While I don’t have any specific article topics to post of late, I still have a collection of thoughts in mind.

I just saw my first full, clear photo of Bit.Trip.Runner:

I’ve fallen in love with this little series since its debut on WiiWare, and now that it’s going platformer, I can’t wait to see what Gaijin Games is going to do yet. From the first three installments, it’s become apparent that they clearly understand the aesthetics of gaming. And seeing the 4th installment makes me all giddy. The Bit.Trip series has become one of my favorite series of the last decade.

Speaking of favorite series, there’s a new Pinball Hall of Fame out on the Wii: The Gottlieb Collection. Why this series continues to come out with zero fanfare is beyond me. The series has won multiple awards, and yet the only way I ever seem to find these games is just pure luck in walking through the gaming aisles. Gamestop didn’t even hear of this one, even though it’s been out on the blogosphere for a while.

The Gottlieb Collection is actually a Gamecube port (imagine that happening on the Wii), so it’s an older title. Naturally, they’ve upgraded the controls, so it’s comparable to the Wiiliams tables, but I honestly think they lack the creative “oomph” of the previous Wii title. Not that the Gottlieb tables are bad, but it does feel like a step back.

The table selections are surprising. Having the Pinball Museum just a few miles away, I’m pretty aware first-hand of what Gottlieb has released, and they missed a few good titles. I do think it’s good to have the tables, but I think it’s time for a full on third title (perhaps more Bally/Midway/Williams titles, or even Stern). And there’s that thing called “advertising”. It’s fairly stupid to have such a high quality title out there for multiple platforms, with the presumed expectation that all the advertising the games needs is exclusively thorugh consumer word of mouth. Seriously, promote it through the Pinball Museum. They have the link on the back of the box, already, and this is one series that the Nintendo Channel makes zero mention of in its database.

I was looking at Dungeons & Dragons fare last night, courtesy of Wikipedia surfing. I’m an odd case when it comes to that. I love RPGS, but I’ve never played a “proper” D&D pen and paper game. My experience is limited to appreciation of the artwork, and I’ve played a few of the video games (Fun Fact: I actually was QA Lead on the Mac version of Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn).

But what stuck me in particular was the Ravenloft module, the vampire and “darkness” aspect of the series. I’m surprised that this genre was never really explored (though there seems to have been some attempt), even with a heavily influenced (or vice versa, I’m sure) logotype that looks more than a little familiar to classic Castlevania.

But the point of this whole diatribe is: Why haven’t we really seen more horror RPGs? We’ve had sci-fi themes, and more than enough fantasy quests to last a lifetime, and more than enough zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc to populate these games, but when it comes to a full out horror RPG, my mind draws a blank.

Seriously, where are the Gothic horror worlds where days are tense and walking paths at night is only a quest for the brave or foolhardy? Foreboding castles and cemeteries, morality plays, vampire lords overseeing their domains…. Basically, real Bram Stoker stuff that adds a real sense of dread to everything. The closest I can think of is Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.

Outside of the Western genre, the classic-style Gothic horror genre has only very lightly been touched upon in gaming, outside of perhaps Castlevania, and of course, this excludes “Survival Horror” types such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, or what have you.

So tell me, dear readers, are there any good horror adventures out there that would fit that description?

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Filed under: bit.tripgeneral gaminghorror gamingpinball gaming