My 2020, 31 Nights of Halloween Part 1

Horror films, TV shows and video games have been a part of my life since I was about 5 years old. “The Fog” was first horror movie I watched with my aunt Maureen aka Annie. She was babysitting me and we decided to watch it together and I loved it. I watched “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Friday the 13th” and even “The Exorcist” all with Annie before I was 10 years old. I watched all the classic horror films with Bela Lugosi and even the Hammer films with Christopher Lee. I fell in love with “Castlevania” and hid “Splatterhouse” from my mom. Horror will always be my favorite genre.

My father also loved horror film and Halloween. He turned our house into a haunted nightmare and all the local kids loved to come over and visit my father’s house of horrors. He would have fake newspaper stuffed men and his friends would dress the same to scare everyone walking in to treat or treat. Halloween was always a special time in my house and I have fond memories of them.

Horror is subjective and has many sub genres so there is something out there for everyone. This is my third annual “31 Nights of Halloween” where I review all types of horror related video games every day for 31 straight days. This year I have seven friends helping me out for my first ever friend’s week. Some of the games are heart pounding, some terrifying, some humorous and some not so good. If you really want to immerse yourself in the world of horror I highly recommend to play in the darkness with your headphones. It really does make a difference trust me!

Before we start here are the games I’ve picked out for 2018 and 2019.

2018

Outlast • A Nightmare on Elm Street • Sweet Home • Splatterhouse (Turbo Graphix 16) • Clock Tower • Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick • Nosferatu • Until Dawn • Manhunt • Resident Evil (PS1) • Zombies Ate my Neighbors • Bloodborne • Friday the 13th (NES) • The Suffering • Medievil (PS1) • Deadly Premonition • Parasite Eve • Monster Party • Silent Hill 2 • Castlevania (NES) • Dantes Inferno • Maniac  Mansion • Resident Evil 4 • Dead Nation • The Thing • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night • Ghosts and Goblins • Metro: 2033 • The Uninvited • Night Slashers • Dead by Daylight

2019

Condemned: Criminal Origins • The Blinding of Isaac • Splatterhouse (PS3) • The Evil Within • Limbo • Days Gone • Lone Survivor • Alien Isolation • Fatal Frame • SOMA • America McGee’s Alice • Alice: Madness Returns • Friday the 13th (PS4) • Darkwatch • Castlevania: Bloodlines • Halloween • Splatterhouse 3 • Resident Evil 2 (2019) • Elvira: Mistress of the Dark • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood • Inside • Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti • Resident Evil (PS1) • Manhunt 2 • Darkwood • Medievil (2019) • Silent Hill • Dead Space • Outlast 2 • Resident Evil 7 • P.T.

Night 1

Title – Left 4 Dead 2
System Played On – XBox 360
Horror Sub Genre – Survival Horror
Developed by Valve
Published by Valve
Released – 2009
Overall Rating 8 out of 10
Infected Meter 10 out of 10

Four new survivors must make their way across the American South while surviving a zombie apocalypse.

I first played “Left 4 Dead 2” after my cousin Danny kept raving about it. He kept telling me to buy it on the Xbox 360, I told him I didn’t have one. He then told me to buy it on the PlayStation 3, I told him it’s only on the XBox 360, he then told me to buy an XBox 360, I told him that’s a hard no pass. Eventually I went to his house for the weekend and played it with his upstate New York buddies. They had two TV’s and two XBox’s hooked up like a weird science experiment.

I really thought the concept was very clever, you really had to work together as that was the heart of the game play. You can only carry a limited amount of items and ammo insuring that you will need help from your friends. There were a few jump scares but nothing got me like that fucking Witch. I heard a baby crying which was odd so I went to check it out, it turns out it was a Witch. She jump straight at me and I got startled and dropped my controller and Danny fell off the damn chair. If you haven’t played this game I recommend but it’s a far better experience with a friend.

Night 2

Title – Home Sweet Home
System Played On – XBox One
Horror Sub Genre – Survival Horror
Developed by Yggdrazil Group Co., Ltd
Published by Yggdrazil Group Co., Ltd
Released – 2018
Overall Rating 5 out of 10
Stalker Meter 10 out of 10

Tim’s life has drastically changed since his wife disappeared. One night, he wakes up in an unknown place. While trying to escape he is being hunted a female ghost.

This game has been on my radar for but I never gotten around to it until this year. I never played a game based on Thai mythology so it intrigued by their ghosts and demons. When I first started playing I immediately got “P.T.” vibes and the sound was incredible. Every horror game should be played with the best headphones you can afford because sound is everything. It’s has very atmospheric setting and I did sit up a bit when I first saw the girl with the blade.

Unfortunately all roads lead to her which in turn makes her more annoying than a threat. The game does change it up a bit by adding different enemies but you will always wind up hiding in a locker from the main antagonist. The last thirty minutes of game was really where it shined. The game is roughly three hours long and I felt the game was decent but it lost its luster rather quickly. Hopefully the sequel which is out now can redeem itself.

Night 3

Title – Man of Medan
System Played On – PlayStation 4
Horror Sub Genre – Interactive Drama
Developed by Supermassive Games
Published by Bandai Namco
Released – 2019
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
Stalker Meter 10 out of 10

Four friends and their captain set sail on a holiday diving trip to find a rumored WWII wreck, but as the day unfolds, a storm rolls in and soon their trip changes into something much more sinister.

If you have played “Until Dawn” then “Man of Medan” will be familiar to you. Both games were published by Supermassive Games and this game is the first of eight games to be released under “The Dark Pictures Anthology” I really Enjoyed Until Dawn which was recommended to me by my friend Niloy so playing “Man of Medan” was a given. But If you’re going in thinking this will be another campy 80’s horror cliché “Until Dawn” you will be mistaken. It’s a bit more serious and dreadful this time around.

