Author Topic: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter  (Read 10388 times)

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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« on: October 01, 2023, 02:09:58 PM »
It's Shocktober again and time for our slightly spooky version of a "what have you been playing" forum topic.

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". Here are a few scary games coming out this month:
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology (Switch version)
  • Haunted House (2023 Remake)
  • Alan Wake 2

You don't have to pick up a new game to get into the Halloween spirit, consider playing some Luigi's Mansion multiplayer, a spooky course in Mario Kart or Mario Party, taking part in the Animal Crossing festivities, or just putting on a spooky costume and sharing a picture on the forums.

If you're not sure, just check out the previous years' threads
[2022] [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.

Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2023, 03:40:20 PM »
I’ll use this Shocktober to hopefully take some games off my backlog.

I’m starting with Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes (PS4).

A friend and I were in the middle of running through Resident Evil 6 (PS4) online, but I don’t know, man. That game is so mediocre. I don’t remember if it gets better as you unlock more skills. We got through Leon’s campaign, and it was a slog. In any case, since I’m not renewing PlayStation Plus, it’d be nice to cross it off the list.

Also in the middle of my second playthrough of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, this time on PS4.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll officially cross off at least one of the Bayonetta games. I’m playing on easy this time because I keep stopping because I get stuck. I suck at these games, but I enjoy the world enough to keep coming back. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever unlock Jeanne who I always liked more than Bayonetta.

EDIT: Adding Metroid Dread to this list. Current plan is RE2, Dread, then RE3. We’ll see what happens after. Three games to start is a reasonable goal, I think.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2023, 03:49:17 PM by Adrock »

Offline Evan_B

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2023, 01:54:36 PM »
Starting with Evil Tonight, baby. It’s a top-down survival horror game with pixel art. I’ve heard good things about this and I like the idea of “what if Resident Evil, but a late-era SNES game.”

At some point, I’m hoping to understand and mentally prepare myself for Saturnalia. This game has an insane art style and cool roguelike elements atop its survival horror roots. I feel disoriented just by watching trailers for this so I’m very excited to give it a try.

I’ve had The Lost Child sitting in my backlog since I nabbed it on sale for 5 bucks, but it’s a first person dungeon crawler, and that’s a high-commitment title for a single month. It’s a maybe.

Similar in time investment, I also scored Dying Light while it was insanely cheap and I’m very curious about it. Looking for other impressions of this title.

Lastly, I have heard lovely things about Darkwood, but I’ve also had the entire premise of the game spoiled for myself, so I’m on the fence as to whether I want to jump in. Wow, what a game.
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2023, 11:25:28 PM »
I started Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon and I am really enjoying it so far. I picked it up around launch but had just played Bayonetta 3 (for last year's Shocktober) so I just wasn't craving more from the series at the time. Maybe they should have held onto it and released it this October. I really like the art style which has a nice watercolor stained glass look. The game play is more like Astral Chain than Bayonetta with them going full on with the control two characters with one controller, which I enjoy. Apparently I am already at 25% completion at Chapter 4 so it appears to be a rather shorter experience, but that is fine with me. I report back when I am done with some more thoughts, but this is definitely getting me into the Halloween spirit. I don't remember anyone else in the forums talking about it but NWR's Alex gave it an 8.5.

Offline RABicle

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2023, 12:51:46 AM »
I’M PLAYING DETENTION TONIGHT
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2023, 10:55:23 AM »
Does Subnautica count?  Between running out of air, getting mauled by deep sea creatures, and just the quiet dread of the depths, man is it stressful.

Actual horror-wise? 

My podcast is going to do a retrospective on Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season 1, so that'll be fun. 

Signalis is on my radar, so I might pick that up and give it a go.

I've got the original Dead Space in my backlog, maybe will revert to that.


So i've got more ideas than time, but that's my shortlist.


