Shocktoberfest: Enter The Nightmare -- A Month-Long Journey Through The Horror Game Genre
When does this start?
Shocktoberfest begins on October 1st, and will last the entire month of October, ending at 11:59 PM on Halloween night.
What should I play?
Anything that falls under the classification of a horror game. Survival horror, action horror, a horror-themed FPS, anything with zombies, etc. In the interest of having fun, this can be more of a loose definition of what defines a horror game, and constitute anything that is more-or-less "horror themed". So games like Gears of War or even Luigi's Mansion are fine.
For me, it's very much the same outlook as Backlaugust -- I've got horror games in my backlog, and it's time to play them. How many games you want to play is up to you, whether that's just one game or a few games. Any platform, doesn't matter. They can be new games, old games. Even horror games you've already beaten long ago and want to replay. You don't have to choose all of your games up front; you can if you want, but it's fine to just take it one-game-at-a-time.
Who should participate?
a. Enjoy horror games and/or b. Have at least one horror game in your backlog and/or c. Plan on buying a new horror game (such as, I don't know, ZOMBIU!!!!!!!!)
you should do this.
The purpose of this is a little less about seeing how many games we can beat, but for everyone to share in the experience of playing something scary. A good horror game can be a tough thing to get all of the way through to the end, but with some moral support from the rest of the community that's going through the same thing, maybe we can all make it back into the light by November! That's what it comes down to -- having fun, and being scared shitless. And being scared shitless is a lot more fun when being scared shitless as a group.
One last thing -- for your fellow NW-er who hasn't played every game, try using spoiler tags whenever possible for anything major that's story-related, or just in general anything that should not be spoiled. So, "I can't believe Leon died at the end!" instead of "I can't believe Leon died at the end!"
Kentucky Route Zero, Act 1 (Secret_Tunnel, 10/6) The House of the Dead: Overkill (GameDadGrant, 10/7) Dead Space (PogueSquadron, 10/11) Kentucky Route Zero, Act 2 (Secret_Tunnel, 10/14) Fatal Frame (TheBigG753, 10/17) Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (PogueSquadron, 10/20) Dead Rising 2 (Zero, 10/20) Dead Space Extraction (Mop It Up, 10/21) Super Castlevania IV (Het_Nkik, 10/23) Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir (GameDadGrant, 10/24) Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Het_Nkik, 10/26) ObsCure II (r_hjort, 10/26) Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (Jargon, 10/26) Resident Evil: Revelations (ludist210, 10/28) ZombiU (Mr_Mustache, 10/29) Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (TheBigG753, 10/31) Project Zero 2: Wii Edition (r_hjort, 10/31) Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen/Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (Het_Nkik, 10/31)
LEFT 4 DEAD (10)
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Secret_Tunnel, in progress) Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (GameDadGrant, *has thrown in the towel*) Dead Space: Extraction (chrisguy, through 5 levels) Doom II (Pokefreak911, 12 levels in) Resident Evil Zero (gojira, at the Training Facility) TellTale's The Walking Dead (Zero, finished Episode 3) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Pokefreak911, through Stone Tower) Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (Zero, finished first run) ZombiU (gojira, Tower of London) ZombiU (r_hjort, whack-a-zombie)
The Players (20)
chrisguy: Dead Space: Extraction deathly_hallows: Cult County, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence DrFinkelstein: ZombiU GameDadGrant: Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir, The House of the Dead: Overkill, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow gojira: ZombiU, Resident Evil Zero Hero_of_Hyrule: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Het_Nkik: Super Castlevania IV, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen Jargon: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Dead Space, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon kriswright: ZombiU ludist210: Resident Evil: Revelations Mop It Up: Dead Space Extraction Mr_Mustache: ZombiU, Castlevania PogueSquadron: Dead Space, Castlevania 3 Pokefreak911: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Doom II r_hjort: Obscure 2, Project Zero 2: Wii Edition, ZombiU Secret_Tunnel: Dead Space 3, Kentucky Route Zero, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. Shadowlink: ZombiU Stephen: Alan Wake TheBigG753: Fatal Frame, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, Fatal Frame III: The Tormented Zero: Dead Rising 2, Castlevania (III or Adventure Rebirth), Virtue's Last Reward, The Walking Dead
@Mr_Mustache I got the same ending first time around. Was overrun on the pier, 'cause one of the explosive nitwits had snuck up on me and kept me from getting a clear shot of the rest of the bunch. Felt disappointing, but in a way also quite fitting given the nature of the game.
I finished Chapter 7 of Fatal Frame II last night (or, was it this morning? It was this morning...)
