Letter from the Editor
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Electronic Gamers magazine.
We aim to be a premier gaming magazine, especially of interest to older gamers and gamers who are interested in retro and classic gaming.
Everything we do has a retro-inspired twist to it, from news articles about the latest retrogaming related topics (sounds like an oxymoron, right?) to game reviews of newly released retro-related games, and tips and tricks for retro and classic games which are still easily playable today (think Nintendo Online, Rare Replay, or the Sega Genesis Classics Collection).
This magazine will be published digitally once a month and be complimented by supporting content on Gamatroid social channels in-between publications.
I hope you enjoy this first issue.
Street Fighter 35th Anniversary website
Capcom’s new site celebrates all things Street Fighter for its 35th anniversary, and allows fans to submit their fondest Street Fighter memories with a chance to be featured on the site.
Insignia is Developing OG Xbox Live Service
Playing games on an original OG Xbox in 2022 is still possible if playing locally or using system-link, but games that had a multiplayer mode powered by Xbox Live were out of luck…but not for long if Project Insignia has anything to say about it. This unofficial fan-built project is working on creating new servers to power the Xbox Live service for original Xbox. Get ready for some late night Halo 2 sessions once again!
Simpsons’ Waterworld Game Finally for Real
The fake Kevin Costner’s Waterworld game Milhouse plays for about 10 seconds in a 1997 episode of the Simpsons has been created in real life and is downloadable on Itch.io
Moonscars has a lot of potential but ultimately its issues with gameplay and timing of enemy attacks and parrying, along with its intense difficulty, hold it back from being one of the great Souls-likes. I was super excited by the trailers, and I’m glad I was able to try it on Gamepass, but I don’t plan on adding it to my library. If you like Souls games, and you have access to Gamepass, you should definitely give it a try, but I would recommend you try before you buy.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON
Moonscars utilizes dark, brooding pixel art that almost looks like a water color painting. Overall the look matches the mood of the game, but the graphics could be a tad sharper to bring out more beauty in the darkness. As it is, the graphics often look muddy and not well defined.
Moonscars’ audio and score certainly match the overall mood, but most of the “music” is very ambient in nature and won’t leave a strong impression on you. While certainly not bad it could have used a bolder score to support the overall atmosphere.
Moonscars’ has the beginnings of a great overall atmosphere, with dark visuals and audio, and handpainted horror-esque worlds that invoke memories of the darkest of souls games, but the opening cinema and overall story doesn’t do it any favors.
It starts out with “The Sculptor”, a god-like figure, talking to a cat (who apparently can kind-of talk) and speaking of clay figures and “Pristines” and it is all very opaque. It certainly doesn’t give the same kind of vibe as Souls-games opening cinemas (or even Souls clones like Blasphemous).
While everything looks nice enough, the strange overarching story doesn’t drive the player in the way you might desire.
Moonscars’ gameplay is rough. While all Souls-like games take time to learn the mechanics and can be brutally difficult, the best ones feel tough but fair, with death almost certainly being the player’s fault and each death leading to new discoveries and improved play.
Moonscars’ gameplay, however, is very tough and the timing of moves and parries feels a bit…off. It’s tough to describe, but the timing for enemy attacks and parrying those attacks is very precise but feels like it should happen a millisecond or two sooner or later than they do, and as a result, you get hit and fail parries more often than you should.
Between the timing and the overall difficulty of the enemies, you may die much more often than you would in most Souls-like games, and that feeling of learning to Git Gud doesn’t come in Moonscars like it does in most games of it’s type.
Even the most difficult games should be fun in their own right, but I found Moonscars to lack the kind of fun I would associate with most Souls-like games.
While the graphics and atmosphere are good enough, the gameplay and overall frustration with the timing really hold it back from being fun enough to motivate you to want to Git Gud and ultimately dominate the enemies in your path.
Prodeus is an awesome modern retro-inspired take on Doom and Quake that is one of the most surprisingly great games of the year so far.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON
Prodeus’ graphics need to be seen in action to get the full effect. It uses pixelized sprites for its enemies, just like Doom did back in the day, but there is more detail to them and a higher number of animations.
All the level textures have a pixelized quality to them as well, but with current gen lighting and atmospheric effects that ensure everything looks great. And then there’s the blood…lots of blood.
Prodeus almost looks like the Brutal Doom mod, with enemies spraying copious amounts of the red stuff whenever you get a kill. It’s truly awesome.
