Author Topic: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch  (Read 18694 times)

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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« on: September 30, 2022, 12:47:28 PM »
Hopefully Pokepal is cool with me starting this up :D.

When does this start?

Shocktober begins right now, and will last the entire month of October, ending after Halloween night.

What should I play?

Anything that falls under the classification of a "scary" game. Survival horror, action horror, a horror-themed FPS, anything with zombies, etc. In the interest of having fun, this can be more of a loose definition of what defines a scary game, and constitute anything that is more-or-less "spooky themed". If you're not sure, just check out the previous years' threads [2021] [2020].

You can think of this as another Backlaugust if you want -- You've probably got horror games in your backlog, and it's time to play them. How many games you want to play is up to you, whether that's just one game or a few games. Any platform, doesn't matter. They can be new games, old games. Even horror games you've already beaten long ago and want to replay. You don't have to choose all of your games up front; you can if you want, but it's fine to just take it one-game-at-a-time.

Who should participate?

Do you:
  • Enjoy scary games?
  • Have at least one horror game in your backlog?
  • Plan on buying a new horror game?
  • Really love Halloween?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you should do this!

The purpose of this is a little less about seeing how many games we can beat, but for everyone to share in the experience of playing something scary. A good horror game can be a tough thing to get all of the way through to the end, but with some moral support from the rest of the community that's going through the same thing, maybe we can all make it back into the light by November! That's what it comes down to -- having fun, and being scared shitless. And being scared shitless is a lot more fun when being scared shitless as a group.

One last thing -- for your fellow NWR-er who hasn't played every game, try using spoiler tags whenever possible for anything major that's story-related, or just in general anything that should not be spoiled.

Examples of games that count as Horror:

Anything remotely spooky, scary, or Halloweeny. You getting Bayonetta 3? That counts. You planning to play some mutiplayer Luigi's Mansion 3? You sucked yourself right into a game that counts for Shocktober. Are you just planning to do the Halloween event in Animal Crossing? Come on in. You could even pick a spooky game from the Switch SNES online games and sign up to play it online with someone on BShy's new thread. As we prepare for the return of the umbra witch, let's all have some scary fun  ;D.

Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2022, 01:37:48 PM »
I doubled dipped on Bayonetta (Switch) which should be delivered Tuesday. I also snagged Bayonetta 2 on Switch. I’m going to stop lying to myself and play both on Easy.

I just added the first three OG Resident Evil games to Vita (I’ll create a related thread if I’m not too lazy). Only beat Claire A in RE2 so I’d like to run through everything before tackling the remakes.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2022, 11:33:00 AM »
I am planning to get Bayonetta 3 at launch but that is the end of the month and will just be first impressions. In the meantime I was thinking of replaying Alien Isolation on PS4 to get some more trophies. I need to look at what trophies I need but it will probably be a hard difficulty or no-kill run of some sort. I was also hoping to finally beat Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts on SNES. I have played this a lot since I was young but never tried to complete it since having it with save states. I am planning on just using save states between levels.

Offline GK

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 01:33:59 AM »
I fired up my WiiU the other day to play Bayonetta 2 again as a warm-up for Bayonetta 3. I'm a bit rusty when it comes to my post-fight ratings, but I'm going through enemies well enough

Dauntless has its yearly Dark Harvest event. May try to grab some spooky-themed weapon/armor skins once that kicks off.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2022, 01:12:49 PM »
Didn't pick it up with this in mind, but I've been making my way through Infernax the past few days. It's an exceptionally gory 2D sidescrolling horror action gane in the model of Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest. So far, I'm quite enjoying it, though I wish that dungeons had checkpoints so you didn't have to claw your way back out to save every time you made significant progress and needed to restock on healing items and lives. The music is...well...it doesn't exactly live up to its inspiration. The pixel art is fantastic, though.

Made it through 3 of the 1st 5 castles as a "Good" character. You can enable essentially god mode at any time, and perhaps I'll do that if I do a replay as an Evil character. Grinding XP and gold via quests and drops to level your character up is fun once, but I'd rather skip that on replays.
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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New Voice Actor for Bayonetta 3
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 09:39:20 AM »
From IGN article:

“Various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role,” they confirmed. “We held auditions to cast the new voice of Bayonetta and offered the role to Jennifer Hale, whom we felt was a good match for the character.”

