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Halloween staff meeting: minutes with annotations

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 15:46 GMT By Staff

As is traditional on themed holiday occasions, the VG247 crew got together to discuss some of the most important issues in gaming today.

At Halloween, it’s generally considered acceptable, if not advisable, to do a couple of things; the first is eat yourself sick on sweeties; the second is to dress up like a prat; and the third is to take in some form of horror media with the end goal of either being Too Cool For School or screaming like a ninny.

Naturally, VG247 staff members first look to games for their shocks and spooks.

“I think it’s that feeling of being on edge that I like, the fear of the unknown. It’s a different kind of adrenaline rush to melting someone’s face with a shotgun or landing a last minute KO in Street Fighter. It’s immersing,” Dave said, frightening the life out of us with a genuinely scary word.

Steph said she likes scary games because they’re much more frightening than movies; she jumped a bit in Scream, but has never been genuinely scared by a film.

“Horror games, are the opposite. I have gone to bed at night creeped out by a game more than once,” she said.

Pat put on his academic and “resident grump” hats on to say that he likes horror games but “they hardly ever work”.

“I like them for the same reason I like horror generally: at its best, it should be about testing an emotional boundary.”

Brenna likes horror games but needs someone to scream and clutch at or she ruins the discs by putting them in the freezer; Sam describes himself as a “wuss” who “feels the safety of the pause menu a little too much.”

The Path: officially hard enough to give
VG247 EIC Pat Garratt the creeps.

“I just don’t really like the idea of jump scares and not knowing what’s lurking around the corner,” he added, nervously glancing around.

Dave chose this moment to drop a rubber snake down Sam’s neck with predictably hilarious results. When the meeting came to order once again and Steph had fetched Dave an icepack for his shiner, the subject was abruptly changed to which games are the scariest.

Pat said stoutly that he has never been actually scared by a video game – well, nobody’s made one about a worldwide chilli shortage, have they – but said the most “unnerving” game he’d ever played was Belgian developer Tale of Tale’s atmospheric adventure The Path.

“I felt uncomfortable playing it alone with my headphones on. I think it mainly worked because of the forest setting, the use of childhood themes and some fantastic audio,” he argued, which is a thing adult men do when they don’t want to admit they were terrified, like the way your dad gives you money instead of crying when you move away.

Brenna is scared of everything Belgian and also got a bit freaked out by The Path, but it was Amnesia: The Dark Descent that first had her doing the “nonono cat” impression.

“That game scared the hell out of me so badly I had to give myself a break every now and again. I even slept with the lights on the first night. Very scary and if someone hasn’t played it yet, they are missing out,” Steph added.

At this point a small argument broke out as Brenna tried to argue that Dark Souls is the scariest game there is because you’re so invested that you push on despite the intense and very real fear, but eventually Pat shouted at her to stop trying to shoe horn Dark Souls into every single article.

Language warning: this person reacts
to Resident Evil’s dogs in exactly the
correct fashion.

Meanwhile, Dave, Steph and Sam were going to town swapping stories about which classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill games scared them the most thoroughly.

Dave said the original Resident Evil is the scariest game he’d ever played, because he played it underage (the scallywag) and hadn’t seen anything frightening in a game before then.

“That bit when the dogs jump through the window signified the ‘true’ birth of survival horror for me. Terrifying,” he said.

Sam also gave Capcom’s premiere horror franchise a nod, saying Resident Evil: Code Veronica X was the first to really bother him.

“That game scared the living daylights out of me. I think it was the first time I had to turn my console off because I was physically frightened. I didn’t sleep for weeks,” he said.

“I haven’t played a lot of scary games, so I’ll say that Veronica was the scariest. The atmosphere was evil. I just remember being in every single room and being too frightened to push the analogue stick to move my helpless character on screen. Weirdly though I got through it – You then unlock some crazy first-person arcade mode, which was awesome. Like, I played that in my underwear and never was scared. Phew.”

The thought of Sam’s underwear is pretty frightening but nevertheless Steph nominated Resident Evil 2 as her first really scary game, having missed the first one, but become a down-to-the-bone fan since then – although she doesn’t like Resident Evil 5. Interestingly, she suffered a bit of a dilemma deciding whether the first Resident Evil and Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly for scare value. The zombie dogs got a mention again, but as for Fatal Frame, it just “really freaked” her out.

Fatal Frame: Crimson Butterfly.

