I take this Halloween shit seriously.
Every year in the last week of September, I make sure that my reserves of scary games, movies, and books are fully stocked to get me through the month of October. I've got a pretty juicy crop of titles lined up for this year, so here's some of the games I plan on playing.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: This may come as shock, but I haven't played a Castlevania game since the original trilogy on the NES. Don't ask me why, because it doesn't make any sense to me either – since I'm a nut for both the old Universal monsters and Japanese RPGs. I bought the game a few months ago, but I've been waiting patiently for October to finally play it.
Yes, I know how much of a square this makes me... but I'm comfortable with who I am.
Cold Fear: The reviews weren't great, but it was three bucks at my local Half-Price Books, and it's a scary game I haven't played. I figure it's worth a shot.
Dead Space: One of three games I'm truly looking forward to this fall (along with with Force Unleashed and Left 4 Dead). If it lives up to the hype, this game looks scary enough to make some instant pants fudge, though the letters “E” and “A” give me pause.
EA's games are getting better – and kudos to them for their renewed focus on original properties – but every game I have played of theirs on the 360 has still come up short in at least one respect. I'm not buying it, since scary games have little replay value, but I'm definitely going to Blockbuster on its release date.
Silent Hill: Origins or Silent Hill: Homecoming: The top two games on my Gamefly queue. It's been awhile since I've had some Silent Hill lovin'. The last one I completed was Silent Hill 3. I tried number four, but I just couldn't get into it.
If I were to make a list of the most memorable games I've played, the first Silent Hill would be on that list (Goddamn that music...beautiful, creepy shit). None of the sequels have come close to having the same impact on me, but playing the sequels brings back a warm feeling of nostalgia (and fear – don't forget fear) of playing the first game with some friends, taking turns with the controller, and losing ourselves in the world of Silent Hill.
And lastly the reserves, if those three games don't last me the month...
Dead Rising: Not really scary, but it's the best zombie killin' that money can buy. And just where the hell is the sequel to this game? The 360 ain't getting any younger, Capcom.
Clive Barker's Undying: It's been a few years since I've played it, so it might be scary again. The only game I've played that comes anywhere close to being as creepy as this game is the original Alien vs. Predator for the PC, which I'd love to play again – but AVP doesn't like Windows XP and I haven't figured a workaround yet.
Castlevania 1, 2, or 3: I bought the PC ports for five bucks a few months ago. The only game I had for the NES that got more play than Castlevania was Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. Could be fun to replay a classic. In fact, I'm not sure I ever beat it. Not sure I even could, those old NES games are wicked hard.
Have a good October, people. Pick a scary game, wait till the middle of the night, turn off the lights, put on some headphones, and enjoy purposely going out of your way to scare the hell out of yourself.