The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
It’s my favorite time of the year
When the autumnal season creeps near,
And the chill on the wind
Beckons me to stay in
For football and the drinking of beer.
And of course there’s the draw of October,
That ghoul-haunted fall interloper.
It sweeps in with the night
Bearing Halloween fright,
And parties I never leave sober.
So to welcome the season of the witch,
I thought it a good enough reason to stitch
Together a Frankenstein-like creation
Of bad limericks (and whisky libations)
About horror games that made me their b*tch.
See, me and horror games are an unsightly pair.
It’s not that I’m easy to scare,
I just don’t like kind
That sneak up from behind
And yell “BOO!” to catch me unaware.
They’re often effective but cheap,
And I’m hardly one willing to creep
Around tight corridors
Carrying weapons and snores.
Horror’s poor when it puts you to sleep.
So I’m not big on the later Dead Spaces,
Resident Evils or any game that embraces
The more shooter-like ways
Or the action mainstays
Of just stomping some ugly brutes’ faces.
No, what gets me are the moments that nest.
Those that take time infest
A vulnerable mind.
Yes, that’s the kind
That keeps me from a quiet night’s rest.
Take the Amnesia franchise for instance
Some games I came to with resistance.
That mad Dark Descent
Caused myself to lament
It’s cruel, wretched, horrid existence.
It actively attacks your good sense
In the dark, and you have no defense.
My constitution’s not strong
So I didn’t last long.
I haven’t seen past what the demo presents.
But its sequel and its story about swine
Has become a new favorite of mine.
Though its gameplay is austere,
It’s no less severe
Due to the chills that run down my spine.
Machine for Pigs does more than just frighten.
It disturbs me, which then tended to heighten
The tensions I was feeling
When I heard distant squealing.
I could physically feel my face whiten.
While some have found it quite boring,
I felt nothing but dread as I was touring
Through a Hadean machine,
Hearing it groan and keen,
Almost mistaking its turning for roaring.
Here, though, I must admit that my stance
On the game comes from strange circumstance.
You see, I haven’t reached Machine’s end
So, please don’t condescend.
I can’t finish when someone keeps soiling my pants.
But a title need not be horror in name
To set one’s fearful heart all aflame.
Dark Souls’ eldritch creatures
And harsh gameplay features
Combined warrant horror acclaim.
It’s not just that its world is pure evil,
And ruined by demonic upheaval.
No this game’s far more cruel.
Hell, my tears are its fuel
As it rends me with tortures medieval.
Though the game’s punishments are all fair,
Taxing the player to remain aware
Of the world’s bleak environs
(As they lack warning sirens)
Leads to mistakes and exhausting despair.
From such anguish, I feel the horror arise,
Sharpen its and claws to incise
The player’s tired mind.
Then with fingers entwined,
It’s near impossible to exorcise.
The game just won’t leave me alone
No matter how long I postpone
My time in that digital hell.
Each break only serves to foretell
My return to its dank halls of stone.
Since Dark Souls often prompts me to retreat
It’s another game I’ve yet to complete.
Still, the horror I find
Is of the compulsory kind
As I refuse to wallow in defeat.
Sure, the atmosphere’s Gothic and abysmal
And each encounter is suitably dismal.
But meta-horror of play overrules
That of the demonic ghouls—
It's an experience most cataclysmal.
So the last game I wish to discuss
Is Outlast. Nah! Remember I said I’m wuss?
There’s no *** way
I’d give that game a play.
Not a chance. So don’t make a fuss.
Instead, I’ll wrap up my limerick rant
About games with a horrific slant,
By saying the best horror reaches beyond
An atmospheric and narrative bond.
It’s difficult to accomplish I’ll grant.
That’s the sensation I crave
When I’m feeling unusually brave,
And those games that empower
Have started to sour
And I no longer fear a pixel-built grave.
If too many games reward you with glory,
And you’re always the hero of the story,
Into the abyss you should peer
To confront digital fear
With a virtual memento mori.
Speaking of moments that terrify,
My whisky glass has gone eerily dry!
So I’ll bid you good fright
For this most Hallowed night
As the witching hour draws nigh.
Cheers and fears,
David is working on his PhD and currently writes for awesomeoutof10.com, where this article was originally published. Follow his hilarious acts of academic vigilantism on twitter and please feel free to ask questions and offer criticism!