Hale is perhaps best known as the female voice of Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series, as well as voicing Samus Aran in the Metroid Prime series.

Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2022, 12:19:34 AM »
From IGN article:

“Various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role,” they confirmed. “We held auditions to cast the new voice of Bayonetta and offered the role to Jennifer Hale, whom we felt was a good match for the character.”
If I visited more often, I'd have posted this in the Bayonetta 3 thread I made back when I hilariously thought the game would release in 2019. Boy is my face red...

Hale isn't a bad choice. I enjoyed her work in the MGS series. Considering Bayonetta 3 has been in development for roughly 37 years, I'm skeptical of the reasoning here. Helena Taylor wasn't available at any point in the last four years? I still think she's probably in the game, and this is one massive troll/red herring.

Anyway...

After some clownery with my Bayonetta (Switch) pre-order from August (Amazon canceled it), I picked up the game from Best Buy on Saturday. I haven't had a chance to open it.

I booted up a ROM hack of Resident Evil: Director's Cut Dual Shock Vers. that restores the original soundtrack and uncut, color FMV on Vita. Woof. That game did not age well. I recently acquired Resident Evil: Deadly Silence so I'm going to see if the Rebirth mode helps. I love the series though I've never fully completed the original four games (including Code Veronica). It almost feels like a rite of passage. It's the same reason I beat the original Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda a few years ago.

A friend and I are trying to slog through Resident Evil 6 on PS4. Woof, again. It feels like Sunk Cost, The Video Game® as if Capcom knew it wasn't working at various stages of development yet forged ahead because they were too far along to start over.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2022, 03:46:56 PM »
I have started both games mentioned earlier and made some progress.
First off, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. I am playing this on the SNES classic (mini). I am using the boss battles to demarcate the stage endings and only using save states there. This in itself would not be tough, but I am also sticking to making it through each stage unscathed. I just can't loose that shiny gold suit  8). I have actually never made it to stage 4 before so it is all new territory. I have been using the bow and arrow, which works great but the special (finding chests) is moot since I am staying gold. I must admit the sprite work and music are really strong in this game. While this is not scary in the jump-scare sense, I am very on edge towards the end of the stage, hoping I don't get hit.

I also booted up Alien Isolation on PS4. I looked over the trophies and I am already have 39/51 from my first playthrough. There is no way to get all the rest in a second playthrough, literally. One of the trophies is for beating the game without dying and another is for getting killed 100 times by the alien. Planning it out as two playthroughs, this one is on the easiest difficult setting and will take care of the trophies for beating the game without dying and without killing any humans as well as collecting ID tags and Nostromo logs. When I first played this I did not have a PS camera, but now I do, so I am using the very cool features for head tracking and noise detection. That's right, the camera tracks your head so you can peek around when hiding in lockers and the microphone picks up noise in your room so if you scream or make other noises, the alien in the game will hear you. This seems like something Nintendo should have done on Wii U or 3DS. Maybe they did, let me know if you do. So far I am on mission 4 but this is a scary game, especially when you are trying not to die.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2022, 03:40:04 PM »
I've been playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night which I finished up last night. I've always heard of the game of course, but was never big on PlayStation even though we had one, so I've never gotten around to playing it. The Xbox 360 version was given out as a Gold game at one point, so that's what I played; I don't know if it has any differences over the original release. And I've gotta say...

...It's still pretty good! It certainly shows its age, but it's still playable. I like that there are plentiful tools and weapons, and how quite a few things aren't exactly required, but are fun to mess around with and provide more options for movement and combat. A few things are essentially nothing more than keys, but they can't all be winners. I discovered magic by accidentally inputting one of the combos, which is an interesting way of handling it, though I never came across anything in the game that listed a magic spell so I wonder if I missed it somewhere or if the only way to find a spell is to stumble upon using it. Many areas of the castle feel distinct with variety in both visuals and gameplay. While the music is good, the voices and sound effects are oddly low-quality, even for a PlayStation game. The wolf form was probably supposed to be cool, but it's just cute.