Prodeus’ sound and music are really great as well. The sound fx are exactly what you would want in a Doom-like, and the music alternates between ambient creepy deep tones but ramps up into heavy metal inspired rock when the action gets intense. Again, it’s exactly what you would want classic Doom to sound like if they were to remake it in 2020.
The overall look and feel of the game perfectly compliments the “space marine in hell” vibe that the game is going for, with the visuals, sound, lighting, environment design and enemy design all working together flawlessly.
The gameplay itself is reminiscent of classic Doom, but very tight and tweaked just enough to make it even more playable and feel like a modern FPS. After playing this game for hours the control feels like it fits perfectly and while there may be slight flaws it isn’t noticeable enough to detract from the experience.
If you loved classic Doom, and you’ve been looking for a modern take on it, THIS GAME IS SUPER FREAKING AWESOME. Just go buy it now.
Horror games have always held a special place in gaming, as its fans love a good scare / gross-out, and enjoy the interactivity and immersive quality of games in addition to movies and other media, but in the past, parents and critics made it difficult for horror games to truly thrive.
Throughout home console gaming history, scary games and outright horror games have come and gone as the larger political tolerance for violent gaming has ebbed and flowed over time. For example, the first generation of home gaming only had one spooky-styled game and throughout the NES and SNES eras, Japan tended to get a lot more scary / horror games than North America did.
For the past few console generations, however, gamers have been treated to more horror games than ever before, and have seen some of the best quality games ever created. So we thought it would be interesting to take a look at horror gaming over time and identify what the best games are by each console generation, as the context in which a game is made tends to contribute to its greatness. While a game made 30 years ago might not look particularly scary or gory by today’s standards, back in the day it was we had, and we loved it.
So without further ado, Electronic Gamers presents…
THE GREATEST HORROR GAMES OF ALL TIME
(Magnavox Odyssey, Atari Pong, Telstar)
-BEST (and only)-
(Magnavox Odyssey – 1972)
The first spooky home console game, Haunted House, was one of 12 pack-in games that came with the Odyssey.
Players control either “The Detective” or “The Ghost”, which are essentially just squares of light behind a physical plastic onscreen overlay, gamers had to place on their TV screen, which was held in place with static electricity. The goal of the game is for the Detective to find all the clues before the Ghost catches him.
While not exactly Resident Evil, this game was the only spooky game to be released during the first console generation, and by default that makes it the best. Of course it also helped pave the way for more spooky games in later console generations.
(Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision)
(Atari 2600 – 1983)
While the second console generation had a few different horror games, the one that came closest to delivering a true horror movie experience was Halloween.
You play as a babysitter trying to protect the children from the murderous Michael Myers. Safely escort the children to the safe zones and you score points, fail and Michael will surely have your head (or the childrens’), complete with gushing blood.
Occasionally you may happen upon a knife that can be used to momentary fend off Michael’s horrible blood lust, but he doesn’t stay away for long.
Complete with the movie’s iconic theme music, Halloween for Atari is gory, scary and completely awesome for its time.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Atari 2600)
- Dracula (Intellivision)
(NES, SEGA Master System, Atari 7800)
Friday the 13th
(NES – 1989)
Friday the 13th for NES was one of the few games that successfully combined horror themes with gameplay that actually filled the player with dread, and was the best horror game of its generation, released in North America.
The NES console generation had a surprising amount of horror/scary games compared to the generations immediately before and after it, but most of the better games were only released in Japan.
While games like Nightmare on Elm Street certainly used horror themed levels and enemies, the gameplay itself wasn’t scary for the player. Friday the 13th, however, was able to combine themes from the movies, with gameplay that was actually scary for its time.
As a kid I found the music in each house you enter to be especially eerie and when you saw Jason’s health bar in a house, you knew you weren’t going to escape without a fight (and before you learn to successfully fight Jason, there was a chance you weren’t going to make it out at all).
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Sweet Home (Famicom-Japan only)
- Uninvited (NES)
- Chiller (NES)
(Turbografx-16, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo)
(Turbografx 16 – 1990)
Compared to the number of excellent horror games released for the NES generation, the SNES/Genesis generation saw a slight decline, relative to the number of total games and consoles at the time. This is possibly due to the increased regulatory scrutiny on the industry, and the focus on violence in video games prompted by the sensation created by Mortal Kombat.
Despite the decline, Splatterhouse for the Turbografx-16 did its best to keep the horror vibes flowing. Starting as an arcade game, it was ported to the Turbografx-16 in 1990. While it was an excellent port overall, it did have several changes from the arcade game to tone down the violence a bit and change the mask of the main character from white to red (seemingly to limit comparisons to a certain other white masked murdering maniac from Friday the 13th).
