Happy Halloween…..well sorta
Hello everyone Chaotic here bringing you a belated Halloween review. Now why even mention Halloween, well because it goes good with the game in question and that game is *drum roll*
This game is a blast, but before we get into all that let’s recap here. The Haunting was developed and Published by EA the release date being November 1993 on the Sega Mega Drive/ Genesis. What is unique about this game is that it took advantage of Sega’s Video Game Rating Council which allowed them to include various spooky themes and even the use of blood, thought it was rumored to be “goo” sorry “blood offended” people of America, but that stuff oozing out from under the carpet, yeah that is BLOOD.
Getting to the game I first need to mention the main character known as Polterguy, a rebellious dead teenager who kinda looks like a Punk-Rocker crossed the Zombie street and turned into a Poltergeist. This rambunctious teenager occupies the house of a rather strange rich family called the “Sardinis” that last name alone would drive to me poke my eyes with some candy corn (which I personally thing tastes horrible). It’s your task, as the ever so frightening teenager, to scare the underpants off of each family member by jumping into furniture, walls, pipes, toilets and other object and possessing them. You must scare all 4 members off the family out of the house to beat the game. Now this sounds pretty easy but here is the hook, you have something called an “ecto” meter, this meter gradually depletes with time, if it goes down all the way you are sent to the underworld. BUT each time you scare someone you can pick up pools of Ecto slime to recover some that you lost by just wandering around the house.
The funniest part of this game of course is possessing objects, the things EA came up with is amazing. From lip licking toilet seats to dart boards that turn into a bloody eyeball and even a chainsaw WHICH YOU CAN CONTROL but seeing as this is a family game you won’t see any decapitation. Apparently there are 400 objects in total that can be possessed to do your bidding. As mentioned before scaring people gets you more ecto, the more you scare the same person the bigger pools of ecto you get as you progress through the game the family later gets a dog which will bark at you which will also make you lose ecto. Once you are out of juice it’s down to a little mini game in the Underworld. Basically you run around from start to finish collecting ecto but while doing this you have to dodge steam vents, disembodied hands, bats and even bouncing skulls. Once you collected all the ecto pools you are sent back into the house but if you are hit too often by any of the enemies you will die and get the infamous Game Over screen.
The game could be considered as rather short since there are only 4 houses to visit but let me tell you this game gets pretty though. Scaring these folks at times is a real pain and what makes it worse is the Ecto beasts, weird burning skulls faces that steal the ecto you just earned and when they got it all they start attacking you thus stealing your ecto. These things can be killed but it’s easier said than done, let me tell ya.
This game also has a 2-player mode feature but this really isn’t a two player game. What basically happens is this. Player 1 starts, scares a few people, then his ecto meter runs out, thought luck, Player 2’s turn, he scares a few suckers then suddenly Oh no! his ecto meter is empty too. Time to go head to head in the underworld. Each player gets as much ecto pools as he can and the first to hit the finish spot will get the first turn back in the house. If one of the two players dies in the underworld the other player plays the game like the normal single player mode. I guess it’s kinda nifty but just swapping the controller between players makes more sense I’d say.
Back in 1993 this game was very popular, so popular in fact that EA included it on its EA replay pack for the PSP system along with a few other fantastic EA games back from the past like “Desert Strike, Jungle Strike, Mutant League Football, Road Rash 1 till 3, Syndicate and Wing Commander” to name a few.
Here are my thoughts on the game. Back as a kid I loved all the cool things you could do, all these different ways you could scare a person was just amazing. This game never really got old at all. It played great, the music added to the spookiness and the story was not important at all, just good ol’ clean fun. Now 12 years later I have this to say. This game is FANTASTIC! Looking back I am amazed how they got all these different ways to scare people in there. Its style of selecting certain things kind of reminds me of the Sims how you are able to basically use everything and the reactions on the Families faces still make me chuckle. The only thing that I could do without just like when I was a kid is Polterguy’s face in-between houses. I mean….look at the guy.
My last say on this game is try it out, you can’t go wrong with this classic.
Thanks like always for reading my review, comments are much appreciated and always welcome.