It’s hard to review this game without giving away massive spoilers as every single decision has an effect on the story. There are fourteen different endings and the game isn’t to long to see them all. I didn’t find the game that scary, to me it is more or less a psychological thriller than anything. However the “old lady” scene was my favorite and her scream was pretty frightening. I figured out the plot within the first ten minutes and the quick time events damn near ruined my story. While not as good as “Until Dawn” I still found it interesting and entertaining though that I recommend a playthrough if you were on the fence.

Night 4

Title – Lollipop Chainsaw
System Played On – PlayStation 3
Horror Sub Genre – Horror Comedy
Developed by Grasshopper Manufacturer
Published by Warner Bros Interactive
Released – 2012
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
Chainsaw Meter 10 out of 10

On her 18th birthday Juliet Starling uncovers the root of a zombie outbreak. She must balance the drama of high school while carrying out her zombie hunting lineage and chainsaw skills to dismember legions of the undead and save town and high school.

The most important thing to know is that this is a Japanese game. Once you understand that the game makes a lot more sense. Super sexualized and freshly turned 18 year old Juliet is really an absolute badass and undercover zombie hunter. If there was a character that can give “Ash” from “The Evil Dead” franchise a challenge in both skill and one liners it’s definitely her. This is a straight up hack ‘n slash horror comedy with gore and dismemberment that can make “Dead Space” look tame.

While not scary in the slightest bit it does have gore and extremely violent kills with literal rainbows and hearts flying around. Her headless boyfriend is attached to her cheerleading mini skirt and the dialog is pure sexual innuendo along with some pretty funny situations. There were so many “WTF” moments it was amazing. If you’re not into getting scared but don’t mind killing zombies in the craziest ways possible, then this is a game for. It’s definitely out there but I enjoyed it.

Night 5

Title -Remothered Tormented Fathers
System Played On – XBox One
#Horror Sub Genre – Survival Horror
Developed by Stormind Games
Published by Darril Arts
Released – 2018
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
Stalker Meter 10 out of 10

The story revolves around Rosemary Reed, a fascinating 35-year-old woman, who reaches Richard Felton’s house, in order to investigate the disappearance of a girl called Celeste.

This game reminded me of video game “Clock Tower” and the film “The Silence of the Lambs”. Our main character looks just like Jodie Foster’s “Clarice Starling” did in “The Silence of the Lambs” and she is being stalked by an inspired “Bobby Barrows the Scissorman” from “Clock Tower”. The atmosphere was pretty heavy in this game and while the sound was great it was also misleading as the footsteps all sounded the same throughout the house regardless of what floor you were on from the enemies.

The first half of the game was pretty amazing but the animation in the cutscenes were lackluster and took me out of the setting. The scariest part for me was the “Red Nun” chase sequence. Her appearance and theme is the absolute best part of the game for me and it left me in edge. However, the game falls flat in the last act and some of the gameplay mechanics were trouble some. I still can’t get over the bare assed “old man” who’s only wearing an apron. This is the first part of a planned trilogy for “ReMothered” and the sequel is being released sometime this month. Hopefully it can polish the gameplay and turn up the intensity.

Night 6

Title – Alan Wake
System Played On – XBox 360
Horror Sub Genre – Psychological Horror
Developed by Remedy Entertainment
Published by Mircosoft Game Studios
Released – 2010
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
Stalker Meter 10 out of 10

Best selling thriller novelist Alan Wake tries to uncover the mystery behind his wife’s disappearance during a vacation in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington, all while experiencing events from the plot in his latest novel, which he cannot remember writing, coming to life.

If there is a game that has a “Twin Peaks” meets “The Twilight Zone” and written by Stephen King vibe then this is the game. It all makes sense because Remedy Entertainment definitely took inspiration from that and many others. It has horror elements but definitely more of a psychological thriller and the development team stands by that. The story even plays out like a TV show which I though was pretty interesting.

The combat is also unique as you must use your flashlight to shine the light on the dark entities before you can kill them. My issue with the game is that it starts to fall apart, especially at the end of the game. Despite its downward spiral the game held my intrest. It’s a shame we will never get a sequel as I wanted to explore Alan Wakes world even more. I Really loved the atmosphere and the odd TV show cliffhangers.

Night 7

Title – The Evil Within 2
System Played On – XBox One
Horror Sub Genre – Survival Horror
Developed by TangobGameworks
Published by Bethesda
Released – 2017
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
Gory Meter 10 out of 10

Three years after the events at Beacon Mental Hospital, Sébastian Castellanos has left the Krimson City Police Department, but the mysterious organization MOBIUS gives him a chance to save his own thought dead daughter.

The first game was interesting, gory and had me on the edge of my seat but the main character Sébastien was kinda dull. The sequel didn’t make Sébastien any less dull but it certainly turned up the weirdness, intensity and gore. It definitely was a bit more serious this time but the odd dialog and characters made it feel like a campy b-movie. I guess when your in ones mind anything is possible.

My favorite chapters are three and eleven despite the instant death mechanic. Anima is a spector who hums a really creepy lullaby called “Clair de Lune” and stalks you very aggressively. If she catches you it’s game over and back to your last save point. She can even appear in the open areas of the game, however you can’t avoid her in chapter three or eleven. It’s a very intense game of cat and mouse. If you haven’t played this game definitely play it late at night with headphones!

Night 8

Title – Nightmare Creatures
System Played On – PlayStation
Horror Sub Genre – Survival Horror
Developed by Kalisto Entertainment
Published by Activision
Released – 1997
Overall Rating 8 out of 10
Creature Meter 10 out of 10

London is besieged by hoards of creatures created by a mad man to eventually take over the world.

“Nightmare Creatures” was out of the mix for me as titles such as “Resident Evil”, “Silent Hill” and “Parasite Eve” took over. I actually didn’t even hear about this gane till about 2010 and didn’t even play it till 2018. I’m a bit upset because the game was fantastic but being twenty three years it took a toll on me. PlayStation controls can be very archaic especially if you’re a younger game or even a veteran like me. I’m happy I stuck with it though because I enjoyed the hell out of it.

