Well, I meant to get around to this just in time for Halloween, but work called, and well, my “Scary Game List” got pushed to November 1 instead. Still, there’s not a lot of poultry-based games I could use for a Thanksgiving themed entry (Alfred Chicken, anyone?), so let’s pretend the clock has slowed down and rewound a bit so we can get this show on the road. This is by no means the “best of the best” for scary games. Since my list is intended to be unlimited, this is just covering a fraction of games with horror themes I’ve found fun.

1.) Resident Evil 4 (Capcom) – This game has been released about a billion times over already, but I’m going with the Wii version on this one. While not the “jump out of your britches” scary as the original game, this game is still tense and suspenseful unlike no other. Capcom pulled this game out “one more time”, and made it the best version of the game ever on the Wii, with the responsive controls that makes you feel like you’re blasting and slashing away at the parasitic damned like no other. Resident Evil 4 provides an immersive story, greatly improved voice acting, and for a game released in 2005, still holds its own today. Don’t be fooled that this version is a lame cop-out. It’s more “the definitive version”.

2.) Ultimate Ghosts ‘N’ Goblins (Capcom) – One of the best PSP titles out there. A fine combination of old-school gameplay mixed with 2.5D graphics that are almost a shame to be seen on such a small screen. Typical to the series, it’s hair-pullingly hard, but this version seems to be a little more generous in its beatings, giving you a chance to recover a little easier (Note I said “a little”). Still, it’s typical Capcom action, with great graphics and music, and challenging gameplay. Plus, I love old-school side scrollers, even if they beat the life out of me. One of the more original games on the PSP.

3.) Super Castlevania IV (Konami) – Essentially, a re-telling of the original game, but with an expanded storyline, Super Castlevania IV also pulled out some of the best Super Nintendo gimmicks available for the system, despite being such an early game. It also provided some of the best control and whip techniques for the series as a whole. Still one of my favorites (and first games, back in the day) for the system, and the series as a whole.

4.) Alien Vs. Predator (Atari) – The other good Jaguar game, AvP puts you in control of a Marine, Alien or Predator, making your way through a huge ship, with visits to an Alien and Predator craft, respectively. While likely a little primitive by standards today, for its time, and for the Jaguar, it was moody, frightening, had a great atmosphere, and definitely the main reason to own the system. I spent a lot of time playing through all three scenarios, each with different strengths and abilities, and the Alien campaign was definitely fun for stealth attacks, and first person bite kills. While the computer versions ended up taking me over later, this first one still has a spot spot in my gamer’s heart.

5.) Shadowgate (Kemco) – A text adventure game for the NES doesn’t exactly sound gripping, but the game had some challenging puzzles, great graphics and sound, and a large selection of tongue in cheek ways to die from the various traps and monsters. If you even so much as blew your nose the wrong way in this game, there was a pretty good chance that it would more than likely spell out your demise. It was a thinking gamer’s horror game, morbidly amusing, and one I’ve been waiting for to make an appearance on the Virtual Console for quite some time.

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