Offline RABicle

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2023, 09:43:36 PM »
I got scared and watched the cricket last night instead.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2023, 11:27:37 PM »
Online Communication For Wii U And 3DS To End In April 2024

Yikes!! Shocktober just got REAL! I wasn't prepared for this level of dread...
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2023, 09:17:40 AM »
Online Communication For Wii U And 3DS To End In April 2024

Yikes!! Shocktober just got REAL! I wasn't prepared for this level of dread...
It really is the Final Chapter for the last generation's online access.  :o

Offline Evan_B

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2023, 09:56:38 PM »
So, I finished Evil Tonight! Man, that was fun, in a spooky way. It understands the fundamentals of survival horror with its level design being focused on economy of space and claustrophobia, and it has a number of enemies that are extremely intimidating. The writing is also quite strong, in that the game mixes a decidedly 90’s aesthetic with some genuinely sad and unsettling content. I would hope to see more from the developer in this style, but it’s honestly so succinct and well-crafted I’m not sure how they could one-up it with a sequel. Maybe by including a map, but I kind of see how that was a stretch considering this insanely impressive product was entirely crafted in Game Maker(!!).

Looking back at the picks I posted earlier, I’m not really all that sure I want to delve into any of them. So instead, I’m delving into a zombie-themed game, Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Night. Love me a good Metroidvania.
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2023, 09:33:21 AM »
I am close to the end of the story in Cereza but I really want to go for completion so I am not sure when I will talk more about it. I picked another shorter game and will probably finish that soon. In the meantime I have been trying to complete the last challenge in Sackboy: A Big Adventure and decided to dress up my sackperson in a some spooky outfit, so here is a taste of that.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2023, 12:16:52 PM »
In case folks don't get the Nintendo newsletter, here is their official list of Switch games for Shocktober.
https://www.nintendo.com/us/store/games/total-screams/


Offline Evan_B

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2023, 12:39:00 PM »
In case folks don't get the Nintendo newsletter, here is their official list of Switch games for Shocktober.
https://www.nintendo.com/us/store/games/total-screams/


I do wish Tecmo Koei would do me a solid and discount those Fatal Frame games. But, I’m not buying new games this year as a rule so that’s a non-issue.
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2023, 10:06:31 AM »
I do wish Tecmo Koei would do me a solid and discount those Fatal Frame games. But, I’m not buying new games this year as a rule so that’s a non-issue.
I remember waiting years on a discount for Maiden of Black Water on Wii U and then just paying full price for the digital game. I picked up the Switch version of Mask of the Lunar Eclipse in Japan for about half price because it was second hand.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2023, 10:14:05 AM »
I completed Sabre Wulf via the Rare Replay collection on XBox One last week. This is one of the early (1984) ZX Spectrum games in the collection.

It is basically an elaborate maze that has you search a 20x20 screen area for four pieces of an amulet. There are also some huts (as in housing for the native folks) to find if you are looking to get all the achievements. I ended up breaking out the graph paper and drawing the map myself as that seemed to be the only thing adding challenge to the game. It took me about 2 hours to finish and I guess I got lucky as there was about 25% of the world I did not traverse. Once that was done there were some NES remix style challenges called Snapshots to complete. It was not as spooky as I thought, but there was a wulf or two. Maybe the sequel Underwurlde gets more scary. Tune in next year to find out  ;).

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2023, 11:26:26 AM »
I've been playing DooM Eternal, and boy do I have some mixed feelings about this one.

First off, let's just get this one out of the way: I don't care for how overly violent it is, it's unnecessary and disgusting. I s'pose this is still sort of like playing a horror game, as I often find myself closing my eyes or looking away!

There are way too many tutorial popups! I eventually discovered that there is an option in the menu to turn these off, I wish I checked on that sooner.

It's been a while since I've played DooM 2016 but I think this is the same set of weapons, just with some mods to unlock for more functions and firepower. I like the variety on offer here, it offers a bit of a way to customise weapons for my own playstyle.

However, all of the different weapons and tools mean that every button does something, and there's no less than four different cooldowns to monitor. I've been getting better at remembering the more important functions but I still fumble with the controls now and then because of how complex they are. I wonder if they could be handled more intuitively but at the same time, I don't have an idea what would be better.

Considering that the original game kind of poked fun at exposition in AAA games, I'm surprised at how many cutscenes and dialogues there are. The one that frustrated me most so far was when the player character utilises a huge turret; why don't I get to control this?!