This is basically “Bloodborne” just eighteen years before “Bloodborne” actually was released. The creepy atmosphere and creature designs were great but like I mentioned before the controls and camera were frustrating. If there was a game thats needs a reboot its definitely this one. It was ahead of its time and if you can manage the funky controls and camera it’s worth a playthrough! It’s the oldest game on the list but up there with the newest horror related ones in the genre.

Night 9

Title – Doom
System Played On – PlayStation 4
Horror Sub Genre – Action Horror

Developed by iD Software
Published by Bethesda
Released – 2016
Overall Rating 8 out of 10
Portal of Hell Meter 10 out of 10

An unnamed space marine battles demonic forces from Hell that have been unleashed by the Union Aerospace Corporation within their energy-mining facility on Mars.

My first experience with “Doom” was late at night in 1993 at my best friend Adam’s house. This was probably the first PC game I’ve played and when I saw the gun in front of you and you can actually walk in 3-Dimensional form was awesome. Yet what shocked me the most was blowing a fucking demons head off and blood was everywhere. That alone made me love “Doom” and all it’s sequels.

The reboot was great and had the fast paced action, loads of gore and an awesome soundtrack that “Doom” is known for. I liked the “glory kill” as it kept you in the action, instantly killed the enemy and you gained a little bit of health in the process. While it might not be scary (at least to me), you can’t deny killing demons from hell isn’t horror. The horrific kills, extreme gore and abundance of violence definitely makes “Doom” a great pick for a blood filled night!

Night 10

Title – How To Survive (Storm Warning Edition)
System Played On – PlayStation 4
Horror Sub Genre – Survival Horror
Developed by Eko Software
Published by 505 Studios
Released – 2014
Overall Rating 7 out of 10
Zombie Island Meter 10 out of 10

A complete edition including the original crafting survival zombie nightmare plus 6 additional thrilling DLCs. How to Survive now is more fun and tougher than ever. Survive on a zombie infested archipelago, fulfill your basic needs of food, water and shelter while facing natural and unnatural threats.

I put my sister Katie and my brother Scott through a traumatic playing “Zombie Apocalypse” back in 2011 when they were tweens. Its probably why my brother hates playing games with me. I made them stay up all night while we got every single trophy. Katie was so tired she didn’t know who to shoot any more. We got all the trophies and I thanked them. Eight years later my girlfriend Eva’s nephews came over and I did the exact same thing to them while playing “How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition”.

This time Jariel was the one who told me about the game and we played with his brother Haziel This game is a good mix between “Dead Nation” and “Dead Island”. You need to kill zombies, craft items, eat food and survive natural threats and obviously zombies. We had a great time playing the game during their visits from Boston. I never played it solo but playing with them was fun, intense and the game had a lot of humor, so if you have a buddy I recommend it.

Arabian Magic

Arabian Magic Arcade Title

Well it’s no Aladdin…

My last post was on Arabian Fight which Sega created to go head to head with Arabian Magic which was developed by Taito. Not sure why Sega thought they needed to go up against this boring ass game but they did. To top it off they actually didn’t do anything to make it any better than the competition. If you thought Arabian Fight was boring well, you know nothing Jon Snow!

  Arabian Magic Arcade Player Selection

You can choose one of the four heroes and I picked Lisa the female character because that’s just what I do. Lisa has great magic and is fast but takes a lot of damage, Rassid is the most well balanced, Sinbad is the slowest but can really knock enemies out and Afshaal is the tank of the group. The move set isn’t as limited compared to “Arabian Fight” and you can even block which is nice. The magic comes from power ups which are inside treasure chests which are very visible in the levels. The cool part is getting the magic lamp which unleashes a genie with a very strong attack, as you progress through the game the magic lamp contains the defeated bosses which you defeated. The only issue with magic lamp is this very strange sound that the genie makes, it sounds like he’s trippin’ off Hagagit.

Arabian Magic Arcade Say hello to Kanjiji

The games levels are beautifully done and very unique, they range from Arabian markets, magic carpet rides and inside vases. The enemies range from regular soldiers, wizards, dancing ladies and musclebound men who are the mini-bosses in the game. The music is not good at all and the sound effects are even worse. I pretty much only played this game with Lisa and beat with her but I did try out the other three heroes. I only used the specials during the boss fights. I found the game to be a bit on the easy side especially with two players, compared to other games in this genre. I also had to put my headphones on and blast my own music because after a while it became annoying. The game play is poor, the controls are clunky and the hit detection was wacky.

Arabian Magic Arcade Stay away from the whirlpool

Overall I didn’t really care for this game and it’s a shame because there was potential but it was executed poorly. Sega’s “Arabian Fight” also holds the same fate and that’s even more surprising considering their track record and creating their own Arabian themed game a year later. Unfortunately Taito dropped the ball here but they did very well with “Growl”, “Dungeon Magic” and my personal favorite “Ninja Warriors”. I would play those again, this one, no thank you.

Developed by Taito

Published by Taito

Released in 1992

Rating – 3 out of 10

Arabian Fight

Image result for arabian fight title screen

I wish I found a magic lamp…

The corrupt Sheikh Sazabiss has abducted Princess Lurana, and he is utilizing every unscrupulous means of power he has at his disposal to achieve his ultimate ambition of conquering the world. The quartet of valiant and fearless warriors bravely come face-to-face with Sazabiss. As they battle to save Lurana, the foursome, freely using magic, their most prized possession, journey to the castle of Sazabiss to save the princess and the planet.

Arabian Fight Arcade Select Player.

