally is all negatives and no positives. The best thing about the horror gaming genre right now is just how it trains us not to get scared. They should be taught in schools.

    EDIT: Just got to thinking about something--though I wouldn't be surprised if others came to this same conclusion: That my earlier stuff about character development and "whiners" may be placing the blame on the wrong thing--the problem isn't that these people angst, its that their issues are things that usually have no relation to the actual story. It tends to be acceptable to me if there is a relation, no matter how indirect it may be.
    Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 11-19-2019 at 07:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    the Splatterhouse remake from 2009 or so
    Amen to every comment about this.

    The minute-by-minute gameplay of Splatterhouse 1/2 and 3 is nothing to write home about. As a one plane beat 'em up in 1/2 it's a bit slow, clunky, and jank. As a normal beat 'em up in 3 it's equally as clunky and on par with other B tier console fair like the LJN Spiderman games or Growl/Runark.

    Atmosphere was what it had though. Part 2's intro and first level perfectly set the tone: your girlfriend is dead and your only hope is a demon mask that you shouldn't trust at all. I will gladly concede that gore =/= horror, but Splatterhouse 3 delivered some genuinely disturbing moments. The possessed teddy bear with mutant arms, the dick worm on legs that laughs like a little girl and whose head turns into a pile of maggots while it still writhes across the floor to attack you... that's about as scary (not just gross) as contemporary 2D spritework got.

    The cinemas, limited as they were, still conveyed a sense or urgency and dread. You wanted to hurry through levels because you didn't want your wife to be eaten by boreworms or your kid murdered by monsters. You genuinely cared about the characters and the outcome.

    At the very least the entire trilogy played everything straight. Sure, you're in a shed murdering demon fetuses with a chainsaw, but there wasn't any wink wink nudge nudge 4th wall goofiness going on.

    The remake was a joke. I knew before I even played it when I was reading these long winded interviews from the developers talking about such admiration they had for the source material. This was followed up with tennis shoes, jorts, and goofy ass character models, and lots of flagellation about gory kills and what they had to add to the mythos.

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    Then RE7 was a major shookup and cured cancer and caused the resurrection of Optimus Prime. At least according to most reactions.
    This is true, actually. And playing it in VR is akin to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kupomogli View Post
    This is true, actually. And playing it in VR is akin to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    I regularly revive dead people using my Dreamcast copies of Resident Evil 2, 3, and Code Veronica. Getting their IDs reinstated is a bit of a hassle but they're generally pretty happy.

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