Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scary Game Review: Haunting Ground

Updated: 2/9/17 

Update Notes: I decided to delete some things from the original review. Keep in mind, I originally posted this in 2014 and your opinion on how things should be written can change quite a bit. In the original, I was trying to be funny and just came off as more annoying, so I decided to delete some of those bits. I still have yet to watch the entire game, but I am working on it, so expect a full review soon. 

(While writing this review, I couldn't help but to notice that there was a lot of perversion on my end, but if you saw the game, or played it, it would be hard for one not to notice the sometimes overbearing sexual nature of the game. I know sex and perversion can offend people, so yeah, this review is filled with it. If you don't like that, then you will not like this review. If you're a glutton for offending yourself, then by all means, proceed. If you'd rather be smart and just not deal with it, then turn back. You can't say, I didn't warn you.)

The Game: 

In 2005, Capcom released Haunting Ground for the Playstation 2. You play as Fiona Belli, who wakes up in a dungeon with a giant ogre like man cooking a meal. What is the meal, you may ask? Chicken Alfredo? Not exactly. This is a horror game, after all. Chicken Alfredo is not scary, it's delicious. That would be like Slenderman getting to you, static goes off, but instead of killing you, he takes you out to Chuck E' Cheese. On second thought, that sounds like a great idea. I love their pizza. Call me Slendy. We'll make plans for a trip to the one in Manchester. 

Anyway, you wake up, said ogre guy is cooking up some dead human parts in a deep fryer and you might think that could be Fiona in given time. She finds out that the cage she is locked in is actually unlocked, and manages to escape before the big guy comes back looking for a fresh second helping. You find another room where a lady brings you clothes. This is probably a good thing for Fiona, as the first ten minutes of the game she is busy holding a robe around her to not reveal herself. Good thing for her, bad thing for perverted people ... yes, like me. 

The weird lady she just met, whom brought the clothes, starts talking to a painting. She calls it master and says she will make the new guest comfortable. Fiona passes out soon after and when she awakens the lady is gone. She takes off the robe (nope, you don't see a thing), and someone is watching her through a peep hole, while moaning in favor. Fiona's weapon of choice should be a rape call or something. 

You eventually find a dog named Hewie, who acts like your protector during the game. Because you do not have any weapons to defend yourself, Hewie comes to your aid. 

Oh and this is the big guy who keeps on chasing Fiona...

Honestly, I just think he wants to take Fiona out to dinner. He tried cooking, but Fiona's dislike of cannibalism got in the way and he can't talk real good to ask her out, so ... I kind of feel for the guy! His name is Debilitas.


Also, meet Daniella. She is the one who was helpful enough to bring your clothing. She probably wants to kill you too. 

 Course, I would rather have Daniella chasing me than Debby ("big, ogre guy"). 

Interesting ... room service. Guy in the peep hole must be loving this right now! (Honestly, I think it's a glitch, but if not ... I honestly can't say I disprove.)

There is a bigger cast of antagonists and protagonists, but I'm going back to my rule of just letting any curious creatures figuring the rest of the game out themselves. 

I hate horror cliches, which is why I don't watch the movies or shows. Horror movies seem to have a check list: 

1. Hot chick, whom is smart. 
2. Hot chick, whom is stupid ... dies first. 
3. "Oh, I heard a noise. Gonna go investigate. What could go wrong?" Stupid, stupid, stupid. 
4. Random sex scene that doesn't further the plot at all. 
5. "So and so already did that!" Killing people the same way previous horror movies have get's old. How many movies can have a chainsaw or machete wielding maniac? 

Why is that some horror movies are basically softcore porn movies with no purpose, but to have tits and gore. But video games? No. Of course not. Video games would never think of being ... 

All ... about ... -gulp- ... tits and gore. Joking aside: this is one of the costumes Fiona can wear in the game, or, well, I wish anyway. Oh, go to Hell. I'm a lonely bastard! That is a good excuse, right?

Where am I going with this? Oh, right. Tits and gore. Yeah, where it's very repetitive and boring in horror movies, this game does quite fine with it. This game even has a bouncing mechanic for women's breast areas. Both the protagonist and antagonist are smart and let's be honest, evil can be sometimes sexy and Daniella does it quite well. Except for that weird laugh she has, I can live without that. 

But perversion aside, and that is one of my fondest qualities that people love about me, Haunting Ground didn't sell well, which confuses me. It has a really good story. But some hidden gems can be cult classics. I'd say that this game is one.

Though I said the game's story is really good, that doesn't mean it is without flaws. The voice acting, though really good to great in some areas, sometimes it seems like the voice actors are phoning it in. But even when it seems bad, I think they're just trying to sound creepy ... maybe trying a little too hard. 

I can say that the game has great graphics for being PlayStation 2 (I love PS2, but comparing it to graphics of today, they're less than par.) This game also has survival-horror elements and a hide to survive system. Basically you will see the words on your screen, "Wait a second! What's that?!" you will know there is a place to hide nearby when being pursued by an enemy. 

The game also made it on a few Youtubers top whatever best horror games. Though I haven't finished watching the game quite yet, I can see why people like this game. 

I'm going to end the review right here, because I don't know when I will ever finish it, and this review has been on the back burner for quite a while. Once I finish it, I will update this. I know there is a lot I have yet to discover, so when that day comes, there will be more to this. 

So far, just from a glance, I do think this game is worth checking out for both player and spectator. Check it out! 

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