Friday, August 04, 2006

did somebody say "zombies"?

It occurred to me the other day that, when it comes to storytelling in videogames, the most successful genre seems to be horror. I want to take up this topic again later, but for now I just want to note that the late, lamented Dreamcast featured a library that really couldn't've been more zombie-infested. Seriously. Practically every game that wasn't a racer, sports game, platformer, or fighter was a horror title with at least a spattering of zombies. Check it:

  • 3 Resident Evil titles
  • House of the Dead 2
  • 2 Alone in the Dark titles
  • Blue Stinger
  • Carrier
  • Illbleed
  • that Evil Dead game
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (more vampire than zombie, admittedly, but a lot of the lower-level vamps are essentially ghouls and at least zombie-esque)
  • Nightmare Creatures 2 (not just zombies, Rob Zombie!!)
  • Shadow Man
  • Typing of the Dead
  • Zombie Revenge (which, as PA argues, really is a good game that got a ton of misguided reviews).

Had I known that the Dreamcast was essentially a Zombie Adapter for my TV, I would've bought one years ago! As it is, I'm trying (hard!) to get caught up. I've been fairly busy reaving souls and, as mentioned, revenging zombies, and I'll get to Resident Evil in a while. For now, I'm still giggling over a moment from the first cutscene in Legacy of Kain.

Now, I love movies that include the title of the movie as a line of dialogue. I can't figure out why any movie wouldn't do this. So I'm starting off in the game, watching the awesome unfold. I'm a betrayed vampire lord, gotcha, resurrected by an Elder God to take revenge upon all remaining vampires, particularly my betrayer. So far, I'm stoked. The Elder God's got this plummy, rich voice, and he's really putting a lot of juice into the dialogue. Good stuff. Then he sez:

"I need you to go forth and reave souls."

I'm on the couch, going nuts. Glee! The Elder God goes on:

"I need you to become my...soul reaver."

I lose it.

This game is freaking awesome. I'm really hoping that, towards the end, somebody looks at the player character and says something like "Raziel, the Soul Reaver, is truly the Legacy of Kain".


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