I've got mixed feelings on the sequence leading up to the end. On one hand, it's pretty clear the inverted castle was slapped in there because they ran out of time and/or budget. It isn't quite on the level of a Zelda-style second quest, and I s'pose it's debatable if it's "required" since you can get an ending without it, but it is a clever way to add extra content to the game without much effort. It at least has new enemies and bosses, and tested my memory and familiarity with the castle layout.

Overall, I can see why this game is highly-regarded, and while it may not technically be the first Metroidvania (that'd be Castlevania II, which I played for Backlaugust), this one is way better and moved the franchise in a (relatively) new direction. Aside from these two, the only other Metriodvania I've played is Dawn of Sorrow, so I'm looking forward to trying out some more of this series.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2022, 08:16:11 PM »
I'm looking forward to trying out some more of this series.
Though it is not technically in the series, if you liked Symphony I would recommend Bloodstained. It feels more like symphony than any other game I have played and it is pretty recent so has some QoL improvements.

Offline GK

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2022, 01:02:00 AM »

Though it is not technically in the series, if you liked Symphony I would recommend Bloodstained. It feels more like symphony than any other game I have played and it is pretty recent so has some QoL improvements.

Have they fixed the loading between areas on the Switch version?

Dunno why, but felt like playing Pinball FX 3 again. Despite having a few of the DLC tables the default Sorcerer's Lair remains a fav. A lil more Goosebumps than actual horror but it has its charm.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2022, 01:09:04 AM by GK »
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Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2022, 01:12:28 AM »
I got distracted and did not try Resident Evil: Deadly Silence yet. However, I started up The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks which still works here because ghosts. right? I managed to get the D-pad ROM hack to work. 🥳 Better than stylus-only though not a complete solution as a lot of things still require touch like menus and most items. Not too far yet. The train segments feel like eternity. They feel like the game is not respecting my time. I'm committed as I never finished Spirit Tracks, and I want to wash away the shame.

Have they fixed the loading between areas on the Switch version?
You didn't ask me, but yes. After the second major update, the loading between screens on the Switch version has been pretty good except in two rooms (I don't remember precisely which ones). I don't recall them being especially bad, just longer than the usual transitions.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2022, 10:57:18 AM »
I got distracted and did not try Resident Evil: Deadly Silence yet. However, I started up The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks which still works here because ghosts. right? I managed to get the D-pad ROM hack to work. 🥳 Better than stylus-only though not a complete solution as a lot of things still require touch like menus and most items. Not too far yet. The train segments feel like eternity. They feel like the game is not respecting my time. I'm committed as I never finished Spirit Tracks, and I want to wash away the shame.

I played through Spirit Tracks on the Wii U VC in April of this year. I did feel bored with the Train segments as well after a while. It felt like they were designed to be played while you were riding the train in Japan and could only devote half your attention to the game. I liked finding the bunnies, oddly enough. Like most folks I think I prefer Phantom Hourglass. I ended up spending 32 hours on the game, though I was not in a rush. I thought the ending was really good so try and stick it out to the finish.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2022, 06:59:29 PM »
I'm looking forward to trying out some more of this series.
Though it is not technically in the series, if you liked Symphony I would recommend Bloodstained. It feels more like symphony than any other game I have played and it is pretty recent so has some QoL improvements.
Funnily enough, I tried out Bloodstained back when it was on Game Pass. And I've gotta say... I didn't like it, unfortunately! I think I'll be okay to stick with the "real" thing, although I know a lot of people think the Metroidvania series went downhill after Symphony. I guess I'll find out...!

Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2022, 09:27:24 PM »
Funnily enough, I tried out Bloodstained back when it was on Game Pass. And I've gotta say... I didn't like it, unfortunately! I think I'll be okay to stick with the "real" thing, although I know a lot of people think the Metroidvania series went downhill after Symphony. I guess I'll find out...!
What didn’t you like about it?

