Friday, March 27, 2009

This Can't Be Happening!

Sorry, blog. It's a little late and I don't know how much thought I care to give you tonight. I would've gotten to you earlier but I was a little busy running away from zombies.

Man, there's no way it's already Friday night. You know when you get time away from school or work and you're so stressed about about the homework you have to do or simply about the fact that you will, indeed, have to return at the end of your brief respite that you can't even relax and enjoy your freedom? That is this Spring Break. I swear, it doesn't feel like I've had more than a weekend, and I haven't even touched my homework (fortunately, I don't have much, but I also don't have much time left in my break). I'm just exhausted and stressed and I want to be done with school. Four more weeks left...

...of this year. Two more years left after that... Ugh. At least I've gotten my application into Nintendo already, so hopefully my summer will be good. Actually, Nintendo pretty much got my Spring Break. The most fun I've had this week has been playing video games and guitar.

It's weird to me that at a school entirely devoted to gamemaking, most the people here aren't really that into playing video games, or if they are, they play one or two games obsessively, and nothing else. I've always enjoyed a very wide variety. I've taken some tie to catch back up on Super Mario Galaxy, WiiFit, Dewy's Adventure, and other fancy Wii games, but mostly, I've been really into older horror games over the break.

This guy (I think it may even be fair to call him a... friend?) was at my apartment on Saturday and was talking about something that was supposed to be scary in a game called Dead Space. This prompted me to ask if he'd ever played Eternal Darkness. He had not, so I dragged him into my room, shoved a controller in his hands, and he didn't stop playing until 7:00 or 8:00 the next morning. He wants to come back tomorrow and finish the game.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a mad, mad, mad, mad game. It's an adventure in which you play as 12 or 13 different characters in as many different time periods and work through chapters of Lovecraft-inspired horror, which is all well and good, but the most important part comes from the characters' quickly waning sanity.

The game is better the less you know about it before playing, so if you have a GameCube or Wii and like the idea of a horror game, you should find an old copy rather than reading the below description and spoiling anything.

Eternal Darkness may be the only video game that opens with an Edgar Allen Poe quote.

As you wander around and find zombies or, let's say, your former friends or servants who have been possessed by demons, who start to go insane. Not just your in-game character, but you. Your character might swing his sword without you pressing any buttons. That bust in the hallway - is it looking at you? You walk into a room and it looks... different. Why are the walls bleeding? And are you walking on the ceiling? The best effects, though are things that utterly break the fourth wall of the game, like when the TV appears to turn off, or when it looks like there are beetles crawling over your screen. Man, the first time that happened to me, I freaked right the heck out.

So, yeah, Eternal Darkness - awesome. I've also been replaying Resident Evil, and introducing it to my roommates. It's a little more traditional. The plot is straight out of a B-horror movie: You're a member of a special police force called S.T.A.R.S., sent to investigate a series of grisly murders. Your team is exploring a spooky forest when - oh no! - you get attacked by zombie dogs! Quick, gang, let's hide out in that creepy mansion! And you do. And then someone recommends splitting up. And you do. And there are zombies and monsters and giants spiders and snakes everywhere.
Resident Evil or the current situation in Florida?

The thing is, this game is severely freaky. I don't get scared by movies. Ever. At all. But Resident Evil is tense. I think the big difference between horror movies and horror games is that in a movie you're shouting, "Don't go in there!" In a game, you're pushing forward on your own. You're not watching from the safety of the audience; you're making your character walk up to the door and praying that there isn't a zombie on the other side.

But the day is done and I need to wrap up this blog, so I'll save my theories on fear for another day.

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