It Wasn’t Wrapped in Plastic
Part of being scared certainly is the ‘surprise’ factor. Episode Two of Scare Tactics is what I would consider a ‘surprise’ edition as that I did not know up until the last hour that I would be writing this post. This edition looks at two budget conscious and curious additions of survival-horror games to my Xbox 360, Ignition Entertainment’s Deadly Premonition and Atari’s Alone in the Dark.
Did Not See Deadly Premonition Coming: I follow former 1UP.com ‘man –god’ and current Director of Business Development at Ignition Entertainment, Shane Bettenhausen, via his twitter feed as I do many other industry types. I did see several mentions of Deadly Premonition, but sometimes I skim the feed so quickly I do not get all the detail I need. So when I saw Shane tweeting about this game I automatically assumed that it was another Wii game as I was under the impression that it was all they were doing.
Last night my brother joined my Xbox LIVE party late at night and started raving about this new game, Deadly Premonition. Using key descriptors like Twin Peaks-like, open-world, survival-horror, and most importantly, $25 price tag, I was quickly sold on this game and knew I had to have it! Now that I was sold on acquiring this game my next hurdle would be to actually find this game in stores. Knowing how GameStop/EB operates, I knew this game would be short-ordered, with perhaps one or two copies to be made available per store. But if I have been in the dark about this game, more than most would be as well. So this morning my search ended as quickly as it began, I snagged the last copy of this niche title from my local EB Games.
Now that I have it, I look forward to playing it. I am going to go into it cold, not reading any previews or reviews to cloud my judgement. All I have to go on is the brief description given by my brother and the back of the game’s box which I am looking at right now. It certainly looks and sounds to be very interesting. The one glaring negative that was expressed to me by my brother was that the game’s graphics lacks much to be desired. But recent plays and purchases of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Silent Hill Origins has already prepped me for less than perfect graphical fidelity. So tonight I will journey to Greenvale to investigate the town’s deadly secrets. Wish me luck!
Third Time ‘In The Dark’ is the Charm?: Another unusual pickup for me this week was the re-acquiring of Alone in the Dark for the Xbox 360. I have had a long history with this game without actually ever playing it. At first I had i pre-ordered and ready to go when I got scared off by poor reviews. Now normally I don’t let reviewers dictate my gaming picks, but when money is tight and choices between games have to be made, Alone in the Dark was voted off my island.
My next encounter with Alone in the Dark came when I purchased a discounted version of the game (complete with a AitD T-shirt) for $18. I actually got as far as putting this disk into my console and dabbling for a few minutes, but that was as far as I would get. It wasn’t meant to be as later traded the game off in a massive purge of my 360 collection.
Finally, this week I was picking up some Microsoft points at my local EB when I saw AitD sitting on the shelf with a $4 price tag. I will buy any Xbox 360 game for under $5, even if it is just for the possibility to acquire a nice game case. So I once again have the game in my possession (as well as the game’s soundtrack which was included with the game), I am unsure when I will try to play it again, but since it was so cheap I am sure I will never trade it in, so it is with me for good. I have always had an interest in the game. Perhaps it would be a good warm-up for Remedy’s Alan Wake which is set to arrive this May.
So in conclusion, it looks like al signs point to Alan Wake. Like Deadly Premonition, Alan Wake has been compared to Twin Peaks. As for Alone in the Dark, its episodic styling's and fire/light combat have oft drawn comparison to the upcoming Alan Wake. Rest assured I will be focusing on Alan Wake as its release draws closer. For now, just be sure to check under your bed and close the closet door before going to sleep!