It's almost here again. Halloween. My favorite holiday of them all. This time of year, I tend to become a little obsessed with things that are dark, spooky, and/or macabre. I like to break out stories by Edgar Allan Poe, or watch movies by Tim Burton or John Carpenter (the original Halloween movie is one of my favorites). You get the idea.
I love the fact that Halloween falls right on the very last day of October. It basically gives me an excuse to spend the whole month getting in the mood and preparing for the big day. In addition to reading stories and watching movies, I also spend that time thinking about costumes and jack-o-lantern designs, and of course, playing video games. There has been an abundance of decent Halloween-related games over the years, going all the way back to Haunted House on the Atari 2600. I usually don't go back quite that far, but here is a list of some of the ones that I do like to play:
Steam is not the only one that has nice sales. I was able to get my hands on the second Costume Quest on the PS3 for $2 not long after it was released. I played the first one and it's DLC on the PC and I thought they were nice RPGs with a really simple combat system. I had some issues with the combat in the first game because I play most PC games with a mouse and keyboard combo. When you were in a fight you were prompted to execute key presses of shift, tab, spacebar, etc. So, when executing some attacks I accidentally left/closed the game a few times before giving up on the costumes that required those kind of keys. That made my choice easier to go the console route for the second one.
Let me give you some background story just in case you haven't played the original. Costume Quest is a turn based RPG that places you in the shoes of a Reynold, a regular kid, on a quest to save his twin sister, Wren, who was kidnapped because she looked like a giant candy in her Halloween costume. Since it's Halloween, everyone's wearing costumes and depending on which one you're wearing you'll have different abilities, in and outside of combat. I don't want to spoil the story so I'll leave it at that. Writing is top notch as it always is from the Double Fine folks.
In the second game you can choose whether you play as Reynold or Wren to save Halloween from an evil dentist, Mr. White. You'll be time traveling, like Doc and Marty, to the past and then back to the future in order to put an end to the dentist's plans. Combat has been changed. In order to make your attacks more powerful you'll have to correctly time your button presses. All costumes have the same timing mechanism, but their timing is different, so you'll have to get used to each of them. They've also added strengths and weaknesses to costumes and enemies Pokémon style. You can also use Creepy Treat Cards to spice up the combat with special effects.
This game can be played and enjoyed by adults and kids. My kids loved watching me play and then they took turns playing their own save files. It takes from 6 to 8 hours to finish, but I suggest you take your time with it. If you try to rush it you'll get quickly bored by the combat and the constant need of having to go to a fountain to heal your party.
One last thing, I may be getting old, but I think the text in this game is hard to read. They chose a font that's a bit weird and its size is too small for me to read it comfortably from the couch. I have a 32'' tv so that may be part of the issue. I'm seriously considering buying a larger tv because of the small text in games these days.