When I first played this game I wasn’t sure what to expect, I noticed the visuals were really nice and I thought that the sprite scaling technique they used was pretty cool. For those of you who do not know what sprite scaling is, it’s basically taking the character sprite and either shrinking or enlarging it give a sense of perspective when they go into the background or come into the foreground. Then I as begin to play I noticed that there were four characters to choose from. I usually pick the female character if at all possible because why not. Three of the characters have a really cool fantasy Arabian/Middle Eastern garb except the bald guy named Datta. He looks like an Asian monk and traveled to this Middle Eastern conflict. That main character is named Sinbat (it’s actually not a typo), the lone female is named Ramaya and the muscular character is named Goldor.

  Image result for arabian fight

The game started off OK but then it just got really boring really fast. I think Sega over did the sprite scaling technique as when the enemies come into to the screen they are huge and it can be hard to see. When I tried it out with four players it was a fucking nightmare, it was nearly impossible to see who was hitting who and where you were in the game. The fighting moves are pretty basic but when using magic the character you chose jumps in front of the screen and does a cool little move and then unleashes the magic upon the enemies. It’s cool to look at at first but then it quickly loses its appeal. The limited move set really makes the game a bit a dull and I found myself using the same move over and over again until the completion of the game.

Image result for arabian fight

The levels are nicely done and you go through a pirate ship, Middle Eastern markets, castles, pyramids, a magic carpet ride and an underground secret lair. The enemies are humans, skeletons, demons and other creatures from Arabic mythology I would assume. All of this is visually appealing and nicely done, however that’s about it. The music is decent but you’re definitely not going to hum any of the tunes. The sound effects are typical and the controls clunky. The big issue with this game is the game play, it’s just lackluster. I love beat ’em ups which is why I am writing all these articles but for some reason I just couldn’t wait for it to be finished. I tried each of the four characters and I couldn’t get a feel for any of them. I think since the game was so limited to just attack and jump that I found myself just button mashing to complete the levels.

Image result for arabian fight

I do have to say that I did enjoy the boss battles but it was just a chore to reach them. I thought that it was just me so I had my neighbor come over and play the game too, he didn’t like it but he thought the graphics were nice. However graphics do not make a game good. I suggested that we play the game together, we did, and nothing changed. The game was still boring and we just talked and drank beer. Being tipsy and then borderline plastered didn’t help the game get any better either. Beating up people just became routine and not fun. The hit detection was off and it felt like they put all the effort in the visual aspect and forgot about the actual game play. I was pretty disappointed since Sega was really hitting home runs with their games.

    Arabian Fight Arcade Multiplayer

Sega created this game to go up against Taito’s Arabian themed game titled “Arabian Magic”. Why did they feel the need to do this? I don’t know, but I will tell you this wasn’t necessary. I found Arabian Magic to be just as bad as this one. If Sega put the proper effort into the game play than Arabian Fight would have been by far superior to Arabian Magic in every way possible, unfortunately they didn’t and it shows.

Developed by – Sega AM2

Published by – Sega

Released in – 1992

Rating – 3 out of 10

64th Street: A Detective Story

64th. Street: A Detective Story Arcade Title screen

In the spirit of Final Fight…

The story is set in 1939, and it involves Rick and his ward Allen. Rick is a 35 year-old professional private detective and manager of Rick’s Detective Agency. Allen is a 19 year old, reformed delinquent who Rick took under his wing. An evil corporation known as the Legacy Organization, kidnapped the daughter of a mid-aged rich man and left him a letter explaining why they kidnapped her. Late one night, before Rick and Allen was about to close their office, the mid-aged rich man, rushed inside the office while being exhausted. He asked for support on saving his daughter and gave the letter to Rick and Allen. The next day, Allen notices an advertisement in the classifieds with similar sentence structure to the letter left by the kidnappers. They soon realize that the writing was actually a secret code, only understood by certain crime lords. Rick and Allen decide to take matters in their own hands and rescue the rich man’s daughter.

Image result for 64th street detective story rick and allen

Now that is some fucking story for a beat ’em up. This game was clearly inspired by Capcom’s “Final Fight” and there is nothing wrong with that. I remember playing this game a lot more then “Final Fight” because the older teenagers would hog that machine. It was also ironically placed right next to the “Final Fight” arcade machine. Growing up my cousin Tommy would take me to the arcade pretty often and I got to experience several games before they were ported over to the NES, Super NES or the Sega Genesis. The 90’s was definitely the golden age of the beat ’em up genre. Everything from “Golden Axe”, “Cadillac’s and Dinosaurs” to “Arabian Nights” and “Brute Force” was at the arcade I went too, some were fantastic while others were simply awful. Usually the popular ones were always busy and since I was about nine to thirteen years old during this time I had to either wait or play other games. This lead me to play “64th Street: A Detective Story” a lot more then “Final Fight”.

Rick looks like my step-father and is the “Haggar” of this game, Allen looks like a gang member from “A West Side Story” and is the “Cody” of this game. There isn’t a “Guy” equivalent. The color scheme is very colorful which is odd for a game set in 1939. The characters themselves are nicely detailed and large. The backgrounds are nicely rendered and everything can break if you throw an enemy into it. This leads to items or food which can add points to your score or fill up your health bar. The music is okay, it’s nothing special but also not annoying. The sound effects are good but some times when Haggar… I meant Rick yells it sounds weird, almost like “DURRR!”, oddly enough it’s more annoying than Colossus’ “HURRR!” . The enemies have good designs as well but where exactly would you find these people? What city are they in? You have pirates, boxers, leather jacket wearing bozos, strangely dressed wrestlers and ex military looking guys. Problem is this is 1939 yet they look like their in the 1990’s.

The craziest thing about this game is the boss battles. They are very large with very interesting clothing designs . They also have cheap quarter wasting moves and can become very annoying. There are three options to stop their cheap moves; one, you have a lot of quarters, two, you can emulate the game and just hit the select button to add virtual quarters or three, you can just keep attacking them with precisely timed jump kicks. The most annoying boss in the game is the flamboyantly dressed twin wrestlers who are wearing very colorful one shoulder wrestling tights. I died more times fighting them than I did the entire game. Another boss who I want walk the plank was the spinning pirate. He looked like “Sloth” from “The Goonies” and just spun around stopped, spun around and stopped and spun around and stopped again. Funny thing is that when he stops and you see his stupid fucking face he actually looks like he’s dizzy from spinning so much.

