The Top 5 Halloween Video Games

Ah, October is finally here. Tis the season of spookery where we can indulge in all manner of occult entertainment. Video Games have a unique quality of being able to immerse you in another world and this can be really effective in a scary setting. These games I’ve picked aren’t necessarily the scariest but I do think they embody the Halloween vibe and they’ll definitely get you in the October mood.

 

5. Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon (2013)

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS

luigis-mansion

Mario’s not the only one who can tackle ghosts, ever since his first solo game in 2001 Luigi has been linked to the spirit world. While Mario would take on ghosts with a thundering “Yahoooo!” Luigi is more likely to run from spooks and possible cry hysterically.

luigi

This is part of what makes the game so interesting. At times you feel like you’re forcing Luigi through this haunted house filled with ghouls of all shapes and sizes. He shivers and jumps whenever anything goes bump around him, the character animation is so expressive. Your task is to suck up all the ghosts using Luigi’s ghost vacuum the Poltergust 5000. Sometimes you’ll have to solve puzzles to reveal the ghosts or just check every draw until one pops out (much to his chagrin). Luigi’s Mansion is the video game equivalent of a fairground haunted house… Dare you enter?

 

4. Costume Quest (2010)

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, iOS

costumequest1280jpg-0a4f1a_1280w

Costume Quest is an underrated gem, it’s also one of the only games I can think of that’s entirely set on Halloween night. You and your friends are out trick or treating when all of a sudden these goblin guys come out and steal everyone’s candy! Even more unfortunate for your character your little brother/sister (depending on your gender choice) is kidnapped because they were dressed as a giant candy corn. So you’re forced on a quest to rescue your missing sibling before your parents find out. On your way you’ll have to fight your way through various goblin enemies but the great thing is that when you enter into battle all the kids transform into an exaggerated form of whatever costume you have on.

You start off in a cardboard box robot outfit but when you’re in battle you’re an anime style mech that shoots missiles, wear the Statue of Liberty costume and you can heal everyone with a blast from her torch and my personal favourite is the french fries costume which turns you into a Tim Burton-esque spider with fries for legs that can stun enemies with a shower of grease and salt.

cq1

This game is just a fun time all round. It’s not especially hard so anyone could enjoy it and there are lots of goofy moments hidden around the areas so it really rewards exploration. It’s not a long game either and can probably be picked up cheap these days. It’s the definition of short and sweet… you know? like candy?…I’ll see myself out.

 

3. Mortal Kombat X (2015)

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC

mortal-kombat-x-dlc

The Mortal Kombat series has always taken heavy influence from horror and action movies. In this latest instalment they ratcheted up the movie references and started adding some classic horror characters into their roster. By the time all of MKX’s DLC had been released you can play as Jason, Leatherface, Predator and the Alien Xenomorph.

mortal-kombat

People have been debating for decades about “who would win in a fight…” regarding all of these characters and in MKX is the first time we got to test some of those theories. What makes it even better is that they’ve all been lovingly crafted to include lots of movie references in their abilities and moves. You also can’t forget about the Mortal Kombat cast of characters which includes many weird, wonderful and monstrous people. Put all this together and you’ve one hell of a hyper violent monster mash on your hands and on a dark Halloween night, what more could you ask for?

 

2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)

Platform(s): Xbox 360/One, PS3, PS1, PSP

castlevania-symphony-of-the-night-1

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night practically oozes atmosphere from the moment you start the game. The opening sees you reenact the ending of the first NES game, facing off against Dracula himself within minutes of starting up. It’s a scripted fight that you can’t lose but it really feels good to blow up Dracula with a rocking guitar soundtrack as your backing.

After this flashback you’re given control of Alucard (the son of Dracula) after he senses a disturbance at the castle. There you’ll have to fight your way through all manner of creatures including wolves, zombies, skeletons, living suits of armor, bats, venomous plants, floating acid skulls, medusa heads, hunchbacks, creepy Lovecraftian horrors and even Death himself shows up. Drac’s castle has everything you need to throw the best Halloween party in the world.

This game is like a good horror movie. It has amazing visuals but some admittedly cheesy dialogue throughout (the intro conversation with Dracula being a highlight) but Castlevania’s hallways full of macabre hell spawn are definitely worth a visit for any intrepid vampire killers.

cvania

 

1. Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC

batman-hamasylum

I don’t often see Batman come up when people discuss their Halloween viewing but he totally should be. The Bat’s rogues gallery is the stuff of Halloween nightmares. A killer clown, a human scarecrow, a crocodile man hybrid, a mad hatter, a roided pro wrestler and this game is all set in the insane asylum that they all call home.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is an excellent game whether you’re a Batman fan or not. It can also be devilishly creepy when it wants to. You spend the entire game exploring the asylum after all the inmates have escaped. In between fighting thugs you spend most of your time investigating the tragic histories of famous batman villains. You never know what unsettling situation is round the corner but the game really knocks it up a notch when you meet The Scarecrow.

After taking a dose of his fear toxin Bats starts to hallucinate in some pretty creative and sometimes 4th wall breaking ways. Rooms start to repeat, Batman’s forced to relive the death of his parents and at one point the game resets and the intro sequence starts again making you think the game may be broken.

scarecrowarkham2

You’ll never forget your first trip to Arkham Asylum, it’s masterfully crafted fun house of terror and what I think is the best game to get you in a creepy Halloween mood.

