Some Spooky Delights That Need Revisiting
This time of the year, I start getting obsessed with all things creepy and spooky. Cause while you don’t have to be terrifying to embody Halloween, it certainly doesn’t hurt. And despite mostly gaming on Nintendo systems, I’ve played a lot of great horror games over the years. Including several that deserve a modern sequel. Hence, my Top 8 Spooky Games In Need of a Sequel That Originated on Nintendo Platforms list. I dug deep and found eight horror-flavored goodies to share with you all, from SNES to Switch. And while not every title here remained a Nintendo exclusive, almost all got their starts on Nintendo consoles. And to be unbiased, I’ll list them chronologically in order of Western release.
Spooky Game #1 – Demon’s Crest (October 1994)
Where do I even begin with Demon’s Crest? This is the game that put me on track to start appreciating mature and disturbing content in video games. I wasn’t even a proper teenager when it came out. I only picked it up (from Hollywood Video) because it was published by Capcom, and I liked platformers. That’s all I knew, other than what I glimpsed from my copy of Nintendo Power at the time. And I was drawn to the visual style, despite the horror elements.
Not only is this a game where you play a monster in a world full of monsters, but it has you play as Firebrand himself, the dancing gargoyle bastard of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts fame. He’s much different in Demon’s Crest. He’s a powerful champion of his species laid low by an underhanded sneak attack. He sets off to recover his purloined Crests and use them to wrest ultimate power back once more.
It’s set in a world that’s dark, creepy, and unsettling. Zombies gleefully burst from the ground; ghosts wander with impunity; and ancient temples house crawling horrors. It’s not only disturbing, but beautiful in a weird way. Especially thanks to the outstanding soundtrack that breathes Gothic life into every inch of the game. It’s not only a wonderful Metroidvania, but one dying to get a sequel, even all these years later.
Spooky Game #2 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (June 2002)
Demon’s Crest put me on the path to horror, but Eternal Darkness helped me get lost there. This was such an unexpected title on the Gamecube. It wasn’t until the Wii era that Nintendo started regularly flirting with horror. So not only was it unusual, but it was kind of remarkable.
Paired with innovative insanity effects, a compelling plot, and unique combat, it is honestly a game I feel every gamer should try. You’ll devour every morsel of lore the game throws your way while dodging monsters, solving puzzles, and casting arcane magic spells. I know it’s one of the few Gamecube games I’ve returned to more than once.
What’s most frustrating about Eternal Darkness is it was actually on its way to giving us a spiritual successor in Shadow of the Eternals. It was all geared up to get successfully funded, and then all sorts of unexpected and horrible scandals came to light about some of the team behind it. And that was just enough to put a nail in the coffin of this title. But if another developer wanted to pick up the torch and bring us a proper sequel to Eternal Darkness, I’d be more than happy to throw some money their way.
Spooky Game #3 – MOON (January 2009)
Renegade Kid did some really groundbreaking work on the DS. They brought realistic horror to a console most thought incapable of it, both technically and otherwise. And one of the best examples of that trend was in MOON. Though it did get a digital remake on the 3DS called MOON Chronicles, that one didn’t do anything differently than the original, other than sporting better graphics.
While MOON isn’t the first game that might come to mind when thinking of spooky, it accomplishes a lot with claustrophobia and slowly building dread. The more you discover, the more you start to question what’s really happening. And as you play, you’ll face off against monstrous aliens, bad robots, and all sorts of unexpected foes.
The plot of MOON and MOON Chronicles both ends on a pretty big question mark. So it’d be nice to see a sequel flesh out the plot and give fans some of the answers they’ve been praying for.
Spooky Game #4 – The House of the Dead: Overkill (February 2009)
You could certainly make the argument that The House of the Dead: Overkill isn’t technically a scary game. And while that’s fair enough, it is creepy and demented. Plus, it’s full of zombies and all sorts of random scares. And the grindhouse visual style really left a mark on me back in the Wii era.
