Tag Archives: Horror Games

My Case for Fatal Frame

Note: Banner taken from here.


I came up with the idea for these articles this week in a bit of a panic. When I got sick a few weeks ago and then slogged through the madness of Homecoming while still a bit under the weather, I realized that I neglected the page for two weeks. While not unusual for us around here, at least for the last year I made this page a priority. So, for Spooktober, a collection of articles about the old horror games I used to play. Therefore, I present my case for Fatal Frame.

As what, exactly? Well, let me answer that question with some more exposition. I wrote in my last article that Fatal Frame ranks as my favorite horror game ever made. So, maybe I just write one of my patented articles where I try to convince you that you need to like the game as much as I do. Because, honestly, what else makes sense at this point?

This Game is Scary

I told a story about how I played Silent Hill in surround sound and ambient sounds in the game creeped me out. Resident Evil made me jump more than once. But, only this game kept me on the edge of my seat through the entire game.

So, wait, let me get this right. Psychological massacre horror? One moment of scary? Zombies, a deep rooted fear from childhood? A couple of jump scares? But, a game about a camera that captures the souls of ghosts with a slightly punny title? That one gets your vote as truly scary.


Just sitting here and thinking about it. The creepy little ghost kids still give me chills.

The Game is Pretty

Those who come to the page often know that I don’t care much about graphics. I feel compelled (for some reason) to clarify that statement. It depends on the game. Mario? I want the stylized graphics of my youth. A world and story built on atmospheric horror? Give me the goods. This game came out on the PS2, which offered greater graphical capabilities than the PS1 and it showed. Sure, they smartly hid some of the limitations behind darkness and mist. But, even so, the ghosts came through enough to make them legitimately scary.

The Story is Solid

Granted, I don’t remember the entire story. But, I remember the relevant parts. You are tasked with releasing the souls of ghosts using a camera. I know. It sounds silly. And, I admit that when I first heard about the game I thought it might be a joke game. But, the game is no joke. I wanted to keep playing to understand more about these people I met in the afterlife. And the main story provided enough intrigue and suspense that I cared what happened and worked actively to undo the damage.

The Verdict

All of these years later, I haven’t played a horror game that affected me as much as Fatal Frame did. A student asked me again what my favorite video game was and I replied, without hesitation, “Portal 2.” Fatal Frame does much of what Portal 2 did right. It might just be in my top 5 games.

Noob’s History With Silent Hill


This year left me scrambling a bit. I kept current through the beginning of the year, but then a bout with (maybe) Covid plus homecoming threw me off my schedule. I finished the comics reviews for this month last week and then hastily crafted a plan for the rest of Spooktober, which may go into the first week of November. Oh well, time is relative. In any case, let’s start this trip with Noob’s history with Silent Hill.

As you know, Chris and I recorded last month. The recording came out less than ideal, but we enjoyed it so much that we planned for the rest of the year. Because I came up with the idea for Spooktober last year and more or less kept the page running for an entire year, I made the suggestion that we talk about horror themes in pop culture this month; video games, books, movies, and TV shows. We meant to record today, but that slipped my mind. Thursday, it is.

What’s the Deal with This Game?

Unlike Resident Evil, which dealt with my favorite horror sub genre of Zombies, or Fatal Frame, which brought my wife and I together as she watched while I played, I discovered Silent hill through other means. Way back in the ancient history of the internet, before social media algorithms threatened the very fabric of reality, you needed to search for things. As a result, many search engines populated the landscape. No Bing, but Google popped up pretty early. My engine of choice was Yahoo! until Google became the behemoth that we all know. There’s something to be said for algorithms.

I go to my grave arguing that Ask Jeeves is the best name and logo for a search engine.

Even with all those search engines, I still learned about gaming news from my favorite gaming page of the time. IGN. Now a meme, at the time, well it was a meme then, too. But, in addition, it was the go to page for entertainment for almost a decade. During one of my visits to the page, I saw an article about Silent Hill. A horror game based more in psychological scares? Sounds like my type of game.

Journey into Silent Hill

I Yahoo’d (doesn’t sound as natural as Googling) the game to get more information. Everything I found only solidified my desire to play the game. I rented it via Gamefly, and fired it up. At the time, I hooked my game systems to my surround sound and this game paid huge dividends. I have a core memory of hearing a sound go from the front speakers to the rear and it scared the daylights out of me.

I also remember my first encounter with Pyramid Head. He is the sword wielding boss of the game with a Pyramid as a head or covering his head. I’m not entirely sure which. Perhaps I should ask Jeeves. Then, just as abruptly, I have no additional memories of the game. I either played it just that once or only one or two more times and then never again.

The Verdict

Noob’s history with Silent Hill is shockingly short. Sometimes that happens. I don’t dislike the game, mind you. I simply never got into the game like I did Resident Evil or Fatal Frame. Sometimes the idea of something is better than the actual thing, if that makes sense. I still keep track of the new games. I consider picking one up every now and again. If that happens, keep an eye on the page for my thoughts.