Boo!! Happy Halloween from Wii Are Fanboys. I know its not Halloween just quite yet, but what I usually like to do in the weeks leading up to Halloween is to play lots of Halloween themed video games to get me into a spine-tingling mood. So without further ado, here is my list of recommendations for an extremely ghoulish time this year.
1) Luigi’s Mansion (Game Cube)
It’s such a coincidence that I’m talking about this game. While being number one on this list of best Nintendo Halloween games, its sequel for the 3DS is my most anticipated 3DS game. The original game I felt never quite got its due, probably because Luigi as the main character in his own game isn’t quite the draw Mario is. Regardless, it is one of my favorite Game Cube games out of that generation, and the perfect Halloween game. Part ghostbuster game, part puzzler, and part comical survival horror, it was a mish mash of different things that really worked well together. I can’t think of any game more fitting to play during Halloween than Luigi’s Mansion.[youtube.com/watch?v=JtbQfKRTGAA]
2) Sweet Home (Famicom, Wii VC TBD)
Oh my goodness. This the best game you’ve probably never heard of since it was never released in North America. It is regarded by many to be the first survival horror game ever made. This game needs to be an import on Wii’s Virtual Console. There was even a petition site to get this game over here. Trust me, it’s that good. I’ll let the video review below to fill in the blanks to any questions about this game (please note that the review doesn’t actually begin until about 1:10 into the video).[youtube.com/watch?v=fw06V-fcjfA]
3) Lit (Wiiware)
Can this game get its due?! This is a top 5 game on the Wiiware service (it was made by Wayforward). Download it now if you haven’t already. This game is a straight-up puzzle game with some horror elements. The darkness is your enemy and the obstacle, and each room is a puzzle where you attempt to find the doorway to another room. Breaking windows or turning lamps on gives you the light necessary to move to different areas in a room and acquire key items in the game to advance. I would say this game is definitely on the scary side, and perfect for Halloween.[youtube.com/watch?v=VS1x0hXU3EQ]
4) Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES, Wii VC)
What nostalgic memories I have of this game. I never quite beat this game, but myself and a friend played it extensively enough to reach level 40+. I spent so much time playing this game in my youth, staying up, playing this game late into the night with friends, and just hanging out and having a good time. This is coop gaming at its finest. The game is extremely comical, and some of the best fun I ever had on the Super Nintendo. That’s saying a lot. It’s on the Wii VC, so there’s no excuse to not have played this classic. Download this one right away!
5) Maniac Mansion (NES, Wii VC TBD)
It’s amazing just how much of a sense of open world, and exploration you get on this old NES title. You really feel like there’s infinite possibilities of what you can do in the game. That’s a sign of a good adventure game. Did I mention how fun it is? Sure, it started out as a computer game, but it works well enough on the NES. The graphics are downgraded, and you lose the mouse controls (you control a cursor with the dpad in this game), but none of the charm is lost at all. I use to love these type of adventure games, and its sad these type of games aren’t really made any more. The only thing I loved more was those old time text adventure games that came before this. The difference was that instead of having the player input commands at a prompt from a keyboard, this game gives you a list of actions to perform. You click on an action word and then the object you want to perform the action on. It works well here. You play as 3 kids exploring a spooky old mansion; the perfect game to get into the Halloween spirit.[youtube.com/watch?v=oObaNIsvnCs]
6) Haunting (Sega Genesis, Wii VC TBD)
This was a game I played in my youth that I had completely forgotten about. It wasn’t until I recently played Ghost Trick (Capcom) that it stirred up my old memories of this game. It has a similar game mechanic to Ghost Trick, in that you can control inanimate objects through ghostly possessions. In most games of this genre, you’re trying to get rid of the ghosts. However in this game you’re the ghost trying to get rid of the tenants by scaring the hell out of them and forcing them out of a house. This was an extremely original and refreshing game concept at the time. Besides that, it’s just a whole lot of fun being cruel and evil sometimes. As of this writing, I don’t think this game is available on Wii’s virtual console, which is a shame.[youtube.com/watch?v=qR53eaUNiDw]
7) Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (Famicom, Wii VC TBD)
It’s interesting. When I think of Splatterhouse, I don’t think of that Jason-looking rippling muscle bound dude with the chainsaw. I think of that lovable, cute, short kid, with a mask and a tiny axe. While my exposure to the Splatterhouse IP is limited, I did manage to play a lot of the first game in the series back in the day, which apparently was Japan only. This game is a whole lot of fun. See the video below to get a feel for the game. People here in the US really need to experience the original Splatterhouse and its roots. This is yet another game I’m hoping will get imported to the Wii VC. I have my fingers crossed.