Admittedly, on-rail games are harder to do these days. The Wii was perfectly suited to them, after all. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t make a Overkill sequel on modern consoles. And as proof there’s some demand for more rail shooters, the arcade title The House of the Dead: Remake just got released. So why not a follow-up to Overkill?
Hell, you don’t even need a plot tying anything together. Just give us an excuse to blast zombies and mutated horrors to pools of goo, and I think we’ll all be the better for it.
Spooky Game #5 – Dead Space: Extraction (September 2009)
I should just point out that before playing Dead Space: Extraction, I had never played a Dead Space game. Hell, I haven’t played any since. But I love Extraction. You can forget it’s an on-rails game, thanks to how open-ended and diverse the combat choices are. Sure, you’re always gonna end the game at the same point. But getting there can vary somewhat.
Not only was it a well-crafted game, but it featured horrifying visuals and a really interesting plot. It even had great voice acting and stellar combat. One of the coolest aspects was using pinpoint precision to rip the limbs from Necromorphs, taking away their attack options. And though most rail games aren’t all that long, this one featured several chapters to survive.
So why didn’t it get a sequel? Sure, maybe most folks don’t play Nintendo consoles for Dead Space games. But this was such a unique one-off that I feel it merits a follow-up.
Spooky Game #6 – Dementium 2 (May 2010)
During the DS era, Renegade Kid did some really notable work for the horror genre. Though they’ve recently split up into two smaller teams, they made some of the most compelling horror games on the portable system. While the original Dementium was a bit rough, thanks to a buggy save system, they pretty much delivered a better sequel in every possible way with Dementium II.
It takes place after the events of the first game, and you start to watch reality itself turn against you. Nightmarish horrors get set loose, and the whole time you wonder if reality is broken, or you are? Combined with clever hints and nods to the first game, you have a really fantastic FPS filled with horror.
Honestly, the only real downside to Dementium II is that it ends with an enormous cliffhanger. One that’s dying to get explained by a third game. Or maybe that’ll only happen in my demented dreams…
Spooky Game #7 – ZombiU (November 2012)
Back in the golden years of the Wii U, Ubisoft actually tried to give Nintendo some exclusive titles. They had been really good about that in the previous gen, and things looked bright with ZombiU. It’s a frenetic tour through apocalyptic London. And though it got pretty well received, that wasn’t good enough for Ubisoft, which quickly brought it to other consoles.
That said, ZombiU was really great on the Wii U. It made clever use of the Gamepad, and each run was a bit different. Every time you died, you’d have to pick another character to play. Best of all, you’d have to deal with your previously zombified avatar to reclaim your gear, which could really be a hell of a time. Fighting against a horde of zombified freaks never got old, especially when you wailed on them with an unbreakable cricket bat.
Honestly, I think this game deserves a sequel more than most. But maybe I just want an excuse to bash a zombie Royal Guard wearing a Beefeater to a bloody pulp…
Spooky Game #8 – Carrion (July 2020)
Carrion is in many ways the culmination of years of horror drought on Nintendo systems. Sure, I’ve spotlighted some great games to put on this Spooky Nintendo Games list, but they’re also taken from very specific years. In fairness, Carrion didn’t come to Nintendo before other consoles, but it did launch pretty much simultaneously on several. After waiting for so long, it seems horror has found some footing on the once family-friendly Nintendo brand of consoles. And Carrion is a perfect example of that.
Not only is Carrion bloody, horrifying and twisted, but it’s also wonderfully fun. You get to play a monster that escapes containment in a high-tech lab, and scuttle about causing trouble. You learn more and more amazing techniques the longer you play, and the game is basically a Metroidvania drenched in gore. Throw in a really fascinating but understated plot, and you have a wonderful adventure.
Unlike many on this list, I think Carrion has a good shot of getting a sequel one day. But in the meantime, I’ll be scuttling about as a crimson-hued horror one more time, showing those pesky humans who’s boss.
And there you have it! My Top 8 Spooky Games In Need of a Sequel That Originated on Nintendo Platforms list. Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a great Halloween. Plus, stay tuned to HPP for more crazy lists.