games / Columns

411 Games Top 5 10.4.12: The Top 5 Survival Horror Games

October 4, 2012 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, oh the horror!

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Gavin Napier (Writer of This is the End(ing)

5.Sweet Home: All this little gem from the NES did was inspire Resident Evil. It had multiple endings, puzzles, combat, all sorts of things that would make their way into the RE franchise. Considering the fact that the game was working with 8-bit graphics and midi files, the fact that a genuinely scary atmosphere was attained is a testament to Nintendo and to the game’s designers.

4.Dino Crisis: Take gameplay inspired by Resident Evil (which never really tickled my fancy as a series), focus on atmosphere over combat, and add some dinosaurs. Including a T-Rex or two. At first glance, it doesn’t sound scary, but if you’ve ever watched Jurassic Park, then you know that the sense of dread and panic can be very real when you allow yourself to be immersed in the story. If you’ve never played this one, I highly recommend looking it up asap.

3.Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem: Just like reading a comic book with Deadpool in it, this game is all about breaking the fourth wall. It’s one thing to create an atmosphere that makes you uneasy and twitchy because you think your character is about to die. A game that tells you that it’s deleting all of your save files? Ignoring controller input? Well, that’s a whole different breed. Nintendo did an excellent job with this, and it’s unfortunate that we’ll likely never see a sequel to it.

2.Silent Hill: Shattered Memories: I don’t own a Wii, so I had to play this one in bits and pieces at a friend’s house. I initially had some issues adjusting to the Wii-mote controls, but caught on soon enough. Shattered Memories does an excellent job of using the Wii-motes without making them gimmicky. As with most Silent Hill games, the story is tightly woven and full of psychological taunts, teases, and tortures. The icing on the cake is the fact that if you answer questions throughout the game honestly according to your personality, you’ll receive a frighteningly accurate psychometric profile at the end of the game. Enjoy that.

1.Silent Hill 2: Because Pyramid Head. That’s why. I’ve played my fair share of survival horror games, and I always appreciate the ones that can give you a legitimate scare or that uneasy feeling that usually only comes from reading H.P. Lovecraft stories. Silent Hill 2 was such an upgrade graphically from the original Silent Hill that it produced plenty of uneasy moments even if the game itself wasn’t overly challenging. This one was all about the story and the experience. The fact that in over 25 years of gaming Pyramid Head’s first pursuit remains one of the most vivid memories of my gaming life is a testament to how well this game was put together. Number one with a bullet for me. Or number one with a board with a nail in it, if you prefer.

Lee Jones (Reader Voice)

5 – Dino Crisis – It’s got dinosaurs, I love dinosaurs. Wouldn’t a dinosaur be scary in real life? And so of course the best game made (for it’s time) involving dinos makes my list.

4 – Resident Evil – The first genuinely scary game I ever played. Even it’s loading times just added to the tension.

3 – Resident Evil 4 – Is it a better game than the 2 above it… yeah probably, but it focuses less on scary than spectacle. Still its the game the reinvented the genre so deserves recognition.

2 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – Since I recently put Nemesis as my top baddie ever of course this would be near the top. Focusing on 1 single scary monster was genius.

1 – Dead Space – Well that sure was alot of RE games for my list, this is the game that passes them all for me, if the series wasn’t also sarting to focus less on scares and more on spectacle (oh how the ‘masses’ hurt us) then I’d be calling it the future of horror games. It did however give us my top pick. Great atmosphere, great setting, some neat game mechanics, cool weapons and…. actual scares. Highly recommend this game.

Marc Morrison (Games Zone Reviewer)

Honorable Mention Deadly Premonition – It’s not a very good game, but damn if it doesn’t have heart, and try to be as crazy as possible.

5. Dead Island — Dead Island kind of falls apart at the halfway point, but is still a game worthy of a look at. The idea of you being stuck on an island full of zombies is good, and the combat/loot aspects were fun. It’s when the game forces you to go through the sewers is the downfall of the game. Still, it’s an interesting game to check out, especially with some friends.