While the Sega Genesis received two exclusive sequels to Splatterhouse, the original game was exclusive to the Turbografx-16, and one of the better games on the console.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Night Trap (Sega CD)
- Splatterhouse 2 (Sega Genesis)
- Clock Tower (Super Famicom-Japan Only)
(SEGA Saturn, Playstation, Nintendo 64)
(PlayStation – 1999)
While Resident Evil came first, and was certainly revolutionary in its own right, it was Silent Hill that proved video game horror could truly terrify and provide a different but equally impactful experience as movies and other media.
The original PlayStation console generation was revolutionary in bringing true 3D polygon-based games to the masses, and with it came a slew of scary games, but Silent Hill truly stood above the rest.
From its super foggy atmosphere that obscured the player’s vision, allowing monsters an added element of surprise, to its terrifying ambient background music and frequent radio static (indicating a monster was nearby – but not its exact position), to its high level of gore and an overall feeling of helplessness…Silent Hill provided horror and terror like no other game at the time.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Resident Evil (PS1, Sega Saturn)
- D (PS1, Sega Saturn)
- Clock Tower (PS1)
(SEGA Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Silent Hill 2
(PlayStation 2 – 2001)
While Silent Hill is the greatest horror game of the PS1 generation, Silent Hill 2 is considered by some to be one of the greatest games of all time, period, for any generation.
Silent Hill 2 tells the story of James Sunderland who returns to Silent Hill after he receives a letter from his dead wife, Mary, telling him that she is waiting for him there. James and Mary used to visit Silent Hill back in the day, seemingly before it turned into the hellscape it has become when James visits in the game.
Silent Hill 2 had more of a focus on narrative and tension building than the pure horror of the first game, which led to some criticism at the time, but has since been truly appreciated for its excellent narrative construction.
Konami just recently announced a full remake of Silent Hill 2, by the creators of Layers of Fear, which will be exclusive to PlayStation 5 and give a chance for a whole new generation to experience it for the first time.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly Director’s Cut (Xbox)
- Resident Evil (GameCube – 2002)
- Rule of Rose (PS2 – 2006)
(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)
Condemned: Criminal Origins
(Xbox 360 – 2005)
Condemned: Criminal Origins was a great surprise for horror fans when it was released for the Xbox 360 in 2005. Developed by Monolith Productions (F.E.A.R., Shadow of Mordor) and produced by Sega, Condemned first looks like it should be a fairly standard FPS with a crime drama background, but what players got was a creepy atmospheric horror game where you play an FBI agent, but things quickly take a turn for the worse.
A lot of the combat in Condemned is melee-based, and focus on you blocking attacks and counterattacking. Ammo is fairly scarce and most of the weapons you use are found in the environment, like boards with nails, pipes ripped from walls and rebar that has a chunk of concrete still attached to it. The enemies can do significant damage to you if you aren’t careful and also like to sneak up and attack you from behind while you are fighting someone else.
Between the creepy atmosphere, supernatural elements and impressive graphics (for the time) Condemned was the best horror game of its generation.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Saw (Xbox 360, PS3)
- Silent Hill Shattered Memories (Wii)
- Siren Blood Curse (PS3)
(PS4, Xbox One, Wii-U, Switch)
(PlayStation 4 – 2014)
P.T. is widely considered to be one of the greatest horror games of all time, even though it was presented to be a playable teaser for an upcoming Silent Hill game that was never released.
P.T. opens with the player regaining consciousness in a dark room lying on a concrete floor. As you are attempting to stand up, you see the door in front of you open slightly, as if to beckon you to go through it. When you finally stand you see the door is illuminated by a single light above it, but the rest of the room is dark and generally you can’t see anything (unless you adjust the brightness settings).
Upon going through the door you are presented with a simply hallway in a common residential house. You can hear a radio broadcast in the distance, but you can’t make out what it’s saying at first. Nothing in the house looks immediately creepy, but you may notice bottles of alcohol on the floor. When you get closer to the radio you can hear the broadcast is talking about a murder where a father killed his family and claimed it was caused by supernatural forces. This is really your first clue that something isn’t right.
When your character enters the door at the end of the hallway, you find yourself right back at the beginning of the previous hallway, in a sort of time loop. Sometimes you find the door at the other end locked and you have to solve a puzzle before you can loop again, but other times you can continually loop and loop and loop, almost endlessly, if you don’t find a solution to whatever puzzle is currently in play. In the meantime you have a killer ghost taunting and chasing you.
