Nintendo, the company known for the rotund Italian plumber, is not a company immediately associated with horror. Sure, there are plenty of Resident Evil games on the company’s consoles, but, overall, Nintendo usually wants to maintain its family-friendly image.
If one examines Nintendo’s catalog, however, a surprising number of horror games have graced several generations of their consoles. These range from traditionally styled fare to licensed games and first-person adventures. Even with their flaws, they are worth experiencing for the unique angles from which they approach the genre.
7/7 ObsCure: The Aftermath Is Far Too. . . You Know
When gamers think of the Wii, they probably think of Wii Sports or Super Mario Galaxy. They would be forgiven for not thinking of this lesser-known survival horror game. ObScure: The Aftermath is the follow-up to ObsCure, a horror game about a group of teenagers stuck inside Leafmore High as a darkness-spreading foe ravages the institution.
ObsCure: The Aftermath follows a couple of survivors from the previous game, as well as some new college students as they face a new threat brought about by a strange flower that turns those exposed to it into monsters. Not only does the game have more enemies to face, but it also explores how the characters choose to deal with the trauma from that fateful night in the previous game.
6/7 Geist Is An Out-Of-Body Experience
Created by the now-defunct N-space, Geist is certainly not a perfect game. It can be a bit clunky, especially when it comes to the first-person shooting segments. It is, however, an ambitious game for Nintendo’s otherwise kid-friendly purple lunch box, the Gamecube.
The gameplay takes place from the first-person perspective of John Raimi, who has his soul ripped from his body by the evil Volks Corporation. He explores the facility and solves puzzles by scaring humans and animals, which allows him to possess them. He can also possess inanimate objects in the environment to manipulate them for his own ends.
5/7 Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Puts The Camera In Wii U Owner’s Hands
The Fatal Frame franchise has been around in the west for some time but has never really been as popular as Resident Evil. Something more perplexing is that one Fatal Frame entry was a digital download-only game for Nintendo’s lowest-selling console beside the Virtual Boy, the Wii U.
The central mechanic of the Fatal Frame franchise is the Camera Obscura, which is used to combat ghosts by taking their picture. The Wii U gamepad can be used as the camera, and fumbling around with it to line up the shot adds a unique level of tension. The game also has a fun bonus in the form of alternate character costumes inspired by The Legend of Zelda and Metroid franchises.
4/7 Cursed Mountain Is A Mixed Blessing
Cursed Mountain on the Wii puts players in the climbing boots of a man searching for his brother in the Himalayas. As the adventure continues, plenty of supernatural entities will be showing up to give him a hard time.
The game’s mechanics and combat are inspired by Buddhist mythology. Enemies will have to be weakened using specific artifacts. The eerie abandoned villages are dripping with atmosphere, creating a one-of-a-kind horror experience. The fact that there is no quick-turn function makes the battles more of a challenge too.
3/7 Ghostbusters Makes Us Feel Good
Okay, this is not exactly a “horror” game, but it does have all the spooky charm of the Ghostbusters movies. It plays out as a sequel to the first two installments in the franchise, following the team’s latest recruit on another adventure of creepy spirits and supernatural hijinks.
While the game was released on all major platforms, the Wii version is a separate game developed by Red Fly Studio for the Wii and PS2. Instead of photorealistic visuals, it has an art style that will make fans of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon feel right at home. Using the Wii Remote to aim and fire the proton beam works well, and wailing ghosts around with motion controls is extremely satisfying.
2/7 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Is A New Approach To A Classic Horror Game
Konami hasn’t had the best track record with the Silent Hill franchise as of late, especially considering the cancellation of what was to be Hideo Kojima’s planned Silent Hills. Before then, Konami was letting third-party developers try their hand at the property. One such developer was Climax Studios, who created a full reimagining of the first Silent Hill game for the PS2, PSP, and the Wii.
Instead of the original foggy atmosphere of the original, however, this version of the titular town is a frozen wasteland. Also, protagonist Harry Mason has no means of self-defense, so he will have to evade and run from the ugly, fleshy creatures that pursue him. One of the big features of this game is the fact that environments and characters change based on one’s actions, both in the town and in the sessions with a counselor between segments.
1/7 Metroid Fusion Makes Samus Utterly Powerless
The Metroid franchise echoes classic sci-fi movies, including Alien. This is apparent in the design of the series’ main antagonist, which is modeled after the Xenomorph, and named after Alien director Ridley Scott. What’s more, the fourth mainline entry in the franchise, Metroid Fusion, perfectly captures the dread of the first Alien movie.
The fearsome SA-X takes on the form of a doppelgänger of Samus, except it is more powerful than her in every way. The only way to survive these encounters is to run and hide. The knowledge that the SA-X is somewhere on the space station makes the bounty hunter’s adventure incredibly tense, as the creature could be around the next corner.