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Top 5 Underrated Horror Video Games

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When it comes to horror video games, you typically hear most about big names like Resident Evil and Dead Rising. The latter just had a big release last month, and the former is offering its newest entry this month. The games in these popular franchises are a few examples of horror games which get their due credit.

But over the years there have been some horror games which didn’t get a lot of attention. They’ve quickly been forgotten, due to either initial bad reviews or poor marketing. But if you ask me, these games are all quite fun and should have been given more of a chance.

So let’s take a look at five horror video games that are vastly underrated. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you agree with my list or if there are any good ones I forgot.

Obscure – Courtesy of DreamCatcher Interactive

5. Obscure

(PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows)

Obscure is a 2005 survival horror video game which nobody seems to have ever heard of. Set in a high school, the plot centers on a group of five teenagers searching for their missing friend. They wind up locked in the school building overnight. With light-sensitive creatures closing in on them, the goal is to survive the night and escape.

A very interesting aspect of Obscure is its two-player cooperative mode. Rare at the time for a survival horror game, two players could take the monsters on together. This made for some very fun multiplayer experiences. Exploring the creepy, dark school with someone else added an extra layer of enjoyment to the game. Each character also has its own unique talents, so switching them out occasionally is encouraged.

Another unique part of this game is having permanent death for the characters. If one of the five teens died, they were gone for good. You would then have to play as another character to continue the game until either you win the game or all five are dead. This has since become more common in horror games, such as in the PS4 hit Until Dawn, but at the time there was nothing else like it.

Saw II: Flesh and Blood – Courtesy of Konami

4. Saw II: Flesh and Blood

(PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Did you realize that not only is there an official Saw video game, there’s even a sequel? It’s surprising how many horror fans aren’t aware of these games existing. But back in 2009, Konami released Saw: The Video Game, developed by Zombie Studios. It serves as a tie-in to the movies, taking place between the first and second films. You play as Danny Glover’s character, Detective David Tapp.

The first Saw game is decent enough, though it had a flawed combat system. Sometimes it seemed like you were fighting the controls more than anything else. But it was overall satisfying and felt like the potential was there for a new game franchise based on Saw.

Konami was hoping for that same thing and released Saw II: Flesh and Blood the very next year. This time players took on the role of Detective Tapp’s son, Michael, searching for the truth about what happened to his dad. The writing improved this time around, with a much more compelling story than the first game. Michael Tapp is actually a more interesting protagonist than many of the ones from the later films.

Also gone is the clunky combat system, replaced with something much easier to control. It’s like they were improving upon the promising premise of the original game. However, this sequel did not perform as well as the first game, and plans for future entries were scrapped. It’s too bad as I found this one to be a big improvement with potential for at least one more video game.

The Suffering – Courtesy of Midway

3. The Suffering

(PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows)

Midway’s The Suffering isn’t a game you’re likely to hear mentioned anytime soon. The 2004 survival horror game has long been forgotten. But at the time it was such a unique game that it was unlike anything else. It even warranted its own sequel soon after, though it wasn’t quite as solid as this original title.

In the game you play as Torque, a convicted prisoner. You’re awaiting execution on Death Row for the murders of your ex-wife and two children. You believe you’re innocent, but you blacked out and have no memory of the event. Did you kill them? Or is something even more sinister happening? The game screws with your mind in this way from beginning to end with top-notch psychological horror.

While sitting on Death Row, horrific monsters suddenly descend upon the prison. While battling your own personal demons, you must also survive the real ones. You’ll encounter other terrified guards and inmates during your quest, but helping and/or killing them is entirely up to you. Be careful, though— it uses your moral choices to determine which powerful ending you’ll receive.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – Courtesy of Konami

2. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

(Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP)

While they vary in quality, most of the Silent Hill games are all pretty similar. When looking at the series as a whole, it’s easy to pick the odd one out: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Being so different has gotten it a lot of criticism, while simultaneously being the reason why I praise it. Initially released exclusively for the Wii, this new take on Silent Hill incorporated the Wiimote into the gameplay. It was a very interesting new way to experience the franchise.

The biggest difference with this title is the removal of any type of combat system. You cannot fight the monsters— all you can do is run and hide. For me this wasn’t a dealbreaker, as I typically ran more than I fought in the other games anyway. And it also added to the horror experience, as I felt even more helpless when the monsters would start coming after me.

This game features a reimagining of the original Silent Hill and is set in its own universe. It has an in-game psychologist ask you questions, using your answers to tailor the story to you. The writing is top-notch, and I might even say it’s the best of any Silent Hill game in the franchise. Although there are five possible endings, each one is devastatingly heartbreaking. No matter which one you get, tears are guaranteed.

Friday the 13th for NES – Courtesy of LJN/Nintendo

1. Friday the 13th

(Nintendo Entertainment System)

No, I’m not talking about the upcoming Friday the 13th game from Gun Media. That game is already getting tons of praise, despite not being out yet. And it’s well deserved. After personally beta-testing the game, I can confirm that the hype is real, and this game will be insanely good.

But the original Friday the 13th video game from 1989 has taken a lot of heat over the years. The Angry Video Game Nerd infamously rips it to shreds in one of his first videos. And admittedly, its difficulty level is pretty steep, which would turn off many players who try it.

Personally, however, I say this game doesn’t get due credit. It’s by far the scariest title on the NES. The eerie music alone is enough to make it frightening. And even if he is wearing a purple jumpsuit, Jason can still terrify you when he pops up from out of nowhere. There’s also a foreboding sense of dread as the sun slowly sets, gradually shifting from day to night— another unique aspect for an NES game. Taking on Jason does take a bit of a learning curve, but surviving each encounter with Jason feels like an accomplishment

At the time, the idea of permanent death in video games was unusual. But it’s a strong aspect of the Friday the 13th Nintendo game. You’re given six counselors to choose from at the start, with the ability of alternating between them. When one of them dies, though, they are dead. There’s nothing but a blank space where their picture used to be. And when all six die, the game literally tells you, “You and your friends are dead. Game over.”

Talk about the most depressing game over screen of all time.

I think that this game was simply too far ahead of its time. In fact, some of its elements are being used in the new game from Gun Media. This includes exploring cabins for items to use against Jason as well as choosing as different counselors to play as. It’s like the new game is an extremely advanced version of the NES classic. Even so, I’ll always have fond memories of purple-suited Jason scaring the daylights out of me when I was a kid. If its job was to be horrifying, it accomplished that.

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!

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Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.

Synopsis:

KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong

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One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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