There have been some fun set pieces in some of the stages. I like that there are secrets to discover in the levels, although I'd prefer if progress in a level was saved so that I didn't have to do the whole thing again on replay just for one or two items I missed. I s'pose the cheat codes to unlock can help mitigate this somewhat.

Again, it's been a while since I played the original so I'm not sure about what all is new here, such as enemies. I will say that, at times, it feels a lot like playing a "Brutal DooM" source port of DooM 2016.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2023, 08:47:29 AM »
I've been playing DooM Eternal, and boy do I have some mixed feelings about this one.

First off, let's just get this one out of the way: I don't care for how overly violent it is, it's unnecessary and disgusting. I s'pose this is still sort of like playing a horror game, as I often find myself closing my eyes or looking away!


I don't know if I have ever had that feeling with a video game, though I certainly have with films. I do have a rather high tolerance for violence, but I also don't play too many violent games.

Are you playing this on XBox or Switch?

Offline Adrock

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2023, 12:10:33 PM »
To be honest, I kind of don't like Resident Evil 2 remake so far. Every zombie is a bullet sponge. They often take three or four headshots to go down. And sometimes they still get up. What the fu...

Offline lolmonade

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2023, 10:34:16 AM »
Gonna do my regular recommending of Haunting: Starring Poulterguy.  You'd have to emulate or buy a genesis copy used at this point, but it's a really unique game where you haunt a family by posessing items around the house and chasing them down.  Very funny too.

Offline broodwars

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2023, 05:58:16 PM »
To be honest, I kind of don't like Resident Evil 2 remake so far. Every zombie is a bullet sponge. They often take three or four headshots to go down. And sometimes they still get up. What the fu...

There is enough ammo in the game to kill all the zombies and lickers in the police station, sewers, and lab on Normal Difficulty with enough persistence. That said, something you catch onto when you try to speedrun the game for the S+ clear time is that zombies are more like obstacles in the remake that you're supposed to push past than put down. You'll notice when you headshot a zombie you'll get a noticeable stun and knockback, allowing you to run past them. One of the herb combinations is explicitly to create a temporary health shield so you can tank just running past a pack of zombies. You can also target a zombie's legs to permanently remove their ability to chase you.

I go back and forth on whether I like this change, as it does mean that zombies actually DO feel like the lethal bioweapons the movies and the lore keep telling us they should be. On the other hand, it does make it annoying to clear a room, so you should really only do it in areas you intend to run through a lot.

I've been playing a few games that loosely fit the month's theme: The Outbound Ghost and Pikmin 4.

As to the former, I feel like no one would be talking about this game if it didn't launch in such a broken place and if the developer didn't create a legal situation with the publisher. In terms of Paper Mario clones, it's nowhere near as good as games like Bug Fables. Every boss battle and most of the normal battles after a point are just insufferable wars of attrition, and it got old quickly. The plot basically requires a wiki to make any sense, and the chapters are just way too long for their own good. Reportedly, this game wasn't going to BE a Paper Mario clone until the Kickstarter backers thought that's what the guy was making, and it really feels like it.

On a side note since performance was such an issue with this game, the PS5 version on the latest patch feels fine. I saw some slowdown a few times across the entire game, but nothing major. And the black screen battle load times were only 15 seconds tops instead of the minute+ they were in the Switch version at launch. So yeah...strip away the performance issues and you just have a pretty middling Indie game of no particular notice.

As for Pikmin 4, I just today cleared the game's 1st ending, and so far I'm quite enjoying it. I still think Pikmin 3 is the better game since it does a good job of balancing that survival tension from the original Pikmin, but Pikmin 4 would be a strong 2nd best game in the series. Considering it's practically a remake of the absolutely dogshit Pikmin 2, that's quite the accomplishment. The game just has a lot of quality of life changes the series really needed, like Oatchi basically functioning as a mobile fortress so you don't have to worry about the series' awful Pikmin pathfinding AI anymore when walking about the levels. And the caves manage to not be **** like in Pikmin 2 since they're all individually crafted instead of randomly-generated.