I prefer to play as Cody … sorry I meant Allen over Rick. Rick is the slower power hitter and Allen is the faster combo hitter, they both have different move sets and styles. They also have a few good combo moves and the special “get off my ass but lose some life” room clearing move too. As you start advancing in the game you soon realize that the levels get stranger. You go from the gang filled city streets, to a wharf (which you can toss all the enemies off the platform), a long train ride, secret warehouse, the enemy headquarters and finally a blimp. Each level ending boss kinda fits the level you just played through. The boss enemies become regular enemies as well which can be a pain in the ass but the good thing is that they aren’t as strong.

64th. Street: A Detective Story Arcade The gangsters have got robots?

Overall the game isn’t terrible but its not great either, this is gonna fall somewhere in between for most of you guys. I however would say it’s just above average. I had fun with it and I played it a few times with my friend Niloy and my brother Scott, who just kept saying that we need to just play “Final Fight” instead. Once you beat though, at least by yourself there isn’t a reason to play it again and once done just play “Final Fight”. One the positive note this eventually lead Jaleco to create the “Rushing Beat” trilogy.

Developed by – C.P. Brian

Published by – Jaleco

Released in – 1991

Rating – 6 out of 10

 

 

 

My Solo Adventure in a Multiplayer World

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online

I played the online experience with my brother Scott, my friend Charlie and my step-father Danny during the beta. You start out with the shittest clothes and basic weapons. Like every online game you can level up and gain better equipment, weapons and style as you gain experience. At first we just had a temporary posse which I couldn’t name because I was a low level broke outlaw. Then I was able to create a full fledged permanent posse and aptly named us the Furious O’Flaherty’s.

It was during this time where we mostly did the online story as the real players were complete duchebags. Every time we went to a town to purchase ammo we would get shot by other players. Now mind you this is an online game and a Red Dead one no less. We are all outlaws so getting shot by other players is expected, but damn I just walked out of the store and boom … I’m dead. You re-spawn not that far from the area you died in but every player is still there as well. So if you try to go back to where you were you run the risk of meeting your killer.

When someone kills you, you have a few options; you can parlay, feud or grief. I don’t do any of that though I usually just avenge myself. I will find my killer and keep killing them until I get bored or they leave the session. This caused issues between me and my brother because he just wanted to leave the area but I wouldn’t. Sometimes he would flat out abandon me when I was in a shootout with one person or an entire gang.

Charlie stopped playing because his schedule is inconsistent. Danny stopped playing because he just lost interest. Scott Eventually stopped playing because he gets bored extremely fast. During my “For Honor” days (another online multiplayer game) we had a really steady crew which included my former boss and friend Marlon, Charlie, Danny and my nephew Jariel. We played this game almost everyday for 5 months straight and had an amazing time. However the Red Dead crew lasted about 2 weeks and eventually I gave it a rest as well because the game was a broken disaster and my backlog of games kept growing.

They had a couple of double xp events which lead me back to the game. It was extremely frustrating begging my brother to play but he eventually did. But it didn’t last and we stopped playing altogether. With the beta officially over my brother actually invited me to play and I was ready to lead the Furious O’Flaherty’s again. Unfortunately this was short lived and now I gotta take my horse to the old town road and ride till I can’t no more.

So now all by myself I have advanced 20 levels and I’m currently level 36. I need 14 more levels for the “Notorious” trophy and I can be officially “finished” with the online. Yet I don’t think I’ll stop playing, I have found a new respect for the game since the updates. I’m currently rocking three amazing outfits with great guns and abilities. I’m still killing people who’ve killed me, I’m racing and playing free roam events all by myself. I’ve even made up my own story for my character. I’m enjoying hunting and fishing and doing stranger missions all alone as well, I feel like Arthur Morgan 2.0.

So I may not have a posse anymore but sometimes when you wanna get something done you just gotta do it yourself. Now don’t get me wrong it’s a thousand times better with friends because its supposed to be played with friends. However don’t let that stop you from playing, most people do leave you alone and with the new offensive and defensive mode it really prevents random assholes from messing with your flow. So now let me try to do this side mission… oh it’s not loading… ok… let me go to the quick menu to refresh the session… oh shit… someone just murdered me.

Trash Can Games

Bush League Hockey aka Old Time Hockey

PlayStation 4

Update 3/8/19

I figured out the whole Share Play issue and figured out how to play with my brother. Yet nothing changes in my overall review.


Set in the late 1970s amidst a poor economic climate and during the peak of the disco era in the United States, Old Time Hockey underscores the arduous story of a struggling hockey team. The Hinto Brews and their team manager are desperate because of and uncertain financial times. Soon they may find themselves in trouble losing not just fans, but their own jobs as hockey players. Can the team be saved?

If you liked the movie Slap Shot starring Paul Newman or NHLPA ‘93 or NHL ’94 then this should have been the game for you. I was very excited when my brother Scott told me about this game. He hyped it up and said it’s NHLPA ’93 but on the PlayStation 4 and I was ready to play it. Then he sent me the trailer and I watched it. It looked funny and the style definitely had that old school look. Then he told me it was two players and I remember asking him if it was multiplayer, he told me yes. Now maybe I should have done more research before I spent my $11.99 on the game. Once I downloaded it I called my brother so we could play together.

As soon the game loaded I heard the music it was just awesome, rock n’ roll and hockey go very well together. Then I was looking for the multiplayer option so I can play with brother online. Now I’m pissed because I don’t see it, I only see the option for couch co-op. Normally This wouldn’t be a big deal but my brother lives in upstate NY and I live in the city. I also got pissed because this was our chance to play a retro style hockey game together all the time instead of having to wait for him to visit me. Then I had the great idea of using PlayStation’s “Share Play” but that didn’t work. They I tried the “Play Together Option” so I could possibly set it up as a couch co-op game because I have done it with Dead Nation but again no luck.

