Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to play something strange?
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Videoween
This is Videoween, this is Videoween
Microsoft screams ’cause they’re dead on sight
This is Videoween, press X to skip cutscenes
Honk or flap till the gardener gonna die of fright
It’s our town, everybody play
In this town of Videoween
I am the one falling out of my bed
Motorcycle’s fast and wild heart’s glowing red
I am the one giving you blank stares
Fallout 76 subs make you pull out your hair
This is Videoween, this is Videoween
Videoween! Videoween! Videoween! Videoween!
In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the Andy T
Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch) – Releases Oct. 31st
Despite being a launch title for the GameCube, we are only now getting a third entry in the series, and this is after the second game was sent to the slums of handheld (though it can be argued that the 3DS was a much more popular system than the Wii U, but you know what I mean). After being invited to a swanky hotel, your favorite Mario Bros. characters pack up their bags and head to this new standard in luxury lodgings. Little do they know that the hotel is teeming with ghosts and other spooky inhabitants, and Mario, Peach, and the toads are kidnapped, leaving just Luigi to save the day. Using Professor E. Gadd’s trusted Poltergust device, Luigi will suck, smash and goo(igi) his way through several floors of this haunted hotel, looking for his brother, the princess, and the others.
Afterparty (PC – Epic Games Store/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 29th, Switch version “coming soon”
After dying stupidly, two best friends must make their way through hell as they try and bring their souls back to the land of the living. Imagining Hell as a never ending frat party is a pretty ingenious idea, as I’d rather be anywhere else than have to spend eternity with a bunch of bros shouting at me and asking if I want to go to the next DMB concert. “BRO! DMB is sick!!! You ever heard Tripping Billies??! Fuck dude, it’ll change your life!!”
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Oct. 29th
The twenty-two year old Atelier JRPG series is releasing its twenty-first game, pfft, couldn’t release a title in 1999 or 2000? Lazy. You might be asking yourself, “How do I know this is a game in the Atelier series?“, well, aside it being in the title, the game prominently features alchemy, which if you have been playing these games means a whole lot, and if you’re like me and have never played one of these, well, it means absolutely nothing. Will I jump in on this entry? I don’t know, I guess.
Harvest Moon: Mad Dash (PS4/Switch) – Releases Oct. 29th
Taking some rather large cues from mobile games, the latest Harvest Moon title is not a slow farming simulator like you’d be used to. Instead it is similar in nature to a 2009 Nintendo DS game, Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming, a puzzle game that requires you to pick up crops and move them around before they get trampled. This is so far from anything I would expect to enjoy, but who knows, maybe it’s a hoot. Someone else can play it though, and tell me about it; and then I’ll buy it for $4.98 at Target when they put it on clearance.
Ports and Re-releases:
This is a big week for ports and re-releases, with the crux of the spooky titles coming from this section.
Disgaea 4 Complete Plus (PS4/Switch) – Releases Oct. 29th
Following on the heels of 2018’s Disgaea 1 Compelte, developer Nippon Ichi Software is doing the logical thing and skipping right to part 4 to make sure we all get the definitive edition of that title.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 29th
If you’re one of those adults that likes to go to Disneyland once a week, then you must be THRILLED at this news. I liked the Sega Genesis Aladdin game, that’s about it.
Resident Evil 5/Resident Evil 6 (Switch) – Releases Oct. 29th
Two horrifying games are making their way to Nintendo Switch just in time for Halloween. Want to make a kid cry? Make them play Resident Evil 6. STORY TIME! I was in Game Stop when RE6 was just about to come out and the sales clerk was trying so hard to get me to pre-order the game:
“Dude, you gotta pre-order Resident Evil 6, it’s going to be so tight!”
“Oh, no thanks. I haven’t even played part 5 yet”.
“Bro, that’s the best part; you don’t need to play part 5! Part 6 is totally stand alone, like all the Resident Evil games. You can just pick it up and play. Homie, I heard this game is the best in the series! Leon’s back! Dawg, come on, you can’t tell me it’s not gonna be sick to play as Leon again”.
“Yeah, that sounds pretty cool, but I think I’ve been hearing bad things about it; like it’s more action and less horror. I think I’ll skip it, but thanks though”.
“Dude, action is so sick! Like, I love scary games, but imagine if Silent Hill had machine guns? That’s what you’re getting with RE6!”
“No thank you”.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 29th
I guess I can throw away my Wii copy that I’ve never played.
Vampyr (Switch) – Releases Oct. 29th
I guess I can throw away my Xbox One copy that I’ve never played.
Yakuza 4 Remastered (PS4) – Releases Oct. 29th
They should have remastered Dead Souls for Halloween instead of this, but I’m still happy to have the fourth Yakuza title on my PS5.
Pinball FX3 – Williams Pinball: Universal Monsters (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 29th
Finally, some more spooky content; Zen Studios knows whats up. Featuring two classic pinball tables (re)recreated in the digital realm (these already existed for The Pinball Arcade); Monster Bash and, what I think is my all-time favorite table, Creature From The Black Lagoon 3-D. Both tables are unique spins on the classic monsters, with Monster Bash featuring your favorite Universal Monsters putting on a rock concert (not unlike their rock and roll revue that used to run at their theme parks), and Creature being more of a celebration of 1950’s drive-in movie theatres instead of the actual film. This table has great music, great sound effects/voices, and a wonderfully campy sensibility. Pinball FX3 is free to download on all modern consoles and PC, so I highly recommend giving it a try and then playing the free trials of these tables. You’re gonna have a great time!
