Halloween-ish HuCards (and CDs)

It’s that time of year again–i.e., the time of year when I spend way too much time searching for games that will put me in a Halloween mood.

Thankfully, a good number of such games were released for the PC Engine during its heyday. Here are the ones I’ll be playing (or be thinking of playing, at least) in the run-up to this year’s All Hallows’ Eve:

Cotton (Hudson Soft/Success, 1993)–There are two main reasons this cute shmup would earn a regular spot in my PC Engine Super CD-ROM2 system over the next few weeks if I still owned a copy of it: 1) It stars a broom-riding witch who has to fly through all sorts of dark and dreary environs in order to collect a bunch of missing gems, and 2) Said witch is obsessed with candy. Really, it’s the perfect game for such a spooky-and-sweet season.

Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (Konami, 1993)–I couldn’t very well create a list like this and not include on it a game that not only features Dracula’s name in its title but also features said vampire as its main villain, could I? I’d mention Dracula X here even if it didn’t involve that old bloodsucker, though–thanks in no small part to its Thriller-meets-Sleepy Hollow opening slavo.

Jigoku Meguri (Taito, 1990)–True story: I used to rather dislike this pixelated platformer, which follows a portly monk as he makes a perilous trek through hell. I changed my tune after giving it another try a month or so ago (expect to see a post about this epiphanic experience soon), though, and now consider it to be an appreciably dour counterpoint to a similar-yet-much-more-cheerful Taito-developed title: Mizubaku Daibouken.

Splatterhouse (Namcot, 1990)–The protagonist of this bloody beat ’em up looks like Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees. That alone makes me want to play it this time of year. The game’s grotesque baddies–like the chainsaw-weidling dude showcased in the screenshot above–and creepy soundtrack are just the blood-spattered icing on this ghoulishly rotten (in a good way) cake.

I’d add NEC Avenue’s Horror Story and Human’s Laplace no Ma, a supposedly terror-ific dungeon crawler, to this list, but I’ve never played the former (important if I’m to know whether or not it’ll put me in a Halloween mood) and I don’t understand the language (Japanese) that’s likely required to make it through the latter.


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5 responses to “Halloween-ish HuCards (and CDs)

  1. Not only are your choices appropriate for Halloween, but they’re a lot of fun too. I like Horror Story (and need to get around to reviewing it). I own Laplace no Ma but haven’t had time to get into it yet.

    Some other Turbo candidates for Halloween gaming: Night Creatures, Ghost Manor, Tricky Kick (the haunted house stages), Gekisha Boy (the haunted marshland stage), Ghouls ‘N Ghosts (SuperGrafx).

  2. Hey there, IvaNEC! Ah, that’s good to hear that you like Horror Story. I’ve never played the arcade original or the PCE version, so I’ve been a bit on the fence about picking it up later this year or next. Sounds like you’d give it a thumbs up?

    As for Laplace no Ma — I hope you get around to it eventually and then post a review of it. It certainly looks interesting — and spooky!

    It’s funny you should mention Tricky/Tricky Kick, as I played that game quite a bit over the weekend. I really enjoy it — despite the fact that I can’t get through many stages. It turns my brain to mush!

  3. Oh, and one more thing: What do you think of Jigoku Meguri? I’m actually a bit obsessed with it at the moment. I completely passed it off as boring when I first played it a few years ago, but this post prompted me to give it another try. Although I wish it was longer, and I wish it had more than two bosses, I really like what it has to offer. Some of the spritework — like the flaming foxes and floating skeletons — is really well done!

  4. I give Horror Story a thumbs up with the caveat that a lot of people seem to dislike it. It’s a challenging game and I suspect that many of those people don’t really understand how to play it before giving up on it and lambasting it. I’ll try to be more specific when I do a write-up on it.

    I do like Jigoku Meguri, more than Liquid Kids but not quite as much as New Zealand Story. I too was let down by its bosses, even though the last fight is definitely interesting. Those other Taito games I mentioned have a number of very cool bosses.

    Tricky Kick is tough, some stages a lot more than others. I specifically remember the last stage in the caveman adventure being super-duper hard. As I recall, the haunted house stages aren’t too bad.

  5. Hmmm, I look forward to your write-up on Horror Story then. I’m guessing your caveat has something to do with the game essentially being a shoot ’em up that looks (and sometimes acts) like a platformer?

    As for Jigoku Meguri: At this point, I think I like Liquid Kids more, but it’s a close contest. I’d definitely prefer Jigoku Meguri, though, if it featured a boss at the end of each stage/world like Liquid Kids.

    I have to thank you for being responsible for me finally giving Tricky Kick a try, by the way. I’ve always thought the game was rather butt ugly, but all of that changed after I read your review of it, which got me to realize that the sprites are actually rather well done. Also, the gameplay is pretty unique, if a bit too difficult for my poor, lacking brain. Still, I’m going to do my best to “beat” it. Maybe it’ll boost my brain capacity/power or something…

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