4. Resident Evil 2 — While it is archaic from today’s gaming standards, RE2 was the one RE game that really blew me away. Better environments, more weapons, and a greater soundtrack made it my favorite RE game (of the pre RE4 “reboot”). People like RE4 and it’s fine, but all the QTE’s drag it down for me, and the series just continues to go in that direction, much to its detriment.

3. Bioshock 1 — Some may not consider this game to be survival horror, but I think it still fits into the genre. While you aren’t as weak as in other SH games, there are still plenty of scares and creepy things going on. Add in the twists that occur in the game, alongside some of the really brilliantly designed enemies and locations, and you’ll appreciate how Bioshock fits into the mold quite well.

2. The Walking Dead — I’m not a huge fan of adventure games, but the Walking Dead has me glued to my computer, the minute a new episode is released. The game makes zombies scary, but the real evil comes from what desperate people do during desperate times. Plus, it’s the first game ever (to me, anyway), to have a kid/escort character that isn’t completely annoying.

1. Alan Wake — I actually think Alan Wake is the best game Remedy has done (better than both Max Payne games). The game is structured to be devoured in quick sessions, to let you process and think about what happened. While the game isn’t incredibly difficult, there are some elements that are very challenging, and make the game tense. When you’re trying to frantically start a generator, while 3 guys are coming at you, and you only have a sliver of health left, nothing got me as amped up as Alan Wake. As a final thought, it also contained some Poets of the Fall songs that fit in perfectly into the game:

Francisco Ramirez

Honorable Mentions Eternal Darkness/ Amnesia: The Dark Descent: Confession, I’ve never played them.

5. Onimusha – I might be cheating a bit here, but Onimusha featured a sword wielding samurai against evil Japanese demons. Gone were the guns, and in its place were swords, bows and magic. This led to a feeling of an action heavy Resident Evil. Puzzles were plenty, and you still had to manage your inventory, the only thing is you didn’t have to fear about running out of bullets.

4. Parasite Eve – Merging a survival horror and a JRPG might be a bit insane to say the least but Square Enix pulled it off. Sure the controls weren’t the best in the world, but the story was great, and that feeling of uncertainty as you head into a new area was present. Did you have the right equipment, how bad would the villains in this area be? A JRPG Survival Horror game, Square took a risk and three sequels later it had obviously worked.

3. Resident Evil 4 – Capcom completely overhauled the RE series with this iteration and it paid off. Gone were the crappy controls and fixed cameras. Instead of zombies we had las plagas and a heavy emphasis on action. Until I finish RE 6, this is easily my favorite game in the series.

2. Fatal Frame – Exorcising ghosts with a camera, sounds stupid doesn’t it? Well, it worked, and it was fun. Fatal Frame, arguably has the best story in a survival horror game. Ghosts run rampant, yet there is a reason and a backstory to them. A tale of sacrifice and hatred, a true horror gem.

1. Silent Hill 2 – I think universally this game is accepted as the best survival horror game out there. Who am I to disagree, Pyramidhead made his debut here and the scene between Pyramidhead and the nurses is still disturbing today. James search for his wife and the inevitable realization of what truly happened stands out leaps and bounds over any zombie infestation.

Twitter Break

Fun Links To Checkout A website started by two of the Triple Threat Column writers. Not only is it the permanent home of this world famous column but it has recaps done by me, wrestling news, and other columns.

Wrestling 2 the Max Podcast A friend and I started our own wrestling podcast. Go listen to episode 5 and tell us what you think. New Episodes come out every Sunday Morning. We talked, the State of TNA, who could be WWE´s next MEGA STAR, the Hulu Plus deal, SmackDown, NXT, and more.)

Games Coming Out on 10/09/12: Huge Week for Game Releases

Pokemon Black & White Version 2 (Nintendo 3DS Only)

Dishonored (Xbox 360, & PS3, PC)

Fable: The Journey (Xbox 360 KINECT Only)

Just Dance 4(Xbox 360 KINECT Only, PS3 Move Only, Wii)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Xbox 360, PS3, & PC)

Of Orcs And Men (Xbox 360, PS3, & PC)

Code of Princess (Nintendo 3DS Only)

Worms Revolution (Xbox 360 Live Arcade, PSN, PC)


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Sean Garmer
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