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Masters of Horror: Hell Night (Dark Messiah)


The music in this game does wonders for making it scarier, too. It�s all extremely simple, almost to the point where it could be considered droning, but these songs play on your nerves with very simplistic, eerie sounds. It�s similar to Silent Hill in that the songs have strange sounds sprinkled throughout them, leaving me wondering if the creature was somewhere close by. Even though I knew for a fact that the creature always emitted the same growl as it moved through the game, those sounds still tricked my mind into thinking that something had to be getting close. In other areas it�s just really great at hammering home that sensation of loneliness and impending danger.

The music is important because the graphics look really dated. Unlike the SNES era, I find PS1 games just look awful when I see them these days, and beyond a couple of places Hell Night just doesn�t look that good. Its worst offense is that the monster just seems kind of goofy-looking up close. He looks like a robot out of an anime, and that took away some of the fear I might have felt otherwise. The locations also just look a lot like the hallways from every early first-person shooter. You probably know them well if you�ve ever played Wolfenstein 3D or Doom. There�s just lots of nonsense hallways that don�t serve any purpose or have any reason to them. They work as a playground to dodge around a monster, but they�re pretty uninspired and dull.

It doesn�t matter what the halls look like when that creature is dogging you, or when he appears in a heavily populated area that you thought was safe. Even when I was wandering alone, the game was still getting under my skin with its strange noises and unsettling music. When you�re worrying about whether your character is going to pass out from exhaustion or if you�re going to suddenly lose the most useful character in the game due to one wrong turn, the game still shines despite its age. It�s especially neat as an early entry in first-person horror for consoles and as a game that didn�t have any kind of release in North America, so if you�re looking for a new old horror game this would be a good one to grab.

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About JoelCoutureone of us since 11:26 PM on 05.27.2013

Contributing Editor for mashthosebuttons.com, destitute but determined fantasy novelist & short story writer at joelcouture.com. I wish I was paid for either of those jobs.

I love horror games. If you scare me, I will give you money. I also love terrible games, as it's a lot harder to make a game that's so bad it's hilarious than it is to make something that is just bad.

For some reason I'm not super clear on, I am obsessed with J. Jonah Jameson.