Chapter 6 was very chilling, but I feel like this was the scariest chapter in the game so far. The opening portion, where I was completely defenseless was really intense, as I was running for dear life without knowing exactly where I was going. Once I got out of the Tachibana House and onto the little bridge between the houses, I wasn't sure where I was supposed to go but I just assumed it was to go and get my camera and flashlight back, which ended up being correct (more on this later). But man, the journey to get to there was just as frantic. This part reminded me a lot of the first game, where really menacing ghosts start to just appear wherever and chase you out of the room and through the next room. I breathed a big sigh of relief when getting back to the underground passage.
Going back to the Tachibana House felt just as disorienting as it did when Sae was chasing me through the building. The fact that it's almost like a mirror image of the Kiryu House's level design makes it feel really familiar and yet confusing in a lot of ways. There came a point again where I wasn't entirely sure what I had to do next, but I kinda felt my way through it and figured it out. This was after I appeared to have defeated Itsuki's sister, but I didn't get the key I needed and wasn't sure where to go next. It was only after the next encounter that I realized I had to essentially play hide & seek with her and seek out all of the closets in the house. I really enjoy how both of these games tend to give you a bread crumb or two, but allow you to figure the rest out on your own, rather than just putting a red dot on the map and telling you to "go here!" When you aren't entirely sure where to go next, it seems like the games are designed in such a way that the light bulb comes on over your head naturally. The clues are there, and sometimes you just have to say "Well, where would I go next in this situation?" and a lot of times that ends up being the correct answer.
The battles against Itsuki's sister were really freaky. I got chills just about every time she got close and put her face right up into the camera lens, as I desperately tried to get off a shot. There's just something about ghost kids that gets me...in any event, to clarify to @Het_Nkik and @r_hjort from yesterday, the Fatal Frame combo system does appear to be entirely as you described in FF2. I think as I've upgraded my camera, I've gotten more opportunities to pull it off (which I really needed in these battles). I pulled off several 2-hit-Fatal Frame shots, and one 3-hit-Fatal Frame shot, but that is very tough to do because the third Fatal Frame indicator is active for only a very brief time. But yep, it's all there.
So, that was Chapter 7, and the uneasiness while playing is really setting in now. It's pretty crazy how the Tachibana House really only had one ghost that ever appeared, and yet I never felt comfortable when I was exploring it, even with my arsenal of supplies. Ghost kids(!) Anyways, speaking of arsenal, I have a choice to make in the near future. I've got my three basic powers fully upgraded, and I've almost got the Blast lens fully upgraded as well. However, I just found the Zero lens, and it seems like that's just a better version of the other one. So I figure I can probably upgrade that one, but I'm not sure when to make the switch. I wonder how much better the Zero lens is (i.e. is a Level 1 Zero lens a better option than a Level 2 Blast lens?) I also haven't fired a shot of my two strongest film types yet (Type-90 and Type-Zero), so I feel pretty good heading into the home stretch.
Regardless of the hour of the night, I think I'm going to play to the end tonight after I get out of work.
Nice working out the Fatal Frame combo. Though admittedly I'm not reading most of that post since now I'm very interested in playing the game. I guess because I'm an idiot who likes to torture himself.
Cool to see you'll be wrapping up the game tonight. I still have two more nights before I'll make it to the end of FFIV.
At the final boss of Project Zero 2 now. Incidentally, it's not the same final boss as I fought on normal my first time around, so I guess that's a good sign of me getting a new ending. Well, that's assuming I manage to beat the boss, but I'm starting to lose hope here, 'cause all of its attacks mean instant death. No way of dodging, no health bar showing, mirror stones do nothing, and I can't even seem to deal enough damage to keep it from getting to me. Not sure if this is hard mode being hard, or if this boss is always like this, but it's definitely my least favourite part of the game right now.
EDIT: On a more positive note, it's pretty awesome how much content there seems to be in the game, and how much of it seems to be presented to you as a reward for overcoming your fears and going exploring in places where you might not necessarily need to go. After two playthroughs I've only reached about 75% completion of my ghost list, and there are still a few items I've missed. I've also noticed a handful of new, scary details and events in places where I thought I had seen everything already. Project Zero is the gift that keeps on giving.
I'm definitely gonna do another new game + run at some point, but I'm not even gonna think about doing that on any difficulty above normal! Normal had the ideal balance for me, I think, no matter if the boss I'm stuck at behaves differently or not.
Yeah, I was just bummed in myself, I don't feel like the game screwed me (as some others do..). It felt incredibly fitting given my struggles throughout (individually and collectively with my Survivors, all 30 of them..), and definitely a reason for playing the game again, again, not as others feel.
The lack of a 2nd chance there makes PERFECT sense to me, I'd almost be upset if they did it another way.
EDIT- My creed for my next playthrough is "Believe in the Flare." Never used those things, not sure why.
@Mr_Mustache Whaaaa....! Didn't use flares? I couldn't have made it without them! Wherever I went, I tried to make sure to have at least two flares with me, ready for quick throwing.
