Good ol’ Halloween is a time of spookies, skellebobs and weirdly risque outfits but what if you’re more about the Otaku life?. Lights off, controllers in hand, and scares aplenty as we walk through some of our favourite Horror treats for your displeasure.
Considering the vast library on the PS2, under-the-radar survival horrors are relatively few & far between. Luckily there are actually some, and here is one that I’ve always enjoyed myself – Kuon. Surprisingly via FromSoftware, back when most folks didn’t give a damn about the studio, this atmospheric game takes its cues from Japanese kaiden ghost stories. Throughout the game, you’ll be spending time with a few protagonists as they seek to cleanse and uncover the mysteries of Fujiwara Manor, with puzzles and the search for key items blocking your path. It’s definitely a slow burner that may put off newer fans of the genre, which the gameplay plays into. Spirits & entities are drawn to sound, so even though you can sprint, it’s generally avoided to keep the noise down and health can be recovered by meditation which requires you to cease moving. To be honest this makes it a perfect companion for a quiet Halloween, its slow pace and dark atmosphere keeping you enthralled when the lights go out. Unfortunately, it’s pretty tough to find these days and can be expensive, some prices can be horrifying in themselves, but if you get the chance it is definitely worth a play. Shame FromSoftware never returned to Kuon for a sequel, or at least another survival horror to build on what they had here.
Deep Fear (Sega Saturn)
What could be more horrifying than the prospect of playing the last game released for the Saturn by Sega in Europe, knowing it is the end of the system. Still, it’s worth a try being it was Sega AM7’s take on the survival horror genre and in turn being Sega’s own Resident Evil. Yes, the game has zombies in a sense, but that’s about where similarities end with foes as the similar gameplay also has its fair share of tweaks and additions to the formula. Deep Fear takes place in an underwater facility, which also adds some spice to the gameplay where Oxygen is a resource, which seems to almost suffer a collision with something. This something is a capsule from space containing one of the early chimpanzees sent by humanity into space, returning now after hibernating for years due to a cosmic radiation mutation. It’s not long before mutations start happening all over the station and it fast becomes a race against time & oxygen to escape back to the surface. As noted before there are gameplay similarities to RE, but here you can at least move while aiming and have real-time access to inventory and items which keeps the pace a little quicker. It was certainly a decent stab at the genre by Sega, and a good send-off for the Saturn, It’s ashame it didn’t really lead to more attempts at survival horror on the Dreamcast.
Yume Nikki was originally released as a free RPG Maker 2003 title and can still be obtained for free on Steam. Playism grabbed the rights to the game and put Active Gaming Media and Kadokawa Corporation in charge of a new title in the series.
Thus bore Yume Nikki -Dream Diary-, a 3D platform adventure with some grotesque and confusing imagery that found its way to Nintendo Switch in 2019 scoring a 7/10 (roughly a high 3 starts now) from yours truly.
A visual and audio treat awaits while cryptic puzzles, unsettling areas, and monsters ready to give chase await anyone who wants to experience this dream delve.
It doesn’t hold your hand and does take a little to get going but when it does you’re gifted an underrated treat that any horror enthusiast would be foolhardy to ignore.
Bundling together both Yomawari: Night Alone and Yomawari: Midnight Shadows scoring 8 then 9 respectively you have a tasty Japanese horror package with a tonne of charm and plenty to harm!.
Coupling in the horror of being a child in a situation way above your head and a dark and lonely stroll around town, the Yomawari titles don’t mess around with combat or a grand narrative. Instead, the focus is on tight scares, terrifying Yokai, and hide-and-seek tactics.
Each game is around 4 hours long each but especially in Night Alone it’s very difficult to see everything there is in one run, the lack of hand-holding and linearity in the titles offer up an explorer’s dream.
Condemned: Criminal Origin.
Thank you to @JusticeSte for these two cracking titles!
Oft forgotten, Condemned is one of my favourite horror titles. A grim fictional Metro city sees your character framed for a murder that you didn’t do. Sounds like familiar territory, but things take a drastic turn as you delve deeper into its grim story, you’ll fight your way through deprived areas of the cities and some derelict schools, department stores and the ilk. Some decent jump scares decent solid combat and controls. With some simplistic CSI-esq investigating makes this a good enough title to give a few hours too. Bonus points for dead birds as collectibles and achievements based around Xbox 360 consoles.
Recently I played through Murder House, it’s low poly visuals and slasher aesthetic pretty much sold me straight away. In a short but very sweet title, we have a news crew reporting in the house of the infamous killer, the Easter Ripper. Once inside the house things obviously take a turn, with the crew being picked off one by one in some hilarious/hideous ways. Some easy puzzles and a bit of back and forth in the tiny house, Murder House totally surprised me with its charm and video nasty presentation. It also made me jump more than a grown man should. If you’ve got 4 hours and an eye for 80’s horror, give it a shot. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Hey, guys first of all happy Halloween hope you’re enjoying your year of gaming so far and stay safe out there. Secondly, the guys here asked me for a title I’d recommend for this spooky season, and while I struggled at first to think of something good a few great suggestions including Koudelka popped up while having a think about it I went with a more recent choice simply because it was much scarier.
The Forest a survival game set on a remote island that sees you take on the role of a plane crash survivor whose son is missing throughout the game you’ll have to do your basic survival game stuff like eat, drink, and gather materials all pretty normal stuff however when night falls the game turns into pure nightmare fuel.
Tribalistic cannibals make the island you find yourself on home and there freakishly terrifying as they hunt you in the dark just turn around and there’s one in your face before it bolts off into the darkness and a pack of them hunt you combined with the noises they make me caused me and my friend who also played through this to jump more than enough times!.
To make matters worse the longer you play the more bizarre things get more monstrous tougher enemies begin to appear couple this with the games plot and exploring caves and losing your sanity its actually a surprisingly fun experience despite the atmosphere and monsters and well missing son it was a good play filled with some scares and should make an interesting title for you and your friends this October.
This title was provided by Terminals on behalf of the Bloober Team for this article.
Bloober Team has made a new for themselves with Layers of Fear, Blair Witch, and The Observer but aimed to eclipse everything that came before with The Medium, looking at screens and trailers of the game it smacked of Silent Hill in the best way.
The Medium is the tale of Marianne who is, funnily enough, a Medium, she cracks wise and generally gets on with things and sights that would send even the most hardened BSAA agent over the edge.
Our heroine here is trying to get to the bottom of her powers, avoid death at the hands of an ancient and powerful demon called the Maw, and solve the odd mysterious death or two.
The game is a visual treat with some of the best graphics I’ve seen in the genre split across the physical realm and the spiritual realm which conjures up some real “True Norwegian Black Metal” imagery that would even make Shadow-Man blush.
The game has more in common with titles such as Clock Tower and the more recent Remothered series which has an emphasis on exploration, stealth, and psychological horror instead of traditional survival horror, even if it shares the camera angles!.
The main hook of The Medium is the dual realities of Physical and Spiritual which at times splits the screen and has you moving and seeing both at the same time. You can alter each reality with certain actions and these bulk out the plethora of puzzles on hand here.
Chase sections are also on hand here to raise your heartbeat and especially in the spiritual world offer some fantastic set pieces to rival even the best of the genre.
As for my introduction to Bloober Team, I’m impressed, I feel they are very much close to horror greatness and would love for them to tackle something with a little more horror as they clearly have the quirky and interesting side of the genre nailed down!.
Here is just a few of our favourite horror titles here at Otaku Gamers UK, this following week we still have a few more that didn’t quite meet the deadline but we love a spooky time here so stick with us, hide under your blanket and enjoy the ride!.