My October

I’m starting to not like the Halloween season. It disrupts my patterns, making me feel like I have to start watching/reading/playing horror-related stuff. The other Halloween-related activity–eating candy–is something I already do year-round anyway.

Unfortunately many horror games either cost money (which I’m in short supply of) or else won’t run on Mazinkaiser, and I don’t really like using my laptop to game, although I’ve done it before when a game has been so interesting I had to play it (two such cases were Penumbra, and Ib. Both of which I recommend to everyone). So I resorted to watching Let’s Plays instead. Isn’t it weird that I don’t have any hardware that can actually run Amnesia (its system requirements are just slightly above my laptop’s specs) but I can watch other people play it on another program that does run on my computer? Technology sure is weird like that.

To be honest though, I’m glad I did Let’s Plays before caving and deciding to download and freeware game I could actually run, because I was forewarned of any game that used the two trends I hate. Those being:

1. “Procedurally generated” locations–to me that’s no different than a completely random game, and I played enough of Rogue, Dungeon Hack and Diablo to know that random equals shit. See I expect there to be some sort of internal logic, and random generation defies that (the maps in X-Com are also random, and you saw the stupid architecture that produced). Besides, a game that writes itself won’t have a well-told story or any memorable moments or, really, any meaningful choices.

2. Horror Games where the whole premise is “Find X pages before something kills you.” That kind of premise just feels lazy and shallow. I mean that would be a decent game in the Atari 2600 or maybe even first-gen NES era, but these days, you need to do better than that. If the game doesn’t have an actual storyline of some sort then it’s not really horror–its just your average video game but with jump scares, and on that note the indie scene seems over-reliant on those as well.

I thought of doing a horror-themed review for Halloween, but… fuck it. Maybe next year, when I’ve finally gotten into the swing of things, but lately I feel more like playing Tom Clancy games, and an RPG for the PS2 I never thought would be fun, but which I’ve become addicted to…

… One last thing. It’s getting cold lately, and I fucking hate the cold. I want summer back!

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2 thoughts on “My October

  1. I’ve never enjoyed Halloween that much, mostly because I’m really picky about my candy. I know what you mean about feeling like you have to watch/read/play horror-related stuff, too- I just marathoned the first seven Friday the 13th movies a week ago.

    I totally hear you about “procedurally generated” content being crap, and I never understood the appeal of Slender and its’ several dozen clones and spinoffs.

    • Halloween stops being fun when you’re too old to trick-or-treat. For me its mostly just “the season for horror media,” which is lame because I’d like to enjoy any genre I want whenever I’m in the mood, not just based on how cold it is outside.

      The only thing I’ve heard that justifies Slender-clones is… they’re often people’s first projects. So, yeah, many aren’t meant to be taken all that seriously. Somehow that gives me even less reason to want to play them.

      So far, the BEST freeware horror-themed games I’ve played are Ib, and The Crooked Man. Both made with RPG Maker, and neither are random or procedurally generated, and in fact are a good example of the kind of game you’d miss out on if everything were random. Seriously, play both. Just don’t expect them to be scary because they’re kinda not.

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