Yeah, I know what you mean, I had felt they'd ruined the whole thing if they'd given me a second chance when I fell at the pier. It took me a couple of hours to get over the fact that I screwed up at that particular point, but after that I just wanted to jump right back in the game again.
Two more chapters down in FFIV. Surprisingly (and thankfully) not as scary as previous chapters, and short to boot. And also packed with a really cool twist. Gonna start Chapter 11 tomorrow night and should be able to beat it then.
It is after 5 AM, and Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly is in the books!
I'm about to fall asleep, but I'll try and put together some coherent thoughts.
- Chapter 8 started with a groan. At first, I felt like the mission to go find the pinwheel parts was a sad reminder of all of the backtracking in the first game, which this game mostly avoids. But thankfully, this wasn't so bad and the game gives you all of the information you need to find them, and you don't have to go very far into each area to find what you need. "Friendly" backtracking.
- Scariest moment in the game probably happened during Chapter 8. It was when I was in the Kiryu House searching for the second pinwheel. I don't think I've ever been more freaked out playing a game than during the last battle against the possessed ghost dolls in that tiny, dark closet where you can only see where your flashlight is pointed. Very claustrophobic and helpless feeling. My heart was still pounding pretty good for a while after that.
- Chapter 9 was pretty annoying with how it played out. After making my way to the final area, there was a pretty drawn-out battle against the village chief I guess, and then I was ready to head down to the finale. And then it took another unfortunate page from the first game, which was that you had to face a ton more ghosts between the last save point and the final boss encounter, and like the first game, the boss is a one-hit kill. So if you die, which I did twice, you have to do all of that again. Meh. But at least I still was overflowing with health items going into the last chapter which I was able to use liberally down the stretch. Still, it was a bit of a bummer. On the first try, I had no idea what to do against the boss, and ended up dying after spending several minutes looking foolish. On the second try, I figured out the proper strategy (just stand there and don't move, basically) but on what would have been the last or second-to-last blow, I was just late on the shutter chance and died. Third time was the charm. @r_hjort, is the Kusabi the boss you are fighting how? He's the final boss of the Normal mode in the original game (there's apparently another ending/chapter/boss if you replay the game after unlocking Hard).
- Man, what a downer of an ending. And a weird way for it to play out. I knew the first game had multiple endings, so I wasn't sure if I got the right one or wrong one. After beating the final boss, when I face off with Mayu, the game allows me to take a picture. But I moved in a little expecting that I'd be able to get a better shot, and then the final cutscene just starts. And then I strangle Mayu, she turns into a butterfly and that's the game. Immediately, I'm thinking "Oh damn, did I get a bad ending because I didn't snap the photo there?" As it turns out, no, I got the expected ending and whether or not I took a picture there didn't matter.
- As for how I ranked and what I unlocked -- I don't know, because the PS3 froze right at the end of the credits! Seemingly no glitches at all during the entirety of the game, a pleasant surprise for a PS2 game being emulated on a PS3, and it dies during the fucking credits! So no end game save unless I go redo that last section again, but screw it, the game's over and it's Halloween damn it! Time to go to sleep!!
Overall, another good survival horror game that really became unnerving towards the end. It was a bit different from the first game, which sorta built up the suspense and tension as the game went along. Whereas this game was pretty understated for a while, and then BOOM! Chapter 6 rolls around and things are just all of a sudden not cool at all! The big shortcoming is probably that it was a little too easy. The encounters themselves could become very terrifying, but I never felt as on edge during the quieter moments because I never got into a situation where a few hits meant I was dead. But in most other areas, 2 is a better designed game, while 1 is a little more "old school" and has its own charm in that respect. I'll call it a tie. I really enjoyed both games.
@TheBigG753 No, I'm actually fighting Sae and not the Kusabi. I fought the Kusabi first, and then went on to face Sae afterwards. The Wii remake does the final stretch a bit differently, and decides what bosses and endings you get in new ways. It's also apparently redesigned the boss fights in certain ways, much like the many other ghost encounters from what I hear. What happens depends on how you play, rather than the difficulty you play on. It seems that I made certain choices, saw certain things and did well enough in certain situations that caused this new turn of events.
I got the same ending as you did when I played the remake my first time, and reacted pretty much the same way. Not a bad ending in terms of story, but it doesn't feel all that good either.
EDIT: I'm gonna keep trying to beat the boss today, but if I can't make it I'm gonna chicken out, go back to a previous save and see if I can get another result.
Phew! I finally beat Project Zero 2: Wii Edition on hard!
Not only did I manage to beat the boss, I managed to do so after it had done a Dark Return (the PZ2 version of blooming). This was intense. The ending was even more depressing than the one I got previously, though. Apparently I could have gotten a better ending by finishing the boss with a Fatal Frame shot, but screw that, I'm not going back there now!
