Seasonal games

It‘s the spooky weekend of the spooky month and I’m very curious to know if any of you have any plans for it. Do you guys follow the calendar or enjoy incorporating the corresponding season on your videogame diet? We could even open the scope of the conversation and discuss how or if you pay any atenttion to how the different times of the year are depicted in games.

Personally it brings me a very particular kind of joy when unknowingly I start a videogame and by chance it takes place on the same period of time I'm at the moment, even if roughly. And for a long time I loved playing games that took place during the summer in summer itself, like Attack of the Friday Monsters and The Longest Journey.

But also I want to know what are you going to play on Halloween! The idea for the thread was originally only about that, but then I realized it could turn into a broader and more interesting conversation.

I'll post my spooky games of choice for the weekend in a following message 🎃

I helped a friend with an article about ghosts in video games which lead me to Nightmare in the Dark which I will be playing this weekend for spook em ups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDl8_Eesa5Y

My plan for autumnal/frightening games

1) finish hard mode playthrough of pathologic 2

2) see how far I can get in Germs: nakwamara

3) see how far I can get in saturn baroque

thats it

It's nice I took my time to make the post because I already finished Desolate Roads, one of the games I had prepared for today. It is a cool short 45 minutes to 1 hour long game in the same vein as some recent propositions like Paratopic. If you allow me to quote myself on the Steam review I wrote to help the game a bit:

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What makes Desolate Roads interesting and sets it apart from those titles is that it is less a walking simulator and more a super condensed version of a traditional survival horror game. You have a space to explore with different locations, light backtracking, inventory management, puzzles and also a persistent enemy force that you have to deal with.


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It is a very short and focused experience but very effective and a worthy entry to that category of cool short horror games.

So yeah, definitely a recommend from me. Oh, and quick disclaimer, our very own @exodus was involved in it!

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Not officially Halloween season anymore but All Saint's Day here so I kept playing horror games.

First of all, the new Executive Edition of Yuppie Psycho. One of my favorite games from last year. If you are into japanese horror manga, specially artists like Shintaro Kago and Junji Ito I can't recommend it enough. Also, a game that really understands surrealism and its roots on humour, subverting expectations and distorting the normal and the mundane.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/597760/Yuppie_Psycho_Executive_Edition/

Aaand, I'm going to give Lies Beneath a go now. One of the few games on VR that seem to try something interesting with its aesthetics? Really dig that mix between horror and cell shaded graphics, like a strange crossover between XIII and a traditional survival horror.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8BYXnqJeF8

Also, the thread is not getting a lot of traction and I don't intend to keep it artificially alive but I really think there is an interesting conversation to be had regarding use and depictions of time in games, so feel free to jump in if you are interested!

Been playing Pathologic 2 and it has some powerful autumn atmosphere

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which reminds me of the arthur rackham edgar allen poe illustrations

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@JoJoestar#8618 Attack of the Friday Monsters

^^^good as hell summertime in that one yeah

@yeso#8686 I‘m sure everyone here has at least a couple of games that actively regret not having played yet and both Pathologic and its sequel are some of mine. I really need to get on top of that! But I keep getting a scared of the survival and resource management aspects and feel like I’m not going to have a good time with those.

And heck yeah, Friday Monsters is a great example of a game that feels inseparable of its depiction of the period of time its set in, as I imagine must happen with the Boku no Natsunayasumi games from the same creator. Thinking about games that also feel like that and now we have christmas ahead of us Year Walk is probably the best end of the year videogame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVz_MhMsAvs

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    Since I used to get all my games at Christmas I have a bunch of non-seasonal games I associate to winter. However - I do like the winter themed levels of Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Kazooie, and SSX Tricky. Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks to be a good addition. It's Christmas in New York, Kevin! PS5 should finally give a good representation of this with fancy snow and ray tracing.

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    **Final Fantasy X**, **Jak and Daxter**, **Wind Waker**, **Wave Race** and **Mario Sunshine** are good spring/summer games (and they were fun to play right when school let out). **The Touryst** is a good recent one.
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    I like festive Halloween games that are not just horror like **MediEvil**, **Luigi's Mansion**, **Costume Quest**, **Ghouls 'n Ghosts (+Maximo)**, and **Grabbed by the Ghoulies**. While it's more of a horror game, **The Order 1886** is another good fall game that people forget about.
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  • I played Splatterhouse on turbografx!! turns out I am worse at beating the level 5 boss than ever before so I quit after a couple attempts and played through bloody wolf instead, which is entirely unrelated.