Personally, while I enjoyed Bloodstained, I strongly would have preferred sprite-based art. In hindsight, it also felt bloated as if IGA packed in extra content in part to justify how much money it earned on Kickstarter when the campaign was intended as proof to the publisher that there was even a small market for the game. Bloodstained earned over 10x its original goal. Whoopsie daisy. Had the game stuck to its original budget, I think we would have gotten a tighter and better game. Still scratched that Metroidvania itch for me. 💁‍♀️

If you enjoyed Symphony of the Night, all the GBA and DS ones are good to great. Despite GBA’s limitations, Aria of Sorrow got awfully close to hitting those highs.

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2022, 09:41:16 PM »
although I know a lot of people think the Metroidvania series went downhill after Symphony. I guess I'll find out...!

That's mostly from people who care about the graphics and music over the gameplay.  Many that prefer the actual gameplay will tell you Aria of Sorrow and Order of Ecclesia are better games.  I'd argue that Dawn of Sorrow is also just as good, but many others put that game down because of the anime artwork and touch screen sections.
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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2022, 11:06:03 PM »
For the theme of this I decided to go back and play more of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on the compilation they put out on Switch. The only Castlevania I'd really played before was Dawn of Sorrow, with little bits of some of the earlier ones on VC, so I'm pretty new to the series and I've heard this is probably the best one.
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Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2022, 12:31:43 AM »
I'd argue that Dawn of Sorrow is also just as good, but many others put that game down because of the anime artwork and touch screen sections.
For interested parties: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Definitive Edition+ is an excellent ROM hack that covers both of those "issues" as well as many actual issues in the retail version, i.e. bug fixes, translation errors etc. I only played a bit last month to make sure I installed the hack correctly. While I didn't mind the touch screen stuff back in the day, the game is absolutely better without them.

That said, Portrait of Ruin has a touch screen heavy post-game campaign that serves as a prequel. Sisters Mode is a pretty fun proof of concept that should have unlocked sooner. It would have been neat if IGA explored that more.

Dawn of Sorrow is great. Aria of Sorrow has a better story, and it showed significant improvements over Harmony of Dissonance. Dawn of Sorrow is like, more-Aria of Sorrow. Still fun, just doesn't bring anything new to the table.

For the theme of this I decided to go back and play more of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on the compilation they put out on Switch. The only Castlevania I'd really played before was Dawn of Sorrow, with little bits of some of the earlier ones on VC, so I'm pretty new to the series and I've heard this is probably the best one.
Y'all are in for a treat. I wish I could experience these games for the first time again.

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2022, 08:49:29 AM »
Dawn of Sorrow is great. Aria of Sorrow has a better story, and it showed significant improvements over Harmony of Dissonance. Dawn of Sorrow is like, more-Aria of Sorrow. Still fun, just doesn't bring anything new to the table.

I agree its a rehash of Aria but I still give Dawn the edge for a better variety of boss fights, a higher difficulty, and the better Julius mode.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2022, 11:09:55 AM »
Funnily enough, I tried out Bloodstained back when it was on Game Pass. And I've gotta say... I didn't like it, unfortunately! I think I'll be okay to stick with the "real" thing, although I know a lot of people think the Metroidvania series went downhill after Symphony. I guess I'll find out...!
What didn’t you like about it?
Mainly I didn't like how grindy it felt. There were probably a couple of other things but I don't remember at this point. I do remember a problem of Dawn of Sorrow being a bit of a grindfest as well, but I still liked it overall, though that was many years ago now. Symphony of the Night largely avoided this problem.

I'll download the Castlevania Advance Collection when it hits $5. I hope that they find a way to release a collection of the DS games as well, even though I actually have Portrait of Ruin. The one that I missed, Order of Ecclesia, had to go and become the most expensive one!

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2022, 03:12:45 PM »
Mainly I didn't like how grindy it felt. There were probably a couple of other things but I don't remember at this point. I do remember a problem of Dawn of Sorrow being a bit of a grindfest as well, but I still liked it overall, though that was many years ago now. Symphony of the Night largely avoided this problem.
That's fair. Trying to get all the shards as well as multiple of each shard to upgrade is very grindy. I vaguely remember Dawn of Sorrow having a similar mechanic. For me, Dawn of Sorrow > Ritual of the Night.