Now I’m pretty pissed off because the whole point was to be able to play with my brother on-line. Now I have a hockey game that I can only play solo, so I decided just to play it and check it out. There is a season mode in which you play as the Hinto Brews a struggling team in last place and hoping to make it to the playoffs. Each game in the season you are given three objectives to complete which are all optional unless you have to win the game. If you complete the objectives then you are given stars which automatically get assigned to one or all three tiers; offence, defense and fighting. You don’t even have to win the game since you’re playing a storyline season mode; the only time you have to win is when the game tells you that you need to. This was odd but I can see how they wanted to develop the story but other than the objectives what’s the actual point in playing? So I would try to do the objectives and then just skate around and waste time because I wanted to continue the story.

After a few games the arcade old school hockey quickly wears off. The body checking and fighting get old and it happens a lot. This is how I won most of the games because I found it easier than skating around to waste time, I would keep body checking my opponents then win a perfect fight. By winning the fight cleanly you would injure your opponent and they would not be able to play. Injure around eight guys and you win by default, regardless of score. After every match you had standings; most goals, points, penalty minutes and hits. Yet none of it mattered because you weren’t playing to win unless you were told to do so, which made the games seem like a chore instead of exciting.

Most hockey games allow you to set up your offence and defense, this game doesn’t. You can’t set up your power play or penalty kill either. I like to set up my guys in a crash the net offense and diamond defense, it’s not the biggest issue but why can’t you do this. You cannot do a one timer and depending on what controller figuration you selected passing can be difficult. There are four controller layouts; Advanced, Retro, Beer Mode and Two-Button. I only used retro but I used advanced to collect the cards as they are unique in terms of objectives. There are certain objectives during the season that have cards attached to them. In order to unlock them you must complete the task. These collectable cards also unlock a trophy once you obtain it. None of the challenges are too difficult and if you feel that you aren’t going to collect it then simply restart the match and try again.

Eventually you find yourself in the playoffs, if you win the games you’re supposed to but nothing is new. The arenas still look like the same like they did during the regular season. Then it’s pretty much the same thing and if you happen to have completed enough objectives and filled up your offense, defense and fighting to five stars then the only thing you’re doing is trying to win. Then the last objective is to win Johnny’s Cup and in order to do that you have to beat the shit out of your opponents so they forfeit the game. That was fun but nothing I haven’t done before as fights are plentiful. Once you win the Johnny Cup Championship there is a new game plus mode but nothing is different, it’s the same old thing but without the story mode. If you are a trophy hunter then you must do it all again in order to collect the remaining cards and finish as champions again but this time you can pick a different team.


I appreciate what they tried to do to bring back the old school era of hockey on the PlayStation 4 but they failed. The setting and themes are all great but the execution just wasn’t there as it felt empty. In the beginning the game starts out good but then it’s literally rinse and repeat over and over. The commentary is well done put this also gets repetitive just like everything else in the game. Overall the game lacks real depth and doesn’t deliver a true hockey experience. You are better off just watching Slap Shot and drinking a beer or playing NHLPA ’93.

Legendary Characters

Arthur Morgan

Red Dead Redemption 2

Spoilers ahead…

The story of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prequel to the first game, Red Dead Redemption. That games hero is John Marston but that’s another story for another time. Today I will talk about Arthur Morgan and the impact he had on the story and me.

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Arthur Morgan is an outlaw in the Dutch Van der Linde gang; he’s the lieutenant and the muscle. A botched ferry robbery in 1899 left several members of the gang dead and their substantial money stash gone. The Van der Linde gang flees to Blackwater and realizes that civilization is catching up on the time of the outlaw. Dutch who leads the gang is putting together a plan were they can collect enough money, put their outlaw ways in the past and finally retire. However things rarely go to plan especially when you’re an outlaw trying to escape the law. It was during the games main storyline missions where I started to get my own sense of who Arthur was and how I was going to play the game. You can chose to be honorable or dishonorable and I thought just because you’re an outlaw doesn’t mean you have make unmoral choices.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open world western themed action adventure game. One of the main gameplay mechanics is how you respond to the world around you. There are several side quests and completely random events involving all types of NPC, during these events you can respond positively or aggressive. There is no wrong way to play the game as your honor level gives bonus whether it’s honorable or dishonorable yet I chose to play the game with as much honor as I possibly could. I tried to help everyone I came across and acted like a law abiding citizen when I was in all the towns. I did this despite being the muscle of the gang yet when things got ugly so did I. Rival gangs, criminals and the law were always around and it was either you or them and in the time of the outlaw it was all about surviving another day. One example was the gang’s loan shark Strauss, he would loan money to people who could never repay on time or even at all. When forced to collect the debt I honestly felt bad doing it, you could beat them or threaten them. None of the choices are good yet threating is the lesser of the two evils and I collected the debt owed.

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While doing story and side missions I found myself doing other things with Arthur like exploring, fishing, hunting animals, playing various card games, treasure hunting, bounty hunting and several other various non-story related leisure’s. All of these activities took me countless hours of gaming and I was immersed into Arthur and the story. Just over the halfway mark in the game Arthur begins to feel ill, he developed a nasty cough and finally passes out. You wake up in a doctor’s office and he tells Arthur that he has tuberculous; I was completely shocked and very sad when I found out. Ironically enough it was earlier in the game during a debt that I needed to collect where you get tuberculous from an infected individual. During this debt quest the story takes over from you and you have no control over Arthur’s actions. Arthur beats the man in front of his family in which they begin to scream and cry out for you to stop. During this beat down the man coughs on Arthur and passed on the disease. As you continue the story Arthur keeps on coughing and his appearance gets worse, his eyes become blood shot and he begins to lose weight and his tough stature is now dwindling down, it’s a very emotional thing to watch. As if things weren’t bad enough they get even worse; the Van der Linde gang is falling apart and fast.

