It’s the Halloween season, and as usual I’m digging in to my pile of vintage video games to play some of my favorite horror titles of all time. Stuff from the SNES and Genesis just never gets old. And though I’m not a gamer anymore, its fun to re-visit some of the better horror based games, some of which I’m still trying to beat. Hey, I said I was an ex-gamer, not a skilled ex-gamer.
I never had any real patience for this game when I was younger, but years later, I find myself oddly loving what “Doom” offers. It’s a vicious and menacing FPS, even today. Despite coming from the Sega Genesis, “Doom” is a blast with some wicked monsters and Gothic imagery. Plus, I love the simplistic storyline that gives us an excuse to blow monsters the fuck away. I think it could have been an amazing “Aliens” game if the developers were allowed to go with their original plans, but on its own, it’s a wicked fun horror actioner. With a bad movie adaptation.
4. Ghosts ‘n Goblins
Ghosts ‘n Goblins is an infamously hard video game that doesn’t cut its player any slack. You have to be fast, have excellent reflexes, and be willing to take risks. If you slip up, you lose Sir Arthur’s knight’s armor and die at the hands of one of the many twisted foes. The premise is simple, leaving the door open for a fun platformer where you’re Sir Arthur racing through hordes of zombies, demons, and other assorted beasts to save the princess from Satan. It’s a mercilessly hard game, but one I have fun trying to beat to this day.
3. Splatterhouse 3
I like part 3 more than the previous entries since this is generally more complex. You have a map you have to follow, a girlfriend to get to before the time runs out, and tougher enemies this time around. Not to mention there’s the power up where you go all hulk temporarily to take down some nasty demons. It’s tough racing against the clock when those damn monsters just won’t die, but that’s a part of the joy of this game. I love the character Rick from Splatterhouse. Whether he’s purple masked, or white Jason masked, the game kick ass and this third entry is much more challenging than previous games in the series.
2. Altered Beast
My brother and I weren’t one of the lucky people to get “Altered Beast” with our Sega Genesis, though “Sonic” is no slouch either. In either case, “Altered Beast” is one of the best rail beat em ups in which you play a warrior that walks through a horde of monsters and demons and transforms in a variety of monsters to improve your power. “Altered Beast” still plays shockingly well today, with great sound effects, excellent cut scenes and addictive game play. If I’d discovered this years ago, “Sonic the Hedgehog” would be but a bliip on my memory as a video gamer.
1. Zombies Ate My Neighbors!
Whether it’s the SNES or Genesis versions, “Zombies Ate My Neighbors!” is the classic horror video game I go to time and time again. The original trailer for the video game burned itself in to my brain and I haven’t come back since. It’s a fast paced, fun, and slick homage to horror movies, with zombies, killer dolls, and chainsaw maniacs, all being taken on by two kids with their own brand of weaponry. Though the game might look very easy upon first glance, it’s a tough task to accomplish requiring quick thinking, and clever usage of the limited weapons at your disposal. This is a game I re-visit every year around Halloween time, and it never stops being entertaining.