The night missions are a total heresy to the series, but they're not the worst thing I've ever played. I'm really mixed on there being a fixed number of enemies in the game. On the one hand, it makes it incredibly easy to just clear a map and then gather collectables at your leisure. On the other, it renders the game completely toothless since the game doesn't even try to kill you outside of the fairly-easy boss fights. Also, just about every enemies dies to the "charge at the enemy with Oatchi and knock all your Pikmin onto them" strategy.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2023, 06:00:42 PM by broodwars »
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Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2023, 09:53:15 AM »

For folks looking for a good deal on a spooky Switch game, check out Nintendo's current Shocktober sales:
https://www.nintendo.com/us/store/sales-and-deals/

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2023, 03:55:54 PM »
Well with Mario Wonder out, no more spooky games this October.  Well, I guess levels with Boo's could be considered spooky, but I haven't gotten to any of them yet.  But I did manage to play a few games that would fit the Halloween theme pretty well before Mario Wonder came out.

Salt and Sanctuary

So this game is basically a 2D Demon/Dark Souls.  The gameplay is a complete clone of what you would expect from the Souls games, except in 2D.  But hey, it does a pretty good job of being like the game it was clearly inspired by.  I had fun for the most part, exploring the world and killing most of the bosses.  My biggest problem though some area's of the game have enemies that blend in with the backgrounds too much, as well as traps that are hard to see as well since they also blend in with the background.  Like most of my death outside of boss fights are from **** I didn't even notice until it was too late.  This is my biggest issue with a lot of indie games in general is they get so obsessed with their ART, and don't seem to realize how hard it is for the rest of us to tell what the **** is even going on in their games at times.

Lost Ruins

Well this is a dark metroidvania staring anime girls.  When you first start the game the message even tells you this is going to be a survival experience where every decision matters.  So I'm thinking OK, this will also be a Soul-like experience as well, since we all know these indie's love to make everything either a Souls or Rouge-like these days.  Well for the 30 minutes, it was kind of like that with my character having limited items to heal, and slower combat that you had to be more careful with.

But then you find equipment you can equip that autofills your HP after taking any damage, which completely destroys whatever survival experience that developers where trying to do.  Seriously, it only takes about an hour until you realize just how broken some of the abilities you can equipment can make your character, and the rest of the game is just a joke difficulty wise.  Every non-boss enemy I was able to one-shot by the half way point of the game, and even the bosses go down pretty fast once you realize their patterns.

At least it was a short game, takes less then 5 hours to beat.  After you beat it it had a new mode that lets you play as different characters, that once again, they also become easy to cheese the game after about an hour as well.  At the end of the day it was an overall OK experience, especially since I bought it on sale, but the game completely fails at being this challenging survival experience it literally advertises itself as when they make it super easy to cheese the whole thing.

Iron Crypticle

So this game is pretty much Smash TV, but with a Ghost and Goblin setting.  The levels you play on the first floor was actually pretty fun and then the difficulty picks up quite a bit on the second floor but I was still enjoying it.  Then you reach the 3rd floor and the game becomes total fucking bullshit.  Seriously, if you don't have the right upgrades to your character by then, you're pretty much fucked.  Way too many enemies are now onscreen, with projectiles flying everywhere making it almost impossible to even tell what the **** is going on.

Now this wouldn't be a problem if you could upgrade your characters right but all character upgrades are done by RNG.  Sometime the shop that sells the upgrades won't even appear depending on the path you take, which means you might as well restart the game since you'll be screwed when you get to the 3rd floor.  Of course even if you do get to the shop, the upgrades you can buy are also decided by RNG, which means you might not even be allowed to buy the upgrades you need the most, which once again means you'll be screwed by the time you reach the 3rd floor.  Seriously, **** this game, it's nothing but RNG garbage.

Cathedral


So this is pretty much if you made Shovel Knight a metroidvania, but with a more Ghost and Goblins setting as well.  I wasn't able to finish this one before Mario Wonder came out, but I'll go back to it after I'm done with Wonder.  I played it for over 5 hours and for the most part I'm digging it, but it's got some glaring issues.  The biggest is in vertical area's of the game, the screen wont scroll until your right at the top of the screen, which means you will take unavoidable hits from enemies and stage hazards because you literally can't see the damn things.  Also has an annoying habit of randomly spawning some enemies right in your path during platforming sections.