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Dutch has made some crazy decisions and none of his plans have worked thus far, his descend to evil is now apparent. He doesn’t care about the gang but only for himself and those who blindly follow. Arthur has now begun to question his leader’s choices and his morality. Dutch takes Arthur’s questioning and lack of faith personal as it was Dutch who raised and watched over him. Arthur now probably for the first time has realized that Dutch wasn’t the man he thought he was and tries to undo the chaos that Dutch is unleashing. With all of this happening it made me realize that all my moral choices have had a greater impact on the storyline and Arthur in general. I don’t think it was the sickness that made Arthur a just and moral person, I think it was already there, it just took an extreme action for him to wake up and change for the better. Arthur doesn’t have much time left to live and he knows it so he decides to take it upon himself to help out the good members of the gang, most importantly John Marston and his family. John and Arthur go back a few years but their relationship wasn’t the greatest. Things took a turn for the better when John’s son Jack gets kidnapped, both men bond over the experience and they eventually save Jack and John is forever grateful to Arthur.

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Arthur knew that John had a good heart and that John wanted to do what was best for his family and he thought Van der Linde would provide them safe keeping. John and Arthur began to connect and had many of the same ideas about Dutch. Arthur knew that Dutch wasn’t a fan of John and that it was probably time for John to get away from the gang and never look back. Arthur’s main goal was to focus his attention on John to help him escape. I felt that Arthur would sacrifice himself in order . Arthur saves John’s wife Abigail and her son Jack and told them to wait at a specific location for John’s return. As both Arthur and John escape the law and the now vengeful Van der Linde gang there was only one out come, both of them weren’t going to make it out alive. Arthur wanted John to have the life that he could never have and raise his family the proper way. Arthur put Dutch over his own family as he had a wife and child that he seldom saw. He would only visit them every so often and one day he returned to freshly dug graves as they became casualties of a home invasion. Arthur literally gave Dutch everything and all for what?

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There was a point during the very end of Arthur’s chapter when he told John to “Run and never look back”, John begins to speak but Arthur interrupts and says “Get the hell outta here and be a goddamn man”. Arthur then puts his hat on Johns head and John says “You’re my brother” Arthur simply replies “I know”. That part broke my heart and I actually cried. It made me think of my own brother and sisters, even my friends. There were cut scenes in the game that didn’t always make sense to me; they were beautiful visuals of a buck. This buck would appear after chapters were completed but also towards the end of the game when Arthur would pass out due to his illness. Then it suddenly hit me, the buck represented my honorable play through, if you played dishonorably then you would see a black evil looking wolf. Looking back now I’m very happy I play the game like I did because it just felt right to me and the story had a powerful and emotional impact on me. Moving forward I would like to be a better person, boyfriend, friend, sibling and son. It’s funny that you can sometimes learn a lesson about life by just playing a video game as I saw a lot of myself in Arthur’s character.

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Arthur may have done some bad things in his life as an outlaw but I ultimately feel he was a good person. As he chose to give his life in order to save John and his family, I believe it was that final act that lead him to his road to redemption.

The NES Years

Memories of my Father and Contra

I am sharing a chapter of my book with you today. The chapter was edited by a good friend of mine named Chad Brenneman and his blog is called “The Blog of Gamers Past” which you can find right here on Word Press named GhostOfGamersPast.com Without his help it would have appeared that a fifteen year old wrote it instead of a thirty five year old.

Please excuse my noobness as this is my first time creating website and sharing a blog. So without further ado let’s begin!

Contra was one of the first games I’ve ever played. It also uses the most famous cheat that every gamer should know: the Konami code. Press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A and Start at the start menu then boom, thirty lives. If you have two players, then hit ‘select’ after the ‘A’ to get thirty lives each. My first memory of Contra is watching my father playing it on the NES. I was about five years old, and I remember watching him curse and get game overs and curse some more. Motherfucker was his favorite word in the entire dictionary-which ever dictionary that is. When I asked him if I can play he said, “in a minute, let me finish this level.” He didn’t finish the stage, instead he fell into a hole.

“Motherfucker.”

I began to play Contra with my dad; he told me to take my time and we started slow. We were shooting, jumping and occasionally ducking. I felt that he was happy with my performance in the first level, neither of us had died. He taught me about the spot on one of the ledges where the enemy can’t shoot you on the solidified fortress wall boss. After we beat the boss, it was onto the second level. Level two is a different experience because it’s a push-forward level and not the typical left to right scrolling. I died once fighting the boss and my father told me to jump and run around his flame attacks until we kill him. His advice paid off; we beat the boss and everything was great. My dad was giving me high-fives, he said, “we can beat this together, just stay calm.”

I became confident in my ability to help my father complete the game, but like I said everything was going great, until it wasn’t. The third level had us scaling a waterfall, we had to jump up, up and up. In the two player mode you have to wait for your partner to reach your position before you can make the jumps. It’s easy to accidentally cause your-in my case-father to fall. This level took patience; a lot of it. Five year old kids don’t have patience. I was getting shot at. I was dying a lot. I had to make precision jumps before I got shot or stabbed. While I was jumping up my father would be killed, and as my father jumped up I would be killed.

“Motherfucker.”

We had to use our first continue. My father was pissed. His face was as red as his hair. His giant hands were squeezing the shit out of the controller. I asked him what to do, “kid, we gotta try this again and you gotta wait till I am on the same platform as you. You need to be patient,” he answered. I understood, or so I had thought. We blew our last two continues on the level, and that was it. The title screen came up. The fake-looking Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone appeared on the screen.

“Motherfucker.”

