5 Games that’ll make you pee your pants.

I am not a thrill seeker. I don’t like roller coasters, heights, or anything at all really. Perhaps my only excitement in the past 20 years has come from survival horror games. So–for you lovely ladies and gents, here’s a list of a few favorites:

1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent– Amnesia was the first PC horror title that I played. I had heard a lot of buzz when it was first released, and I had to get my hands on it. Unfortunately for me, the game I purchased would not run on my computer because I had the wrong kind of graphics card. Fancy that. This resulted in me going to my ex’s house every day for a week to mooch food and computer use. I was hooked. Never before had a survival horror game forced me to hide, whimpering like a baby, from my enemies. Not to mention that water monster–a creature I couldn’t even see that still continues to give me nightmares.

2. Anna– Anna is not a good game. It’s awful actually. It’s available for super cheap on Steam so I pickedĀ  it up and gave it a shot. It’s a point and click adventure nightmare. The puzzles are awful and inexplicable, the story is a hot mess, but I’ll be darned if it didn’t make me jump. The kind of atmosphere that this awful awful game generates is unmatched. It’s a shame it wasn’t better. Regardless it’s worth spending the couple bucks and checking out a walkthrough when you get stuck–don’t expect anything from the gameplay, just expect to be creeped-the-fuck-out.

3. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem– Obscure Gamecube title that I wish had a sequel. This game had the Lovecraftian horror thing down like no other. You play Alex, a girl who looks startlingly like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as she investigates her grandfather’s mansion in order to determine how he died. But wait–there’s more! You’ll find chapters throughout the mansion that allow you to play distant relatives of Alex and other persons who happen to be involved in the mystery, going back as far as 26 B.C…not to mention that all of these characters start to lose their shit and hallucinate all sorts of horrifying (and sometimes infuriating) things if they see too many monsters. Amazing game really.

4. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly–In most games you can beat the crap out of or run away from whatever monster is currently scaring the bejesus out of you. Fatal Frame doesn’t grant you that privilege. Instead, Fatal Frame forces you to get right up in every single baddie’s shit and take a picture in order to defeat/exorcise the ghosts. The game has a great “Japanese horror” sort of environment, and you get to play as a creepy twin looking to find your other creepy twin that has wandered off into this village full of ghosts. Made me sleep with the lights on a few nights.

5. Rule of Rose– Rule of Rose is..well..interesting. And by interesting I mean weird as fuck. You play as this girl Jennifer who is dropped off at a bus stop right down the road from this conveniently located big creepy orphanage. You also have dog. The dog is great. While in the orphanage, your character is more or less held hostage by a gang of strange, sadistic orphan girls who call themselves “The Red Crayon Aristocrat Club”. These little girls force you to commit and watch them commit all sorts of bizarre and sometimes atrocious acts.There are also little imp and goat monsters that attack you with forks…and somehow you end up on an airship. NEED I SAY MORE?

4 Games I played this year that changed my life a little.

Please note that the title is games I PLAYED this year, not games that came out this year…excuse me for being a little behind the times with some of these.

1. The Walking Dead: When I first downloaded this game, I was put off by the graphics. They seemed more cartoon-ish than I had expected, and the way the main character’s eyes would bug out at given moments would make me laugh out loud. By the end of the game I was sobbing like a baby. This game made me feel connected to characters and a story in a way that I have never felt before. I also totally have a huge crush on the main character Lee…awkward.

2. Journey: I had heard a lot of hype about this title when it was first released on the PSN. I had played ThatGameCompany’s Flower in the past and was astounded by how pretty it was… so I had no choice but to give Journey a shot. I can honestly say that I never realized how much video games hold our hands in terms of “how” to play them until I was left with more or less no information on what I was doing, or what some of the controls even did besides making my character “sing”. While Journey is more of an experience than a game, it is certainly an adventure worth taking. Speaking of taking, the graphics in this are BREATHTAKING. Seriously. My god.

3. Ico: This title was re-released as a collection with Shadow of the Colossus. I purchased it because the reversible cover art amused me while I was putting it away at work. I beat the game in two sittings. I just want to give some props on how soothing the soundtrack to Ico was…even at times that I was infuriated to the point of wanting to throw my controller because Yorda kept getting herself kidnapped by shadows. The atmosphere and the quiet generated by this title was really something else. Oh, and this one made me cry too. Great story and all that.

4. Final Fantasy IX: This one might be cheating..a little…I started playing this when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I was on the fourth and final disc of the game, I was saving, and we had a power outage. I lost my file. Tears ensued (I cry a lot). I finally picked this back up after more than a decade and I was still blown away. There was something incredibly profound and existential to this game that I couldn’t have possibly picked up at, what, nine years old? FFIX is more a less a game about an unlikely group of people finding out that what they were supposedly born or “destined” to do/be is a load of bull. Then they all go on the most wonderful adventure possible to rediscover themselves. Oh, and save the world. Deep shit for a nine year old.