    PC Engine is known for its scrolling shooters, but I think it's a quiet contender for best top down run and guns too, with Bloody Wolf, Final Zone II, Last Alert, Die Hard, etc. Oddly they were all pretty early in the console's life and people just kinda stopped making them after 1991 it feels.

    Hot tunes in that game:
    https://youtu.be/fvH2zMj5pR4?t=626

    October gets me really into playing some Pocky & Rocky 1 and 2. 2's soundtrack in particular gets me into the autumn mood with its soft, warm, overly compressed samples. One level is straight up just called October Fields.

    Really love meeting the cool scarecrow in Pocky & Rocky 2, concealing his face with his big brimmed hat, coupled with that encounter music feels pretty good.
    https://youtu.be/Fd9Uh6lBl2E

    The first Goemon game on the SNES also has the same effect, and it helps that the first area is filled with silly ghosts, followed by a spooky plate spinning ghost boss.

    https://youtu.be/kODrla208hM

    While I'm primarily a big FM chip fan, there's something about the soft quality of SNES samples that makes me lean into it a lot during Autumn and Winter times. It's cozy and warm feeling, pair it with a pumpkin scented candle and I'm in heaven.

    Also occasionally dip into the first Gex, Gex: Enter the Gecko, and Garfield Caught in the Act since they all have graveyard/haunted house themed levels right from the start. Caught in the Act gives me very specific Halloween memories since I played it for the first time in the October update for the Sega Channel, which had a very memorable pumpkin theme at the time.

    Getting closer into mid November through Winter, I start breaking out more Saturn and PlayStation games. Mega Man X4, 8, and then Sonic 3D Blast specifically. All three and a half of which all have spectacular snow level music. Then it's stuff like Mario 64, Banjo & Kazooie, and Croc, maybe even sneaking in some Metroid Prime (which all have some great Winter-y levels).

    @JoJoestar#8709 year walk is a good one too yeah

    RE AotFM and Boku - I like the issue of scroll dedicated to the series quite a lot

    http://scroll.vg/issues/10

    @exodus#8725 I noticed that was one of your picks of your personal list for the Halloween special, isn‘t it? Is that the best version of Splatterhouse/your favorite? I’m asking because that's a game I have never played and would be cool to give it a try.

    Hmmmmmmmm!! Interesting thoughts about the top down run and gun subgenre, I think it would make for an interesting conversation. I admit it is a genre I'm not very adept in, I think I have basically only played Shock Troopers and some other games like Pocky and Rocky and maaaaaybe Valkyrie no Densetsu, which I guess you should consider part of the genre?? (although Valkyrie feels like a bit of a stretch). One possible explanation is that they paved the way for regular top down action as seen in stuff like Operation Logic Bomb, or got incorporated as sections of games with multiple gameplay styles, like the top down sections in Contra. Definitely feels like one of those genres that "evolved" or were integrated into broader gameplay styles.

    Now I'm curious to ask, would you be willing to call games like Crisis City, ONE and maybe even Future Cop LAPD top down run and gun games? Because I think I can feel at least some DNA there. Also Neo Contra and Red Star maybe? They are all missing the driving force of the scroll perpetually pushing you forward, but on the other hand, the level and encounter design and the constant action kind of accomodate for that, driving you in a way that captures some of the feel of that scrolling action, imo.

    @JJSignal#8734 This is a good post. Very interesting choices of games that feel seasonal but are not trying too hard to push for that. I also like your selection of good snow/winter levels! Maybe we should do a thread about that in the same style as the one about forests?

    @yeso#8759 That does look really good and I got a copy instantly. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Since I don't know japanese and doesn't look like I will be able to play untranslated games for the time being reading about them is the next closest thing, so I'm willing to do that!

    @JoJoestar yeah, Splatterhouse is a fun one to me (5th level boss sucks, watch out), and I do prefer the Turbo/PCE version for a few reasons:

    1. it's sonically consistent. The arcade version mixes samples with chip music and it winds up disonnant in a non-pleasing way. I also just prefer how all the giallo/italian horror sound-alike songs sound on the PCE soundchip.
    2. the paths through the game are nicer and things feel tighter (to me)

    It definitely has less animation and detail than the arcade game though, so your mileage may vary!

