5 Locals That Never Fail To Scare Me In Games

That’s Low-Cal’s not Low-Cul’s although Low-Cul’s are pretty terrifying too but don’t tell them I said that. But that’s a list for another day! Today is all about places of fright. The locations in games that require multiple sets of boxers to get through. So let’s start at something we’re all familiar with.

Schools

Yes, scary then and scary now but for different reasons. Back then it was just the fear of a test or being the latest happy slapping victim. Honestly, happy slapping, what was that about?!

But as adults, why are we scared of schools in games? I believe it’s because we know what classrooms are like, bright and full of noise. In games they tend to be dark and silent. Or brightly lit but empty. We never see classrooms like that in real life. It’s unusual for it to be like that.

A large part of our childhood’s are sat in class and those memories are ingrained in our minds. And so in games when they aren’t portrayed like that, it’s unnerving. Also, because dead Japanese girls with long hair seem to live there.

Fairgrounds

Similar to schools, we see fairs and circus’ as lively and colourful places. They are lit up like beacons to the gods and full of a cacophony of sounds. In horror games those elements tend to be subdued to the point of almost non-existence.

The colours will be gone from the tents and rides. The swarms of people will be silent or a faint whisper. And the heaving circus will be a desolation to only you. That is why I believe it is effective in horror games. A place that is usually full of life is just plain eerie when viewed the opposite way. And then there are the clowns.

Clowns are abominations. If you’re a clown reading this, I am terribly sorry to insult your profession but you scare the hell out of me and everyone else. A clown’s persona is fake. Nobody is ever that happy. Humans, we are perceptible to lies. We have to be, it’s survival of the fittest and the unfit will use tactics to get the upper hand. Lying is a handy tool there.

Clowns are scary because we can detect that something isn’t right. Something in the back of our brain says that the thing before us, isn’t what it’s pretending to be. That feeling intensifies if you make eye contact with a clown. When you see it with people around it’s off putting but whatever you’re at the fairground, you have the crowd cover. If the clown looks at you though, your mind starts freaking out. It knows that this fake thing knows you are there. And if you’re ever alone with a clown, well…..let’s hope that never happens. *Honk honk*

Underwater

I’m a bad swimmer. I’ll be the first to tell you that. The water makes me feel helpless. Not showers though, showers are fine, I love showers! I put my hands a certain way and water shoots from my finger tips like I’m bloody Waterman, aquatic hero number 1.

But the ocean? That large expanse where my speed and strength are dulled and the things in the ocean are faster and stronger than I am on land. No thank you! As humans, we are constantly looking forward. To the future and literally. How often do you look above? Not a lot right, why would you, it’s not like a lot of things can attack you from above. But in the ocean though, there are so many fast things that love to shoot up from the dark depths and nibble at your toes. Your feetsies are never safe. Just remember that the next time you go for a leisurely swim.

Couple that with the fact that in video games the controls tend to be inferior to the main gameplay. That definitely doesn’t help. You know what else doesn’t help? Goddamn playing an increasingly stressful and quickening piece of music that makes me forget how to play as a blue hedgehog. You struggle to wake up in the mornings? Put that Sonic is about to drown music as your alarm and you’ll have a heart attack every morning.

Space

In space, nobody can hear you scream. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that. A very wise man. Space is like being underwater but cranked up to 11. In the ocean at least you can be naked. In space you need tons of heavy equipment and technology. Too much hassle.

But space is very similar to the ocean. It’s a vast emptiness with very little room for error. Not only that but we don’t know what space hides. The deep abyss that is our ocean we have a rough idea of what dwells there. Freaky light show jellyfish and ugly fish with razor sharp teeth and hundreds more of natures rejects. Space though, different story.

In fact, many stories, the stories that we humans have created. And let’s be honest, most of them aren’t nice. Space is an unknown and we don’t like the unknown. Our imaginations thrive in the unknown and so over the decades, in media we’ve concocted many beings of pure terror. The stuff our nightmares have nightmares of. And where do we say they live? In space. Why not?! We have no idea if a Xenomorph is a real thing. The universe is forever growing and so if we say there is an alien that bleeds acid and lays its brood inside our flesh, the sheer odds are that that does exist somewhere. Let’s just hope in our lifetimes we never find out if that is true or not.

Dreams/Hallucination’s

Dreams/hallucination’s. Is there a thing as a bad dream or does a bad dream just automatically become a nightmare? I’ve had dull dreams before and then I wake up so I suppose that’s a nightmare. Living a dull experience subconsciously and then waking up for work. Yeah that’s pretty scary.

In dreams (one of my favourite songs by the way, funnily enough it featured in Alan Wake, a horror series. See it all ties back together), we are ourselves but not ourselves. We are in places we know but they’re different. Everything is off in dreams and even hallucinations. Sometimes we realise that, other times we know there is an anomaly but we don’t know what it is. Other times we believe the world we are presented with is the correct one. That unknown state of being is terrifying to me.

In dreams, sometimes, you having marbles for eyeballs and tongues for fingers seems perfectly acceptable until you wake up. And when you wake up, are you sure you’re awake? You thought in the dream that tongue fingers were the norm so what’s to say that what seems normal to you now isn’t really normal? Are you reading this article now? There’s only one way to be sure, leave a comment and check back tomorrow.

