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Games I Play on Halloween: A Spooktacular Round Table

The Pixlbit Staff shares some of their favorite games that go bump in the night.

Fatal Frame

As a survival horror fanatic, I have played nearly every critically acclaimed title in the genre, and even a few indie games that people have sworn will scare the daylights out of me. Out of them all, Fatal Frame still reigns supreme as the creepiest game I have ever played.

The first time I played Fatal Frame, the words “Based on a true story” lingered for a moment on-screen. To know or assume that such a disturbing occurrence may actually be based on fact…to think that such atrocities were actually performed on helpless, innocent participants, added an element of unease like I have never felt before.

Overall, Fatal Frame is a much simpler experience than other survival horror titles. The protagonist is a seemingly sweet young girl on a mission to save her brother, and her only defense is a strange camera: the Camera Obscura. But unlike others, Fatal Frame isn’t about the weapons or puzzles, it’s about the setting, the story, and the scares.

As players traverse Himura Mansion, little innocent Miku will uncover information regarding dark Shinto rituals that have taken place in the house for generations. Torture, murder, and other gruesome acts have all been committed against helpless victims, and their spirits plague the mansion. As I walked through the mansion during my first playthrough, it was an uneasy experience. The game didn’t rely on cheap scares to send me running for the light switch, but carefully and deliberately selected when to strike. Ghosts will appear when you least expect it, and in an assortment of ways. Safe rooms can become invaded in a split second, ghosts will pop out of carpets, out of stairs, down from ceilings, and will silently attack without warning. There are no footsteps to warn players, no howling, no dramatic music, just…silence.

When a combat situation does arrive, Fatal Frame forces players to attack in a very counter-intuitive manner. Any sane person facing a similar situation would attack from a safe distance, however Fatal Frame requires players to stay right where they are. Capturing the ghost in a particular pose up close and personal (which often equals facing a horrifying facial expression) will damage an enemy with the greatest force; this maximum attack is called the Fatal Frame.

I could go on and on about Fatal Frame; after all, it is my favorite survival horror series of all time. Just trust me, if you’re looking for an unconventional and unnerving survival horror game to get your blood pumping, look no further than the original Fatal Frame.

Banjo-Kazooie (Mad Monster Mansion)

Now, I know most of you are probably thinking, “Why on Earth is Banjo-Kazooie on this list?” So, let me start by saying that it’s not the game itself that I love to play on Halloween, but rather the level Mad Monster Mansion. While I mainly like sticking to games that’ll scare the crap out of me on this holiday, sometimes it’s nice to break up the zombie burning and ghost capturing with a bit of light-hearted fun.

Mad Monster Mansion contains every cliché element that comes to mind when I think of Halloween. It has ghosts, a huge mansion, skeletons, a graveyard, a pair of hands playing a piano, and even a talking toilet…okay, maybe that one is a stretch, but at least it’s funny. Plus, Mumbo can turn Banjo into a super cute little pumpkin, and Kazooie has to shoot eggs (seemingly) out of her butt in order to get a Jiggy. What other game lets you turn into a pumpkin so you can get sucked into a toilet and poo into empty flower pots located at the back of a church?

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a bit of silly Halloween-themed gameplay, you can’t go wrong with revisiting the Banjo-Kazooie level Mad Monster Mansion. Even if you’ve already beaten it, go back in, collect the notes, and enjoy the goofy festive atmosphere.

- Chessa DiMola

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Jason Ross Senior Editor

10/30/2011 at 08:41 PM

For the record, I'm gonna make my game a live PlayBit tomorrow night! Spooky scary!


10/30/2011 at 10:41 PM

Ya'll should post each of your names for your individual picks!

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

10/30/2011 at 10:43 PM

We actually did :) It's easy to miss, but you'll see the table of contents for the piece on the right hand side that has each of our names.

Nick DiMola Director

10/30/2011 at 10:44 PM

Just to make it easier, I went ahead and ended each segment with the author's name :)

Chessa DiMola Assistant Director

10/31/2011 at 11:12 AM

All these segments are making me even more impatient to get my night of spooky gaming going. Funny enough, I'll play through video games creepy enough to give someone nightmares, but I refuse to watch horror movies. Anyone else like that?


10/31/2011 at 02:36 PM

im surprised nobody mentioned system shock 2

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

10/31/2011 at 02:50 PM

That's a good one. Lots of games that I wanted to give love to, including Undead Nightmare and Dead Rising, but there is always next year!


10/31/2011 at 04:09 PM

I started getting into the Halloween spirit right at the beginning of October. I did another playthrough of the original Deadspace and loved it just like I did back when it came out.

Lol, after that I started a playthrough of Deadly Premonition, I laugh even mentioning it. It's the first time I've ever played some of the game, I bought it off Amazon a few weeks ago. Instead of being creeped out I was just laughing the whole time at the dialogue, cut scenes, and music. I was turning my head to the side, confused, trying to figure out just what the hell was going on lol. It's hard to play mechanically, and incredibly time consuming, but I'm kinda fascinated by it and it makes me laugh even thinking about what I've seen in the game so far. It's so f*cking weird.

Princess Toadstool

10/31/2011 at 09:41 PM

I really enjoyed Condemned. Kudos!

Julian Titus Senior Editor

10/31/2011 at 10:13 PM

Another game that I think is perfect for Halloween is Super Metroid. That game has always instilled in me such a sense of isolation and foreboding.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

11/01/2011 at 05:52 PM

Earthbound was another game we left off the list, but it fits pretty well, given the town of Threed.

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

11/02/2011 at 10:34 PM

This is why I should check my email...

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