Stubbs the Zombie, video game, box art, zombie, man, bite, blood, head

Five games for Halloween

If Ben can get his hyper children to sleep on Halloween (not likely), he may just end up playing some of the superb video games below.

Ben says…

Halloween is coming up on Friday so what better way to spend it than by closing your door, ignoring the knocks and doorbell rings, and playing some video games? I would if I could but being a dad comes first and that means trying to put two sugar-infused children to sleep at a reasonable hour. Challenge accepted.

If you are, however, in a position to play some games I humbly suggest you give the following titles a crack – not because they’re scary or works of undeniable art, but because they’re fun to play. They all have a monster them though, just to keep it relevant.

5. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Name: Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: Konami
Release date: September 1993
PEGI rating: Not listed
Platforms: Sega Genesis, SNES
More information: Wikipedia

That’s right: the company who brought you the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Monkey Island series also brought you… Zombies Ate My Neighbors! One of my childhood friends had a SNES (I wasn’t allowed one) and he also had this video game. We’d spend hours playing co-op and running around shooting zombies, vampires, aliens and werewolves in an attempt to save our neighbourhood. Top-notch fun; it was my first real experience of the same-screen coordination and tactics. I loved it then and if I still had a copy I’m sure I’d love it now.

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4. Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

Name: Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Release date: June 1993
PEGI rating: Not listed
Platforms: Mac, PC
More information: Wikipedia

Another gem from LucasArts: a point-and-click adventure at its best with a mutated tentacle hell-bent on taking over the world, time travel, a game within a game (the original Maniac Mansion) and George Washington. If you haven’t played it, you need to.

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3. Resident Evil 4

Name: Resident Evil 4
Developer: Capcom Production Studio
Publisher: Capcom
Release date: January 2005
PEGI rating: 18
Platforms: Android, GameCube, iOS, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
More information: Resident Evil Wiki

There’s always a Resident Evil game on a list like this which is a testament to the series and its enduring powers. Whether you’re a fan of the gameplay, the mythos, blasting zombies or having the snot scared out of you, there’s an instalment to cater for those needs. I’ve picked the fourth (although there were definitely more than four titles before this one surfaced) as it’s the game I enjoyed most. It’s also the most fun; not only did it suit the GameCube controller perfectly, Capcom managed to get the balance right between scares and shooting. True the emphasis was less on the survival and more on the horror – but in my opinion it really worked.

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2. Pokémon Red

Name: Pokémon Red
Developer: GameFreak
Publisher: Nintendo
Release date: September 1998
PEGI rating: Not listed
Platforms: Game Boy
More information: Official website

They’re pocket monsters. You collect them. They fight. It’s more addictive than crack. There’s a reason I haven’t played this series since the first video game was released on the Game Boy: it ruins lives. You have been warned.

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1. DmC: Devil May Cry

Name: DmC: Devil May Cry
Developer: Ninja Theory
Publisher: Capcom
Release date: January 2013
PEGI rating: 16
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
More information: Devil May Cry Wiki

I liked this game before I even played it, simply because of the way it showed how the modern gamer has become an entitled little snot. There was simply no way they could possibly even play this title because Dante didn’t have the right colour hair. For example, I give you a review from the aptly-named YouRuinedDMC: “They ruined the characters. Emo-tized everything. The white hair wig joke was a slap in the face and I hope Capcom goes out of business!” And Bubbeh helpfully opined: “Under normal circumstances I would rate it higher, if the game wasn’t pretending to be a Devil May Cry game.”

Comments used for comedic effect of course – everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Mine is that this video game is an awful lot of fun: there’s plenty to do, the combat feels fluid and once you get into the groove there’s no stopping you. Perfect for a few hours on Halloween. I agree that it’s still not up there with Bayonetta and I probably would have lumped for that gem (it also has a heaven-hell-witch theme) but it’s nowhere near as accessible as DMC: Devil May Cry for a one-night session.

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So there you have it! I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to do on Friday night and if that’s play video games, give some of the above a try. One last thing – I have to give Stubbs the Zombie an honourable mention because not only is it genius and tons of fun, but it caused a cannibalism storm in the States. Top stuff.

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