My father gave me an unusual lesson on patience that day. He brought me and a Reader’s Digest into the bathroom. He took down his pants, sat on the toilet and made the smelliest shit a human could make. I was crying to get out. He told me to be patient and that I had to wait until he finished his article. I didn’t know what an article was; I didn’t know how long they last. All I knew was that he was turning page after page while I stood in a gas chamber. After what seemed like an hour he finally finished. He cleaned himself and told me, “see kid, that’s patience. You waited for me.”

Motherfucker.

Round two of Contra was about to begin. My father was refreshed and I felt woozy. He pushed the power button and nothing, only a black screen. He was pissed again. He pulled out the game and blew into the cartridge, there was definitely dust in there and now there was spit. He turned on the console and all was well. We destroyed the first and second levels, neither of us lost a life and we both had the ‘S’ (spread) ammo upgrade. I learned my hard lesson on patience and because of it we made it to the fifth level before getting a game over. We tried to finish the game many times that night, but we couldn’t make it past the fifth stage.

I practiced Contra constantly the next day while my father was at work. I was obsessed. My mom had to vacuum around me. I got frustrated; I would tantrum and I would quit. No matter what I did I could not beat the third level. I kept trying, but I knew I needed my dad to come home. He did and after supper he said, “kid, lets play Contra again.” I was super excited and it looked like he was too. He told me to not touch my controller as he grabbed a piece of paper from his pocket. The paper has some arrows and letters written on it. He fiddled with the controller while looking at the paper, his thumbs were moving incredibly fast, but nothing happened.

“Motherfucker.”

After a tense moment we heard a weird sound come from the TV. I looked at the screen and saw that we had thirty lives. “Whoa,” was all I could say. I had just been introduced to the Konami code. My father and I ran through the game with ease and we were able to beat it. I asked him where he got the code; he said, “from some motherfucker at work”. I don’t think anyone in my father’s work crew played video games, yet somehow he had the code. It still is and will always be a mystery. I was really happy to have beaten Contra with my father. We would go on to complete many more games together.

When I was five years old Contra was tough, but now I can beat the game without the code, without dying and in about fifteen minutes. I’m giving it a ten out of ten. It’s a great game and an excellent port of an arcade machine. Contra is a title that anyone can pick up and play, either alone or with a friend. The levels are well designed, the music is catchy and gives the game an added sense of excitement. The characters are iconic, and the boss battles are both challenging and fun. Contra is a true Nintendo classic.

Thank you for reading, I hope you all have enjoyed it.

The Chronicles Begin

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This amazing logo was created by a good friend and excellent artist named iamartedelic which you can find,

here: https://www.instagram.com/iamartedelic/?hl=en and here: https://artedelic.com

I had an Instagram page for a while but it was mostly for personal use to share with my family and friends. When I posted video game, comic book, movie reviews or novels I was reading nobody really gave a shit. Then I decided to start a public account and share what I really enjoyed. I decided to start this because I just finished writing a book about playing video games with my father when I was younger. I still play video games to this day so I have thirty plus years of stories to share but it wasn’t really something I was ever going to do. This credit goes to two people; my mother-in-law Mayra and my friend Niloy.

My mother-in-law was creating her own website and page and she wanted some stories to share she asked me to think of one and there was a couple in my head but nothing really stood out.

One day I invited my friend Niloy over to play some retro games as I just got a Raspberry Pi with 15,000 games and over 20 systems thanks to Emulation Station downloads. While I do have a pretty decent collection I lack the hardware and storage to have everything plugged into my house so this works for me. I asked Niloy what game he wanted to play and he didn’t hesitate to say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game. When I said why did you choose that game, he said because his mother gave him this game. Much like my father, his mother up in the skies and looking down upon us. So with the emotional attachment to the game we began to play.

During the game we were talking about all kinds of stuff and crazy ideas especially when t the alcohol kicked. We thought wouldn’t it be cool if we started a YouTube page and shared this, I agreed but then we thought about the amount of work and time it would take to set up and decided against it. He told me he did enjoy the couple of Twitch videos I shared while playing For Honor on my PlayStation 4 with my two friends and my step-father. This was an easier option but I said I would just do it causally. Then he asked what game should we play next and millions of memories flooded my mind at once. I was transported to my childhood, I could even smell the scents of my old house and images of my father began to appear in my head.

I got very emotional and I could feel the hot tears run down my face, to cry like that in front of one of your close friends was a little embarrassing but he quickly gave me a hug and I composed myself. When he asked what happened I explained that I began to play videos at a really young age because my father had an Atari and an NES in the house and he would play video games often. I said lets play Contra because that was the very first game that I beat with my father. As I put the game on I input the Konami Code because Niloy stated he wasn’t very good at this game. As we got to the third level he kept dying because he wouldn’t wait for me. In the third level of Contra the level scrolls up, you must climb up a waterfall in order to reach the next building. If you jump up without your partner, your partner will die because he no longer has a floor to stand on.

It was at this very moment that I remembered my childhood again and it was at that very moment that I knew that I could write for my mother-in-law. Once Niloy went home I jumped on the computer and began to write the story of playing Contra with my father. I gave her the story she laughed and then she shared it. It did pretty well and she asked for another one. So I did and wrote two more stories for her. Then she said why don’t you share these yourself and I can post your links. I said that’s a good idea.

Then they went from stories with my father to an autobiography, memoir and retrospective all in one. My Instagram page became a chronicle of games but I thought about the order, I would cover the NES library in alphabetical order first, then move to the systems I had growing up and eventually get to the present day. It was a tall order but so far so good. To give the page a break from being to repetitive I included other gaming feats as well as, movie reviews, comic book art, currently playing and the occasional book I was reading.

As I finished the book it became 35 chapters of memories, stories and reviews but I didn’t stop there. I am currently on my second book which covers life without my father, growing pains and the Sega Genesis. The process of editing and getting it published is in the very early stages but hopefully I can get it all wrapped up soon.

This is how The Chronicles of a Gamer began thanks to my mother-in-law and my friend Niloy. With hundreds of games and memories hopefully I can share them all with you.