You may like Harmony of Dissonance and Portrait of Ruin more as they're less grindy (don't quote me, it's been a while since I played these games).

Quote
I hope that they find a way to release a collection of the DS games as well, even though I actually have Portrait of Ruin. The one that I missed, Order of Ecclesia, had to go and become the most expensive one!
The DS games (first two more than the last one) all have some touch screen controls which Konami would have to commission someone to rework in addition to porting. I'm not confident it's interested at all in doing any of that. I suppose Switch and PS4/PS5 can get by with the touchscreen/touchpad functionality. I'm pretty pessimistic about it. A girl can dream...

I still have my copy of Order of Ecclesia so I never looked it up as I was boosting my retro catalog. For the lulz, I looked it up just now. Loose is not-great; CIB can get right the F outta my face.

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2022, 06:57:46 PM »
Mainly I didn't like how grindy it felt. There were probably a couple of other things but I don't remember at this point. I do remember a problem of Dawn of Sorrow being a bit of a grindfest as well, but I still liked it overall, though that was many years ago now. Symphony of the Night largely avoided this problem.
That's fair. Trying to get all the shards as well as multiple of each shard to upgrade is very grindy. I vaguely remember Dawn of Sorrow having a similar mechanic. For me, Dawn of Sorrow > Ritual of the Night.

You may like Harmony of Dissonance and Portrait of Ruin more as they're less grindy (don't quote me, it's been a while since I played these games).

Personally I find the Metroidvania games more fun when not grinding.  I can understand wanting to see every ability, but I find grinding for them kind of boring after a while, and they end up making the character too overpowered.  Outside of the abilities that are required to get the True Endings in some of the games I like to just use whatever my character gets naturally and make the best of it.  Makes for a more thrilling experience.

Of course speaking of Bloodstained: Ritual of Night.  I played it earlier this year and I thought it was OK, but one of my biggest problems was how sluggish Miriam moved compared to other IGA Metroidvania's.  After I finally beat the game I look up some video's online just to see what I might have missed and most of them have Miriam moving way faster, and I see there was some abilities that allowed for faster speed.  It's like, wow, I probably would have enjoyed the game a lot more if I had gotten that ability.

So I guess in the case of Ritual of the Night, I probably should have grinded, since all the people who loved the game seem to be using all these crazy abilities the RNG never blessed me with.
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2022, 12:36:46 AM »
Well I made it to the end of stage 7 in Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts only to be told that I needed to come back with the goddess bracelet. I had heard plenty of times that you needed to beat this game twice to complete it but it still disappointed me to be sent back to stage 1. I found the bracelet in the second chest I opened (still sporting the gold suit  8)  and it seems best to just keep it as my weapon for the second run.

In Alien: Isolation I just got a trophy for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the xenomorph. I guess I just used the flamethrower on the first run. I am about halfway done now and damn this game is good. I am especiallt appreciating the use of the light on the dual shock controller. It changes with the motion tracker and detection of the alien.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2022, 12:35:54 PM »
So I guess in the case of Ritual of the Night, I probably should have grinded, since all the people who loved the game seem to be using all these crazy abilities the RNG never blessed me with.
Yeah, I think that's another problem I have is the rare drops, though I s'pose that can still fall under the "grindiness" umbrella. I was okay with this concept in Symphony of the Night since, far as I could tell, any rare drop was just an armor or weapon, so none of it was something that enhanced gameplay in some way and didn't feel necessary to collect.

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Re: Shocktober III: Season of the Witch
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2022, 12:55:04 PM »
Yeah, I think that's another problem I have is the rare drops, though I s'pose that can still fall under the "grindiness" umbrella. I was okay with this concept in Symphony of the Night since, far as I could tell, any rare drop was just an armor or weapon, so none of it was something that enhanced gameplay in some way and didn't feel necessary to collect.
Depends? The Crissaegrim, a rare drop, is arguably the best weapon in the game. Can’t speak for others, but I’d consider them enhancing the gameplay. Also, defeating Dracula in like seven seconds using the Crissaegrim was one of the wildest things I saw in a game at the time.