8 ) Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)
What’s most interesting about Animal Crossing is it’s touted as a game that can be played year round. With Halloween being my favorite holiday, I look forward to spending some of my Halloween time playing this game, and playing hooky from giving out candy to trick or treaters. A little about the basics of Halloween in Animal Crossing. Throughout the month of October, candy goes on sale at Tom Nook’s store. When Halloween rolls around, the whole theme changes, and when you leave your house, you see a bunch of pumpkin heads walking around. They are your neighbors dressed up in a Halloween costume. If one of your costumed neighbors catches hold of you, however, you either have to give them candy to be set free, or they play a trick on you, such as robbing you, or changing your gear to worthless crap (hence its called trick or treat!). However, there is one guy that looks identical to your costumed neighbors, but he’s the real thing. His name is Jack, and if you give him candy, he’ll give you a piece of rare spooky furniture. And that’s the whole point of the game. To collect the whole Halloween furniture set. I won’t spoil it for you on how to find Jack, as that’s the fun part, figuring it all out. This hiding and running away thing reminds of playing Ghosts in the Graveyard (basically hide and seek in the dark of night) when I was kid. Just some good old fashioned Halloween fun.[youtube.com/watch?v=uOiRzB5Cf9A]
9) Ghostbusters (Wii)
Another overlooked gem of a game. When talking about the best features of the Wii, it seems that most people would say its the motion controls. In actual practice, its the IR pointer that is the best feature of the Wii. This is yet another game that really showcased the IR pointer, and just how well it works for the right game. It also has local split screen 2 player coop which is an extremely welcome feature. Ghostbusters. Halloween. Perfection.[youtube.com/watch?v=0_GL1cLVX7o]
10) Obscure the Aftermath (Wii)
This is a title that has been completely overlooked. It’s the sequel to PS2’s Obscure, and is a survival horror game that has 2 player local coop. The view is in third person, and the controls are similar to Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. You aim with the pointer, and melee combat is handled with motion controls. The combat works really well. I wish more people had tried this title. I found it to be really atmospheric, and even scary at times. It had some favorable reviews back in the day, but it literally is an ‘obscure’ title. If on one of these nights this month, you and your girlfriend (or even a buddy) are in the mood for a scary good time, I highly recommend this one.[youtube.com/watch?v=7iEcimlLjz8]
Honorable mention: I just want to say here, there were a few titles in this section below that I felt extremely bad leaving out of my spooky 10. Since I promised 10 as the cutoff point, I had to make some very tough cuts in my list. However, please take the time to look at these games as well.
Ghosts’n Goblins (Wii VC Arcade)
I’m talking the arcade version of this game available for the Wii Virtual Console. While the NES version is the more famous version of this game, this is the definitive version. As with most games in that era, the arcade version was the superior game. You’ll notice that right away when you first start playing it if the NES version is all you know. Do yourself a favor and grab this version off the VC.
On merit alone, Resident Evil 4 for Wii is the best title out of the bunch, and I felt bad for leaving it out. However, it’s such a well known title that I wanted to draw more attention to lesser known titles. So that is what I did. Adding the Wii remote pointer function for aiming made an already great game even better.
The best on-rails shooter on Wii. Something about the B-movie, grindhouse style made this game really stand out.
Castlevania Rebirth (Wiiware)
All the games in the Konami Rebirth series are great. This title is no different. It’s too bad I don’t have room for this in the spooky 10. It’s a shame because Castlevania is synonomous with Halloween.
I’ve actually never played this game. Though the solid reviews make me want to try it. Thought I would at least mention it since many think so highly of it.
Nothing particularly special about this game. This is one of those hidden/find object games that have become so popular nowadays. However, it’s on the Wii, uses the pointer, has local coop, and has a haunted house theme. That makes it worth a mention in my book. Good old fashioned family fun.
Atari’s Haunted House (Wii)
It’s a Wii-make of the retro-famous Haunted House game from the Atari 2600 days.
Ghost Mansion Party (Wiiware)
What do you know? It’s Mario Party, Halloween style!!
The second on-rails Resident Evil shooter that came to Wii.