I'll definitely do another new game + run on normal though, 'cause I want to find every damn ghost in there, but I think I'll save that up for a rainy day. Now I need something cute and harmless to counter all this dark and disturbing stuff.
Congrats on the hard beat. I was looking at the unlockable costumes for PZ2 Wii right now to see if there were Nintendo costumes like in FFIV (there are) and had to lol because there are multiple unlockable bikinis for the girls, but only in the Japanese version :S
EDIT: Ooh, after searching on the internet, it seems there's an undub patch for the English version of PZ2 so you can have Japanese audio with English (and other PAL language) text.
EDITx2: Also a patch to put the bikinis back in the PAL version lol.
@Het_Nkik Thanks! Yeah, I think they removed those to make sure the game wouldn't get into trouble in countries with stricter laws that could be interpreted as being about photographing minors in revealing outfits or whatever, even though I doubt it would have. I'm fine with them being left out, though, I think the more "logical" outfits in there are the best, but maybe I'm taking that too seriously.
The audio patch thing is pretty cool for those who have yet to play the game or really want the original voice work, but I'm happy with the English voices for the most part. There are a couple of lines that could have been better in my opinion, but overall I think it does a good job.
Congrats on finishing Hard mode! So, was the Kusabi also a 1-hit kill on your first playthrough of the game? It'd be interesting if it was different in the remake. Also, that's neat that you can get different endings based on choices you made in the gameplay. One crazy thing that I read about after beating the game was that you could just leave the village through the shrine pathway rather than going after Mayu, and that counts as one of the endings. I guess in the version I was playing, it eventually ends as a "Game Over" screen and you have to go after Mayu, but apparently in the Xbox Director's Cut it is an official ending. Weird, right? I never thought once about not trying to go after Mayu. I figured I'd fight Sae, save Mayu and then we'd run back to the shrine and escape. I gotta give the game credit for not being predictable in that regard. Did not expect to fight the Kusabi and not Sae, and then -- man, what gut-punch to come back for Mayu only to have to kill her yourself. Very dark stuff. Good game.
We're flexible about counting stuff here at Shocktoberfest, Inc. (see: Luigi's Mansion on the big board ). So whenever *you* consider yourself done with it for the time being, lemme know and I'll add it up there. But yeah, going to count The Walking Dead as 1 game this year. The only reason I counted episodes last year was because they were still coming out individually at that point.
But to you and anyone else, if you still plan on finishing your game(s) up in the next week or so and can't get it done by the end of today, don't worry about it "not counting" or anything. I'll still add it to the finished list.
@TheBigG753 Thanks! The Kusabi is never a one-hit-kill character as such in the remake as far as I know (maybe on Nightmare Mode?), but when he enters Dark Return mode there will be a much higher likelihood of him doing one-hit-kill attacks. I think that goes for pretty much all boss characters and more unique ghosts in the game, that Dark Return mode makes them stronger and gives them new attacks that are more likely to kill you straight away. Sae seems to be the only character in the game who always delivers one-hit-kill attacks, and whose attacks are so effective that not even a stone mirror helps you.
I read about that ending too, but I never tried it, so I'm not sure if it's an official ending or just a Game Over screen on Wii. I kinda want to try it, just to see what it's like! I'd probably feel a bit ashamed of myself, though.
And Fatal Frame IV is beaten with an hour to spare till midnight. The game stopped being super scary after Chapter 8. Which I actually appreciate lol. SUPER underwhelming last boss, though. Pretty big disappointment there. Though I think maybe there's a different ending if you beat the game on hard. But I don't know if that changes the last boss...
Also, Super Mario Club was one of two debug teams that worked on the game, so how did those big glitches still get through!? You've let me down, Super Mario Club! Those are more gameplay spoilers than story spoilers but I thought I'd hide it anyway.
I don't think Project Zero 2 ever stopped being scary apart from during the parts leading up to the final boss I beat yesterday (and yeah, the final boss wasn't that great either, at least not compared to the genius of previous ones). In that sense, I think the last chapter is the least scary, but otherwise I think the game was pretty terrifying all the way through. The parts that seem to have been the most intense in the original are probably the scariest in the remake too, but there were moments before those that really got to me as well. Scares are just about as subjective as sexual preference, though, I suppose.
If I'm around for next year's Shocktoberfest and haven't bought myself a copy of Fatal Frame IV by then, that will have to be my project, all the way.
@Het_Nkik Have you looked into Amazon.co.uk? I haven't looked into the delivery matter myself, but they usually have a few different sellers, and I think one of them should be able to ship to the US. If not, maybe if you contact a seller on eBay or Amazon directly and ask them to make an exception? I hear that's worked for people before.