Mortal Kombat XL Kombat Pack 2 Character Breakdown

  

The crew at NetherRealm Studios have just released the latest (and seemingly last) batch of downloadable characters for 2015’s Mortal Kombat X. They are also releasing a new disc version too which includes all post launch content released so far inventively named Mortal Kombat XL. The game now has an impressive roster of 35 characters each with 3 fighting variations to choose from, which is a lot of content. So here’s a quick rundown of the latest fighters to be added.


Alien

  

The Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise joins the MK crew to hug some faces. Alien is actually a pretty good fit for a fighting game since he specialises on fast up close combat and isn’t afraid to dismember a fool much like many of the MK cast. As with all the guest characters they give a bit of context as to why they show up in the world of Mortal Kombat. In Alien’s case some of Outworld’s denizens (possibly missing series veteran Baraka) uncovered the infamous alien egg that had lay dormant in a cave and well… you know the rest of this story. Like in the movies the alien takes on some characteristics of its host so in this case it gains retractable arm blades and a mouth full of sharp Tarkatan teeth.

As with all fighters in MKX, Alien has 3 fighting style variations. First up Acidic, which gives you access to some acid spewing moves which can inflict damage over time if your opponent gets hit. Tarkatan which gives you some of Baraka’s classic moves like his chop chop blades attack and some different combos using said blades. Finally you’ve got Konjurer which changes your appearance to look more like a Queen Alien and gives you the ability to spawn alien eggs which shoot out facehuggers to stun your poor foes. This last variation ended up being my favourite just because of the facehugger traps you can set.

They do a pretty good job fitting in as many movie references as they can, the Alien Queen shows up in one of the fatalities to skewer and rend your opponent in half. If you face off against Johnny Cage (MK’s resident movie star/martial artist) he says the famous “Game over man!” line before the fight begins. And now that Alien is in we can finally settle the age old battle of Alien vs Predator as they fight it out in Mortal Kombat.


Bo’ Rai Cho
  

Bo is the drunken martial arts master who trained some of Earthrealm’s greatest fighters like Liu Kang and Kung Lao. He’s mostly played as a joke character since he’s constantly drinking and he acts like he’s seen it all. He also has a penchant for puking and farting on his opponents. But if you dig a little deeper he’s actually a pretty cool character with a lot of quick strikes and tricky moves to keep your enemies off guard. 

In his Dragon Breath variation he can spit boozy fireballs at your opponents or set traps by lighting the floor on fire. Bartitsu gives him a wooden stick which gives him a little more range to his attacks and some extra special moves. his main variation seems to be the Drunken Master though. This allows you to drink from your special flask which improves most of your other moves, the catch is that if you don’t stop and top up your alcohol levels before 10 secs are up you’ll puke and be vulnerable to counter attacks. This variation was the most fun to mess around with but you can tell this character has a lot of depth if you have the skill to find it. He also has a pretty cool movie reference if you pit him against Predator, Bo’ Rai Cho channels Arnold and calls him “One ugly mother fucker” before the fight begins.


Leatherface 
  

The creepy hillbilly murderer from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies brings his chainsaw and a few of his dead skin masks into combat. Leatherface’s bit of story justification is that he’s sent by his brother to find the best kind of meat for one of his special chillis and he wanders through a portal into Outworld. Seeing all of the new types of creatures and demons he sets off to find the tastiest of all.

Obviously his moves centre around his Chainsaw so he has pretty good range, his attacks start slow so he’s risky but has good damage potential. The Killer variation allows him to use a berserker stance from which he can charge across the screen with his saw or launch some repeated strikes pretty quickly. Using Butcher gives you access his hammer which can stun the other fighter giving you plenty of time to set up your next combo. And in his Pretty Lady variation he gains the ability to throw his chainsaw which allows him to attack no matter where the opponent is. 

I found Leatherface a bit one note overall, a lot of his attacks look the same because he really loves that chainsaw and he doesn’t have a lot of personality because he’s a mute psycho killer. It’s all shouting and chainsaw noises which for me got old pretty fast.


Triborg
  

This character is MKXL’s way of adding 4 fighters in one. Introduced in 1995’s MK3 the robot ninjas Cyrax, Sektor and Smoke became instant fan favourites even if they were technically rip offs of predator (down to the dread locks and everything). They have also included MK9’s Cyber 

Sub-Zero as a secret 4th variation which you access by double tapping up on the D-pad then pressing Triangle when you’re selecting your variation. Their story is that the government was conducting experiments and trying to use the cyborgs as a force for good but it went wrong and now there are 3 cyborg killers on the loose who think humans are the inferior species.

Any long term MK fans should be familiar with these guys, each variation has similar normal moves but totally different special moves. Cyrax has bombs he can throw out, a jumping throw to catch people out of the air, a buzz saw attack and his signature energy net to trap people for a free hit. Sektor has missiles… tonnes of missiles, a flamethrower and his teleport uppercut which is extremely satisfying to land. Smoke has his harpoon to reel in opponents and lots of teleport shenanigans. Cyber Sub-Zero shares a lot of special moves with his human counterpart but also has a quick diving kick and drones he can summon to power up combos and specials.

I’m having the most fun with Triborg so far, each variation does feel like different character but I always did have a soft spot for the Cyborgs so maybe I’m biased. Overall I’m extremely satisfied with this latest group of characters and can’t wait to have some friends over so we can finally settle some horror movie grudge matches. Whoever wins… We lose.