No I’m kidding, you’re fully awake and you just read my innate ramblings about dreams. Scary thought though isn’t it! I’ve just noticed actually that dreams aren’t used as often anymore as hallucinations are. Batman and Spiderman come to mind of the titular characters seeing things when awake. It’s basically dreaming though, it’s all in the mind. Anyway, just a random thought. I hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to drop a comment and let me know what places in games give you the heebie jeebies. Thanks for reading.

Video Game Rant: An Annoying Issue I Have With The Pro Switch Controller

I’m a bit late on the complaint train on this one since the controller in question came out over a year ago, but I’ve really noticed the lack of this feature recently. It’s a simple feature, one that when Apple ignored it, gained a lot of notoriety. I’m talking about a headphone jack.

Headphones
Where can I plug this into?!

I know the system itself has a headphone jack but the Switch is a handheld system and console. It should support the same features in both modes. I play 90% in docked mode and for most games it hasn’t been an issue. Then I bought Thumper.

Thumper is kind of like Guitar Hero in that you can’t really control your character. You have prompts and you hit them at the correct time to advance in the game. It has a very trippy, foreboding feel to it which adds to its simplistic but intense gameplay. This feel is amplified by its music.

Or it would if I could use my headphones on the controller! It’s not a catastrophe but the visuals and sounds in Thumper help to excel the game. They are as integral to this kind of game as Mario’s jump is in Mario games. I want that droning and dread filled music in my eyes so that I can be fully immersed.

 

Thumper
Side note: I really like this game. It’s very unique

My choice of gaming is lazily lounging on the couch looking at the TV. Not with a handheld. I can appreciate the Switch for its versatility in that regard but if I’m at home I prefer the big screen. The PS4 controller has a headphone jack and so does the Xbox One controller. I don’t understand the lack of it in the Switch Pro controller.

When the controller costs the most, I expect it to be at least on par with its competition. £65 I paid at launch for it which is £20 more than I did for my PS4 controller at launch. Not only should it be there for preference sake, but also for the individual lifestyles we all have.

I work odd hour shifts and sometimes I have to work nights. So, when my partner is sleeping and I have to stay up as late as possible for my following night shift, I like to play video games to stay awake. That requires me to use headphones. By not including a headphone jack I can’t play Switch games at night without risking waking my partner. So, I don’t play them.

I know Nintendo’s marketing shows people on the go with the Switch but they need to understand that that isn’t everyone. A headphone jack is a basic component that doesn’t add much cost to a product. It’s a daft decision and one that I hope they rectify in the future or on their next console.

Anyway, moan over. If you feel similar about the Switch Pro controller or have any other niggling annoyances feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

 

A Foul Play From Foul Play’s Developers

Look at that word play! I’m proud of that one. Self-praise over. Foul Play is a game that recently came out on PS Plus for free for subscribers. I’ve never heard of this game but I thought a free game to play is always welcome. Especially since it seemed to be a co-op beat’em up, which I thought would great to play with my partner. So, we loaded the game and went to the character select screen and clicked start game. Now usually a game would then load and a fun time would be had by all. Bizarrely we were met with an error message. The message states ‘Your connection to the other player was dropped’. OK, no issue, maybe a controller was low on battery or resetting the game would fix it. No and nope. So I went sleuthing online! Much to my joy I found threads with my very issue. To my dismay though, they are unresolved. The kicker though is that these threads are from 2016!

Foul Play_20180906155541

Yup, 2 years old and still a problem. Apparently it’s an issue with the EU/UK versions of the game but couch co-op play or online play are unplayable in a co-op brawler. Now, single player still works apparently but a brawler is not very fun in single player in my opinion. Most games are more fun with friends but side scrolling beat’em ups especially. Think of the glory days of Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. Or the classic arcade cabinets of The Simpsons and X-Men. Always better with friends. So I found it shocking that this issue has A. NOT been resolved in 2 years and B. Has been released on PS Plus as a broken game. I wanted to see what has been done to fix this and a post on the Playstation Trophies board. All credit goes to this user for doing the leg work so here is his post:

Originally Posted by mikieboy147

The co-op is still broken. I have been in contact with Playstation and they will not do anything unless I get Devolver to admit the game doesn’t work. After an initial “We’ve passed the note onto the developer Mediatonic to see if they have any updates coming on their end. Thanks for reaching out!” from Devolver over 3 months ago they now ignore my emails when asking for an update.

So, not only has the developer not fixed the game, but according to this user, the publisher has flat out stopped replying to the inquest. And I usually like Devolver as a publisher and the kind of games they go for but this is a shoddy move and someone should be accountable. If you release a game you are responsible for keeping that game working at least for several years after release. Fair play to No Man’s Sky’s developer Hello Games, on release they were bombarded with hate but they’ve made big changes to the game recently apparently. Whereas Batman Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal, refused to fix game breaking bugs and gameplay issues and instead focused on future DLC. Perhaps Mediatonic has no plans to return to Foul Play but if that’s the case, don’t allow your game to be released on PS Plus. Not only do you cheat people out of a game but you make yourselves look bad to people who had no knowledge of this issue. Myself included, Foul Play wasn’t even on my radar but now I know the name of a developer to be wary of in the future. Surely they must have been alerted that their game would be on PS Plus and an error message stopping co-op play surely can’t be that hard to fix? But maybe they are too busy or just don’t care. A shame but that game won’t be played until fixed in many people’s homes.

Why am I writing this? You never know, if people complain enough about this issue maybe it might get fixed. If not, it’s nice to express my dismay in the situation. If you have had similar issues in the past or want to share your view on this matter, feel free to comment. Thank you for reading.