“I can’t pinpoint just one part of the game which scared me the most,” she said.

Steph also likes (and is terrified by) Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3, and Silent Hill: The Room.

Dave chimed in here to state wholeheartedly that Pyramid Head is the scariest enemy in games.

“What is it supposed to be? Does it have a conscience? What’s under that helmet? There are so many questions but Konami offers few answers. Again, the fear of the unknown can be powerful, although the more Konami use him (it?) in games to cash-in, the less scary he becomes,” he said.

Steph agreed that Pyramid Head is “pretty fucking scary” although she did note that he’s been “done to death”.

“I think Piggsy in Manhunt frightened me the most seeing him crouched in the attic and chasing me with that goddamned chainsaw. I thought I would have a stroke trying to get away from him. Ha ha! The first Manhunt was a great game,” she reminisced.

Sam, who at this point had gone a bit round-eyed and trembling, brought a chill to the room by mentioning his own horror nemesis.

“I’m still freaked out by F.E.A.R’s Alma. Like, she’s the devil to me. I could never play F.E.A.R – Literally played for one hour of the first one and then had to immediately remove myself from the game. I can’t stand super-natural shiz,” he said.

This is the kind of thing that makes
Dave Cook squeal like a tiny child.

Pat said he’s never scared by anything because he’s an adult, but thankfully Dave broke the resulting deathly silence by cheerfully observing that the very first game to give him the willies was arcade classic Sinistar.

“It’s a scrolling space shooter that runs against the clock. Fail to meet the criteria in time and this huge spherical battleship called Sinistar chases you relentlessly. It has one of the creepiest digitised voices ever – YouTube it. It roars, screams, and taunts you by shouting ‘Beware Coward!’ Christ, I’m going into relapse just writing about it. I was very young at the time,” he added, apologetically, when Pat gave him a sort of disdainful look.

Pat’s disdainful looks are actually the scariest thing any of the VG247 crew ever encounter so we all suddenly found we had quite a lot of work to do. What about you? Which games scared the pants off you? What horror titles will you break out to celebrate Halloween? Are any of you brave enough to team up with Pat for Left 4 Dead tonight?

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7 Comments

  1. gaz

    Silent Hill played in the dark with the sound cranked up was fantastic back in the day. Horror games have long since lost their way. They’re just ‘action’ games now. The Gamecube remake of Resident Evil was great too, just for messing with your preconception of the game you had already played.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 yep, they switched that dog window moment around a bit, the utter bastards :P

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Spinotron

    I agree with Brenna, on Dark Souls.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    For me eternal darkness, condemned, FEAR, and dead space are my main favorites, although i like silent hill and resident evil too, and the dark souls comment is spot on, although that was kind of another fear on itself, not the fear for sheer horror.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. absolutezero

    Dark Souls has some fantastic digusting, un-nerving designs the frog-curse-things, Kingseeker Frampt and the teeth noises. Its perfect at putting you on edge. I wish it went further down that path than it ends up doing because alot of the rest of the game is kinda silly. Skeletons popping wheelies.

    and as customary I will once again raise the fact that Siren Blood Curse is the best “true” Survival Horror of this generation and its one of my favourite games. Fantastic designs, superb audio and a central mechanic that makes you both more poweful, more aware and dangerously vulnerable at the sametime.

    Theres a few other games that work in almost the sameway as The Path which Pat might well like to fool about with, Pathologic in particular has its own brand of getting under your skin.

    Also Hotel escape in Call of Cthulhu, never gets a mention even though it should.

    I’ll give another shout out to Nanashi no Game aswell, no other title will make you fear chip tunes and 8-bit graphics. Also the first Project Zero is more scary than any of the others, the recent remake of 2 is very good and you should play it.

    Dino Crisis 1!!

    My love for horror games is like a truck.

    Oh and tonight? I’m playing Grey : http://grey-mod.com/

    #5 2 years ago
  6. naffgeek

    The Dogs bit in Resi 1 definitely but the Licker crawling past the window in Resi 2 just before the cgi cut scene first meeting with one.

    I actually started playing it again last week (in response to Resi 6 being Action Jackson) on my GC and it still made me jump even though I knew it was coming.

    Also parts of Dead Space made me jump.

    Siren Blood curse eh? have to try that one.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheBlackHole

    Amnesia TDD. Can’t bear it.

    #7 2 years ago

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  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]