What makes a horror game terrifying? Is it the jump scares, or is it the blood and gore? Below is a list of five horrifying games developed in Japan.
1. The Resident Evil Franchise
When the first Resident Evil came out back in 1996, I was watching my brother’s friend play it. I was not supposed to be watching certain things that happened in the game, and it goes without saying in most movies, because I was barely five years old.
The first game opens up with live actors making their way in the grassland. What comes next is seared into my childhood memories. It was the wide and disturbing stares of those actors, screaming and shooting for their lives. The game brings out horror with its sudden jump scares, zombie dogs bursting in through the windows and creeping zombies dropping down from the ceiling.
Those were bad memories but in a good way. Now, the series is being remastered for the next-gen consoles. Who knows how much scarier it’s going to get.
2. The Evil Within
The game is developed by the same creator as Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami, who brings out the terror in survival titles. Released just before Halloween, this year, it does not only terrify people who are playing it, but also the viewers. Back in September of 2013, the trailer was released, and it was downright terrifying.
I instinctively made the decision that I wasn’t going to get the full game. When the beta version came out in July, I could imagine myself crying in less than ten minutes of gameplay just by watching the reactions of players online.
It is not only the abundance of blood and gore that are put into this game that makes it so terrifying, but also the ghostly reminder of classic Japanese horror films that are naturally brought into mind. When intimidated by a menacing demon, the solution is not to shoot but to run.
3. The Silent Hill Franchise
Once that alarm starts blaring, it’s time to run. The game puts the audience in a different perspective from the movie. Instead of watching other people running, I was running for my own life.
From a demonic growl in the dark distance to the ambient tension of being hunted, the series is hands-down one of the most frightening experiences I have ever encountered. It sent chills down my spin and raised every prick of hair on my body.
It really combines the horror from the East with the West. The game does not use blood superfluously, but plays with it. It sets the atmosphere to its heaviest tone and makes it a dreadful, yet playable game. P.T., or “playable teaser,” was released a couple of months ago. Players can play what is to be a reprisal of Silent Hill, but instead is called Silent Hills. Some may say that P.T. isn’t a real game, but it sure does feel like one. Don’t look behind you…
Ib proves that horrifying games do not have to rely on stellar graphics. It paints the atmosphere with so much eeriness that I couldn’t help but frequently turn around to see what was behind me… I thought I was hearing voices.
While playing the game, the game was playing with my head, and some moments made me shiver. I would think twice before visiting an art gallery, especially when there is a doll involved.
5. The Fatal Frame Franchise
Unlike Ib, the player is left with an antique camera that has the ability to kill off haunting spirits. The films are used like ammos for a gun, and there are different types of films to kill off different types of spirits.
Players are met with terror and tension when some of the films have to load to a certain degree to take out specific spirits. Memories from Japanese horror films like Ringu ( The Ring) and Ju On ( The Grudge) that had been buried in the depths of my mind were excavated and insisted on being replayed in my mind. To me, the game contains too much horror for a game that is rated T.
It is said that Japan is the home of horror,