The atmosphere can get incredibly creepy and the puzzles can be extremely obtuse and difficult to solve. If you don’t use a walkthrough, you can expect to spend several hours looping in that hallway being massively creeped out. If the ghost “catches you” its game over and you start back in the original room you started in, but you enter the last loop you were in, so you don’t have to worry about losing progress.
One thing that makes P.T. so impressive and effective is its simplicity. Most of the gameplay exists within a single looping hallway, with very few items to physically interact with. The player mostly can only walk through the environment and zoom in on items of interest. Sometimes zooming in on an item will trigger an event, but most times it won’t, and the game doesn’t tell you whether the item you’re zooming in on will ever trigger an event or not. There is no health bar, no items, no written objectives and no restarting.
If you look up P.T. on YouTube you will find some videos postulating the hidden messages Hideo Kojima left in the game, giving enhanced meaning to the overall story and purpose of P.T. While I won’t spoil any of that here, I highly recommend you check it out after you’ve gotten a chance to either play P.T. yourself or at least watch a no-commentary playthrough, like the one linked at the beginning of this section.
While there were other very impressive horror games released during this generation, P.T.’s unique approach is still unmatched by any other game to this day.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Outlast (Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
- Resident Evil 7 (Xbox One, PS4)
- Until Dawn (PS4)
- Layers of Fear (Xbox One, PS4)
- Visage (Xbox One, PS4)
(PS5, XBOX Series S/X)
-BEST (so far)-
(Xbox Series X and PLaystation 5 – 2022)
Full Walktrhough by SHN on Youtube
The current generation of horror games is off to a really great start, but of all the games released MADiSON is seemingly the best so far at true horror.
Horror is more than just gore and it’s more than just fear; horror is a unique combination of both gore and fear to create a special kind of tension for the viewer, and it’s this unique tension that MADiSON excels at.
Since MADiSON is a new game I won’t go any further, as I wouldn’t want to spoil it, but if you want to see it in action you can watch the full playthrough referenced above by the Survival Horror Network on YouTube. They make some great videos and you can see walkthroughs of many of the other games mentioned here as well.
If you are a horror fan you should definitely give MADiSON a try.
– HONORABLE MENTIONS –
- Martha is Dead
- The Quarry
CAREFULLY SELECTED gaming tips, tricks and cheats to GIVE YOU THE BEST advantage over your foes IN SOME OF THE MOST LEGENDARY GAMES OF ALL TIME
Start with Extra Lives
Castlevania III is one of the toughest games on NES and you’re going to need all the help you can get. Enter “HELP ME” as your name and start with ten lives instead of two.
Hidden Continue Mode
If you’ve been itching to defeat the Black Warriors and avenge Marian again (or for the first time), but you need some help against the forces of evil, use the following codes to enable continue mode at the Game Over screen:
Stages 2-3: 🔼▶️🔽◀️🅰️🅱️
Stages 4-6: 🔼🔽◀️▶️🅱️🅰️🅰️
Stages 7-9: 🅰️🅰️🅱️🅱️🔽🔼▶️◀️ (on player two’s controller-make sure you have a second controller active)
Hidden Level Select Menu
Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts is arguably one of the best games on SNES, but it can be brutally difficult. Even the odds a bit by going to the option screen and highlighting ”Exit” using player one’s controller, then while holding ◀️+[Start] on player two’s controller, pressing [Start] on player one’s controller. Now you can start on any level you want. Happy hunting!
Hidden Cheat Menu
When Zeus calls you to “wise from your gwave” to rescue his daughter, you know you have your work cut out for you. Make it easier on yourself by holding 🅱️ and pressing [Start] at the tile screen to open the Cheat Menu. Now you can select your starting Round, adjust the difficulty, adjust your starting health and adjust your starting number of lives. Just make sure to hold 🅰️ and press [Start] at the tile screen if you selected a different Round, otherwise you’ll start at Round 1.
Most of the cheats in the Cowabunga Collection can be accessed via the Enhancements menus on the game select screen, but not all of them. For Fall of the Foot Clan’s Stage Select screen you need to enter the Konami code on the game’s title screen: 🔼 🔼 🔽 🔽 ◀️ ▶️ ◀️ ▶️ 🅱️ 🅰️ [Start]
Thanks for checking out our inaugural issue of Electronic Gamers. We hope you enjoyed this content and we have lots of ideas for future features and new sections for the magazine, but we’d love to hear from you too. Help us grow Electronic Gamers into a premier gaming magazine for you.
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