06 October 2009

6WH: October 6th

I finished Eternal Darkness. It took me about 12 hours, according to the in-game clock, which seems to be reasonable for this sort of game. Speaking as someone who just finished reading every scrap of fiction he wrote, this is the best H.P. Lovecraft-inspired game I've ever played.

What makes it so, more than any other bit, is the oft-praised insanity meter. Every time you see a monster, a little bit of you sanity goes away. Once it gets low enough, the game attempts to damage the player's sanity. Suddenly, the screen will go black with just the word "VIDEO" in the corner, as if the video signal was lost. In the soundtrack, you hear the sounds of your character being attacked and killed... only for everything to snap back to normal. Or, you'll enter room and realize you seem to be walking on the ceiling. Or, you'll go to save you progress only to have the game pretend to delete your save file. The insanity effects are very fun and there's a surprising number of them. I saw some new ones on this, my second time through. Nintendo even patented the idea.

Outside of the sanity stuff, it's a solid adventure / horror game. The combat is far better than anything in a Silent Hill or Resident Evil. You can target specific body parts if you choose, making it simply to chop zombie heads off. One complaint might be that the game is too easy, though some of the puzzles had me stumped for a while. On to Resident Evil 4 next!

Shaun of the Dead (2004) directed by Edgar Wright
The second zombie movie I got my wife to watch this season... with slow zombies, even! I hadn't seen this one since it was in theaters. Then, I thought it was OK, but wasn't laughing up a storm as others seemed to be. The second time around, it was much funnier. I gotta say, I was also impressed with the amount of realistic crying Simon Pegg does in this one. There's some real heart in the film amongst the dry British humor. (8/10)