    Oh and I didn't mean to indicate the genre of top down run and guns disappears in the early 90s - it just disappears from the PC Engine library around then, while there were a whole lot of them before that (including a valkyrie no densetsu port, though I agree it only peripherally counts). There were a few top-down scrolling shooters with a character (like Fray) but the "8-direction shooting top down" thing kinda disappeared. I especially like ones where you get a jump or a roll!

    Neo Contra/Red Star et al totally count in that genre, it's continued along nicely, with Nex Machina as a recent capstone.

    @exodus#8800 Oh you meant only in PCE! I thought you were talking about the whole genre because the jungle military aesthetic was definitively a prevalent thing during that era and those games clearly stopped being made at some point.

    I'll try Splatterhouse, judging by your message it seems like arcade or PCE is the way to go, so I'll check those. To be honest I always thought the rap around that game was because it was a bit more violent of what was usually made during the nineties, same situation as Mortal Kombat and games like that but I guess I was wrong?

    @copySave#8711 Sorry for missing your message! I didn't realize I replied to everyone but you.

    I also like the fun/spooky aesthetic of those games you mentioned, and others like Ghosts & Goblins or the more recent Maldita Castilla. For a long time I had a lot of problems with horror stuff, I tended to get scared easily as a child and I would have nightmares or trouble sleeping with a lot of the proper horror things, so it was nice to have gentler games that played with spookiness in a "safe" environment. To be honest it's kinda weird because now I think horror and atmospheric/weird/surreal is one of the styles I prefer in fiction, music and such? Something must have happened there.

    Wind Waker is a great summer game but also a great game if you live in an island, as I do! It's a bit funny that I started this thread because here in the Canary Islands weather is super stable the whole year (around 20-35º) and we don't get to see much in the way of stational changes, but on the other hand, I do get to see some really cool SEGA skies!

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    That's some real sega skies up there!

    as for Splatterhouse, I do prefer PCE, but I think that's just cause I played it first. and I think it's pretty solid as a game, with some bumps here and there, for the commitment to (largely) italian genre conventions and music, the solid action, etc - it almost always feels like when you die you know what to do next time (except that level 5 boss).

    None of the other splatterhouse games have quite reached that level, but very few of the original splatterhouse team members (if any?) worked on 2 or 3!

    @JoJoestar#8809 I was also a sensitive, easily scared child who learned to embrace horror! Now I find it to be one of the best forms of social commentary and enjoy the visceral reaction it gets out of me. This was discussed on the show, but I also found it easier to play horror games than watch horror movies due to the player agency (and probably also the low-fi graphics of the PS1). I mentioned this on another thread, but check out Kindertrauma for stories from people that were also easily frightened as children!

    Also, wow that place is beautiful - can feel that positive Blue Sky energy radiating!

    @exodus#8812 The fact that you mentioned italian horror twice now makes me think I‘m gonna like it because I think that is something I have in common with you (it’s half fo the reason why I love og Clock Tower so much, really). Would you say the same about other games? Because I sure would love to try those too!

    @copySave#8818 That website looks really cool.

    I have honestly spent a lot time thinking about what happened to me because in my case it was a pretty sudden 180º degree change. I think it has to do with two things, on one hand I'm a very thoughtful person, I like complex, heavy stuff like philosophy and I love going deep in everything I do, analyzing, critiquing and a lot of times overthinking about stuff. Horror tends to accomodate for that very well because those are stories with very rich atmospheres in which a lot is going on at the same time. Partially due to the fact that one of the easiest ways to scare or surprise someone is being overwhelming and being overwhelmed is something I have always enjoyed.

    The other is that I love rich and dense atmospheres, I love feeling immersed in the fiction I consume. This is not endemic to horror and as a teenager fantasy and scifi were the ways to go for me when looking for that, but horror, surrealism and weird fiction can have an even more powerful effect in this regard. Horror wraps around you very tightly and I think I love that a lot.

    And it also happened when I started college and started living without my parents, so probably breaking the shell of my very protective household and dealing with a lot of the adult stuff probably made me stop being so scared of non real world things xD

    I don't personally know a lot of games that I could point to and say they were influenced by italian horror - but I do know of two coming out in the next two years, one of which is ours, heh heh.

    (not an italian film but conveys my feelings)

    @JoJoestar#8863 You might want to look into Remothered Tormented Fathers as it has a real Giallo vibe to it.