Digital Death (Part 1)

Level 1. The time my 10 year old ass got rocked by a guy named Rick

Hey, know what I love? Horror video games! Seriously, I can’t get enough of them. Some of my all-time favourite horror stories have come in video game form. When done right, a video game can be the most immersive story you can experience. Don’t believe me? Imagine the scariest movie you’ve ever seen. Got it? Now instead of an hour and a half, make the story stretch for days (even weeks or months, depending how fast you play your games). On top of that, the story is completely interactive. You are not just along for the ride, you actually get to control the fate of the protagonist (to a degree).

Nothing beats a scary game. With that in mind, here are some of the ones that have left the biggest impression on me.

Splatterhouse (1990).

My cousins had a turbo Graphix 16 (I know! Lucky little bastards!). I was stuck with a broke ass Nintendo while they were rocking 16 bit graphics. The Nintendo had waaaaaay more games, but it didn’t have anything even remotely close to Splatterhouse. I could remember sitting on the carpet in front of their 20 inch television, watching glorious bodily mayhem explode across the screen.

Splatterhouse_arcadeflyerYou played as a hockey mask wearing, 2X4 swinging fellow by the name of Rick. Being a huge (HUGE!!!) Friday the 13th fan, I was already down with the guy based solely on his choice of facial armour, but then when I witnessed the first creature get spattered against a nearby wall Jackson Pollock style, I officially joined the Rick fan club.

Besides the gratuitous gore, what really stuck with me about this game was the setting. You had to traverse a house so haunted that it would have sent Father Merrin running for the hills. Every floor of this place was a nightmare. The best part was, none of it made sense. You would exit a room on one level…then come out into a cemetery on the next, and then walk into the attic after that. I really didn’t notice the odd-ball architecture as a kid, but yeah, The Winchester House wishes it was as weirdly designed as West Mansion in Splatterhouse. Continue reading