Still interested in coming back to this one since overall it reminds me a lot of a Wonder Boy titles so I'd like to finish it.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2023, 06:23:11 PM »
Salt and Sanctuary

So this game is basically a 2D Demon/Dark Souls.  The gameplay is a complete clone of what you would expect from the Souls games, except in 2D.  But hey, it does a pretty good job of being like the game it was clearly inspired by.  I had fun for the most part, exploring the world and killing most of the bosses.  My biggest problem though some area's of the game have enemies that blend in with the backgrounds too much, as well as traps that are hard to see as well since they also blend in with the background.  Like most of my death outside of boss fights are from **** I didn't even notice until it was too late.  This is my biggest issue with a lot of indie games in general is they get so obsessed with their ART, and don't seem to realize how hard it is for the rest of us to tell what the **** is even going on in their games at times.

I really enjoyed that game on Vita & PS4. It's funny...I played that game not too long after I finished Bloodborne, my 1st Souls game. I didn't really understand just HOW much it was straight-up ripping off Souls until I went back to replay it years later after playing a few actual Souls games. I remember really enjoying...most...of the bosses (that one in the catacombs where you fight pieces of it over a spike pit can **** off). But yeah, the game has a really grimy, overexposed art style that can sometimes make it hard to tell what's going on.

Sadly, I've heard NOTHING good about Salt & Sacrifice, the game's sequel that's apparently more Monster Hunter than it is Souls.
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Offline Evan_B

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2023, 12:11:37 AM »
Lost Ruins

Well this is a dark metroidvania staring anime girls.  When you first start the game the message even tells you this is going to be a survival experience where every decision matters.  So I'm thinking OK, this will also be a Soul-like experience as well, since we all know these indie's love to make everything either a Souls or Rouge-like these days.  Well for the 30 minutes, it was kind of like that with my character having limited items to heal, and slower combat that you had to be more careful with.

But then you find equipment you can equip that autofills your HP after taking any damage, which completely destroys whatever survival experience that developers where trying to do.  Seriously, it only takes about an hour until you realize just how broken some of the abilities you can equipment can make your character, and the rest of the game is just a joke difficulty wise.  Every non-boss enemy I was able to one-shot by the half way point of the game, and even the bosses go down pretty fast once you realize their patterns.

At least it was a short game, takes less than 5 hours to beat.  After you beat it it had a new mode that lets you play as different characters, that once again, they also become easy to cheese the game after about an hour as well.  At the end of the day it was an overall OK experience, especially since I bought it on sale, but the game completely fails at being this challenging survival experience it literally advertises itself as when they make it super easy to cheese the whole thing
Not to be confused with Lone Ruin, which is a wild and crazy twin stick roguelike that has great music and aesthetics and brutal difficulty.

…I hope we just run out of video game titles soon.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Shocktober 4: The Final Chapter
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2023, 04:07:37 PM »
I did actually complete DooM Eternal last week, just haven't sat down to write about it. Though, reviewing what I said earlier, I'm not sure if there's much else to say about it, as my earlier impressions seemed to cover most aspects of the game.

I did encounter a few glitches, though they were minor and not stuff that impedes progress. A few times, an enemy got stuck walking in place. Sometimes the map rotation noise would get stuck in a loop upon closing the map screen, but could be fixed by opening it again and spinning the map.

What's up with the weird platforming segments and moments of "spot the climbable wall"? What does this game think it is, Metroid Prime?

Whereas I rated DooM 2016 an 8/10, I don't think I can give this followup any more than a 7/10. It does have some interesting ideas in it, but I never felt like I reached a point where things meshed together very well, and it also made a couple of weird missteps that the original seemed to consciously avoid. This is probably splitting hairs, but I also feel like, even moreso than the first one, Eternal feels much more like something out of the Quake series than DooM. I s'pose that Quake became far more known for multiplayer than anything, which is why they stuck with DooM for these. Not that a franchise can't try new ideas and I've enjoyed plenty of games that strayed from an original formula, but I don't particularly feel like this pair of games contain the quintessential elements I enjoy from the classics.

Are you playing this on XBox or Switch?
Oops, sorry! Xbox (Series X)