Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Oct 312014

Happy Halloween, everyone! Not only is today Halloween and the culmination of this year’s Celebrating All Things Spooky, it also marks the end of my Pokemon giveaway and the last day before NaNoWriMo!

So fellow video game fans, what are you going to play today in honor of Halloween? Here’s my list…

Fatal Frame

First 3 Fatal Frame games

Yep, at long last, I’ve finally started the original Fatal Frame. You know I love my survival horror games, and so far, Fatal Frame is no exception. I also love ghost stories, so it’s a perfect match, especially with all of the ghost stuff I’ve been talking about lately for my class.

I started Fatal Frame in honor of the Halloween season. What better time to try out a new survival horror game, right? And while we play, we can hope for localization news about Fatal Frame V

Batman: Arkham City

I know what you’re thinking. Have I gone crazy or something? Batman: Arkham City is fun, but it’s no horror game. Heck, Scarecrow isn’t even in it!

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you play Arkham City for the scares, although it does have some dark moments. Rather, if you’re like me and just played Arkham City within the last year, you haven’t gone to see Calendar Man on each of his special days yet!

Well, today’s one of them. I’m off to see what gruesome story Calendar Man has to tell me in honor of Halloween, and then I’ll be marking my calendar for the next holiday on his list (Thanksgiving?) so I can visit him then.

…I don’t actually mark my calendar. My memory is good enough to keep track of one day a month I have to fire up Arkham City.

Bayonetta/Bayonetta 2

Maybe this one’s a stretch. Bayonetta isn’t a horror game, and it doesn’t really have scary themes, either. But think of it this way–after candy, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns, what do people associate with Halloween? Witches! And what is Bayonetta? A witch!

Besides that, Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 just came out together for the Wii U, and they’ve been receiving stellar reviews. I couldn’t stand seeing all those 9/10, 10/10 reviews for a game sitting in my backlog (also known as the place video games go to die) anymore, and I started it up this morning!

So far, it’s a lot of fun. I’m a little uncomfortable with all the religious elements, and fighting angels and whatnot, but I’m willing to stick it out for the fun gameplay and give its crazy lore a chance. It’s not like it takes itself too seriously… and I can’t make a solid argument that it’s anti-Christian when it starts out talking about Umbran Witches and Lumen Sages and kinds of other fictional things.

Plus, I’m happy knowing I’ve helped Operation Platinum!

Alien: Isolation


Yes, again! I can’t praise Alien: Isolation enough, and not only because it’s terrifying. This is the kind of survival horror game we don’t see enough of these days. Even though my progress through it has been almost painfully slow, I’ve loved every minute of it so far.

Its structure, mechanics, atmosphere, and scares work masterfully, and I just wish I had more time to sit down and play it. Today looks like the perfect day to celebrate horror by scaring myself some more.

And maybe, just maybe, if I find myself in the mood, I’ll once again return to the one horror game I just can’t beat

Those are the videos games I’ve lined up for this Halloween–what about you?

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Oct 292014
Cover art for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Pokemon is an incredibly popular series. My personal favorites are SoulSilver, which got me back into the series after my long hiatus, and White, which I consider to have the best Pokemon story. I’m uncertain about Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as they’re remakes of the generation that stands out in my memory as my least favorite. However, it was during the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald generation that I became convinced I was too old for Pokemon, so maybe it’s just that.

Last week, I received a code for the Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire demo. I downloaded it and played it. As a Pokemon demo, I didn’t like it a lot. It’s split up into tiny missions that give you rewards to transfer to your main game. It wasn’t the cohesive experience I expect from Pokemon. On the other hand, it has solid Pokemon gameplay mechanics and some great new features.

Today, I received another OR/AS demo code. I don’t need two, so I’m offering it to you, as Pokemon joins our celebration of Halloween and all things spooky.

Creepy Ghost Pokemon Yamask

Sure, Pokemon is cute and child friendly, but that doesn’t exclude it from spookiness. Ghosts, haunted houses, and some downright terrifying Pokedex entries add darkness to this otherwise lighthearted series. One of my favorites is Yamask, a Ghost-Type Pokemon with this cheerful Pokedex entry:

Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.

What?? That mask is holding is a human face? Yamask used to be human? This dead-human-turned-Pokemon cries over the face it’s carrying around? We’re approaching Lisa Trevor levels of creepy here…

And the games themselves sometimes get a little darker than expected, like a notable moment in Pokemon Platinum that actually made me jump.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment telling me your most memorable scary/disturbing moment from a Pokemon game, and you’ll be entered to win this Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire demo code! (Note, the codes are region-locked, so only enter if you’ll be able to use a US demo code.)

If you just want to comment without entering the giveaway, say so when you post.

Tweet a link to this article using the hashtag #AllThingsSpooky for additional entries.

A winner will be randomly chosen from all entries on Halloween! See you then!

Happy Halloween–a winner has been selected and the contest is over!

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Oct 272014

Yep, it’s almost NaNoWriMo, the time of year when writers around the world progressively lose their minds as they attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Last year, I decided to write 50,000 words worth of short horror stories, but this year I’m back to working on a full novel.

But I didn’t want my new novel idea to conflict with my thesis novel for Seton Hill, so I decided to push ahead and finish the first draft of Penteract of Blood by the end of October. That’s why this month has been full of Writing Quest Tweets from me.

I feel a bit like I started a mini-NaNoWriMo at such a time that I’ll have a couple of hours to recover from it before the real NaNoWriMo begins. (Remember when this site used to be called Words of a Mad Author? This is why!)

I only have a couple of chapters left to write.

And I only have until Friday.

Here we are in the final stretch before November–it’s time to bring this horror/fantasy/dark fantasy epic about not-vampires to a temporary conclusion before I furiously attack it with revisions next semester! I WILL succeed, even if it means I don’t get any sleep… much like a character I wrote about.

Any of you have a writing goal you’re trying to complete in time for NaNoWriMo? Share your woes and successes with me in the comments below.


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