- Duskdiver (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Oct. 29th
- Ghost Parade (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Oct. 31st
- The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature (PC) – Releases Oct. 31st
- Race With Ryan (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Nov. 1st
- Spirit of the North (PS4) – Releases Nov. 4th
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
Two games about dragons and a pinball table based on one of the most well-known horror/comedy icons of the 1980’s; let’s reminisce about the past!
Dragon Age: Origins (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Nov. 3rd, 2009: Wiki Link
Having tackled eastern mysticism in Jade Empire and sci-fi in Mass Effect, it was finally time for the team at BioWare to make an original high fantasy game. While not being strangers to the genre, having made a few games based in the D&D universe, BioWare had yet to make an original game done in this setting. Created by the company’s Edmonton branch (makers of Neverwinter Nights), there was a sense that the team wanted to make a title that was similar to their D&D titles, but different enough that it would (hopefully) set a new standard for fantasy role playing games. While they had seemed to perfect the morality system in Mass Effect, the team in Edmonton didn’t want things to be so black and white in the Dragon Age world. With your choices being more ambiguous, the morality of each was in the eye of the beholder, letting you determine what was good or bad. With this moral ambiguity, the team was able to tackle more mature themes in the writing, as well as more fleshed out romantic relationships. With a strong story, complex choices, and a fully fleshed out world, Dragon Age: Origins was a massive hit with both critics and players. While there were some who thought the story was a bit predictable, the large amount of side content, and non-linear style of play made the world feel massive and alive. With the first game being such a hit, BioWare got to work on a sequl, and unfortunately they didn’t let it bake long enough and it came out unfinished and bland, however, the second sequel, Dragon Age: Inquisition regarded as not just the best in the series, but perhaps one of the greatest video games ever made. A fourth title is in the works and is likely to be launched on next gen systems. On a personal level, I have completely skipped this franchise, as I felt that The Elder Scrolls series does this type of genre better (or is at least more along the lines of what appeals to me), and all three times I’ve tried to start this game I just end up getting bored. I have a copy for the ol’ Xbone, so maybe the fourth time’s the charm.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! (PlayStation) – Released Nov. 2nd, 1999: Wiki Link
The little purple dragon with ‘tude is back, but this time he’s got a new voice, SpongeBob himself, Tom Kenny. When you have a sequel to a hit game, what do you do? You go big with it! Some big updates included a mini-map, homeworlds, a gem radar, and hovering after flight. The plot of the second game was much bigger as well, with a stronger emphasis on story telling and cutscenes, with Spyro having much more dialogue and interactions with the other characters. Spyro 2 was a solid improvement over its predecessor and helped cement the little guy’s place in the video gaming world, with one more PSX title, and multiple releases over the last twenty years. Recently this game was remade as part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Fun fact, the subtitle of this game was Gateway To Glimmer in Europe and Australia, which is, um, interesting.
Elvira and the Party Monsters (Arcade) – Released Oct. 1989: Wiki Link
Cassandra Peterson is a woman of many talents. Gaining her first taste of showbiz at the age of 17 when she was a Las Vegas showgirl, Peterson would spend a good majority of the 1970’s in Europe and Italy as the lead singer of two rock & roll groups before being discovered by Federico Fellini. This would lead to her receiving a small role in his film Roma, which would then lead to roles in Diamonds Are Forever and The Working Girls. After moving back the to the U.S., Casandara joined the LA branch of The Groundlings where she would invent a “valley girl” character that would form the basis for Elvira. With 1950’s/60’s nostalgia in full effect in the early 1980’s, late night horror movie hosts were making a comeback, and a local LA station was looking to get in on it. Peterson auditioned and Elvira was born. She quickly gained notoriety for her satirical take on the vapid bombshell (and plunging neckline), and national attention was given to Peterson’s character. A major motion picture was made, Elvira was on all kinds of merchandise, and in fitting with her retro aesthetic, a pinball table was commissioned.
Developed by veteran designer Jim Patla, and newcomer Dennis Nordman, the table was a technological powerhouse of its day, being hailed as the best in show at the 1989 AMOA trade expo (that’s the Amusement & Music Operators Association). Elvira and the Party Monsters was also unique in that it was one of the, if not the very, first pinball table to cost fifty cents to play (it’s tagline was “Elvira is no cheap date“). When the machine launched in arcades it was not immediately well received. While I can’t find much information on why, my assumption is poor timing (Elvira was close to ten years old at this point), and of course the high price to play. As time went on, however, the machine started to pick up steam, perhaps it was due to Elvira nostalgia, or perhaps it was due to all pinball machines eventually catching up in price. In any case, as the popularity of the machine grew, a second machine was created, Scared Stiff, which was released in 1996. Two digital versions of the table were available, the first was for the Atari Lynx as a part of Pinball Jam. The second digital version was available for Farsight Studios’ The Pinball Arcade until July, 2018, when the Bally/Williams license was given to their competitor Zen Studios’ game Pinball FX3. As of this writing the title is not available, however Pinball Arcade owners who bought the table prior to its removal can still download and play the title. Here’s hoping we get a version for Pinball FX3, but honestly, if you really want to play this table you should try and find it in the wild.