Jimquisition: Scare Tactics

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The episode reminded me of when I was playing STALKER SoC yesterday, and I was doing the part with the Brain Scorcher.
I'm not sure whether it was scripted or not, but it just so happened to be night time, but there was a thunderstorm out. Nonetheless, the Scorcher.
Basically, the screen gets static, sounds are muffled, and you start seeing things. And when I mean seeing things, it's mirages of beasts that attack your mental life--rendering your vision (and sanity) frayed. You gotta shoot them in order to make them disappear, but my silenced weapons were running low on ammo. Therefore, I had to use normal guns, alerting everyone in the complex to my location. And it's not enough that Monolith has a couple crack-shot snipers on your ass...
Nonetheless, Lab x-10 beneath the scorcher also held its fear. Being knowledgeable, I knew there was going to be Bloodsuckers (Invisible mutants that 2-shot you), all I needed to do was lure them to me so I could kill them. Running through the halls, waiting for that blood curling scream was a real horrifying experience.
Also, after getting lost, I read on the Wiki that there were 4 Bloodsuckers in the lab. I only found 3.
Where is the last one Right behind you.

Massive thank you to everybody who enjoyed my Scarecrow performance on Jimquisition today. He's my favorite comic book character so it meant a lot to me to do him even a vague sense of justice. One person said it was his second favorite version after Arkham Asylum's, which is a massive honor.

So yeah, quite happy this day! :D

Hate jump scares. What scares is the noise, that's cheating.

Dear crap man, you're already 300 pounds, you don't need to fucking eat the scenery.

Hmm..Did Jim call out Yahtzee with this one?

I think we need some artificial drama on the Escapist and have Yahtzee and Jim Sterling engage in a melodramatic slap-fight that only serves to massage their egos!

Actually, no that would be stupid.

I find Doom 3 a funny examples, the jump scares came so often that you could predict when and where an enemy was going to pop out after a while. That kind of undermines the 'scare' part when you know when and where they are likely to happen. Jump scares are good... I think DS1 and DS2 did pretty good jobs with it, but jump scares when done too often, and I didn't say predictable, but too often will simply lose their impact.

I hate all jump scares that involve an incredibly loud noise too. Hurts my ears more than it frightens me.

<3 the Scarecrow rendition too!

Kinectnaughts was pretty scary
If that ever happens people will die

Here's the thing....

Jump scares are usually easy to prepare yourself for. Especially in a shooty game.

As much as Dead Space 1 was a GREAT game, and is actually worthy (IMO) of being called a survival horror game, I was only scared by it twice. The first time involved me keeping an eye on a corpse in the morgue that (Being the genry savvy gamer I am) I was sure was going to come to life...only to get sneak attacked from behind (after which I wasn't taken by surprise again because I would occasionally check behind me once in a while). And the second time was when the first "speed demon" thing came screaming around the corner incredibly fast, and I was like "HOLYSHITWHATISTHATHOWDOIKILLITDIEDIEDIE".

Now, I'm willing to give Dead Space a pass, because it at least TRIED to have good atmosphere, and although I switched to my "expect and counter all incoming ambushes" mindset almost immediately, it kept trying to unsettle me. It failed, but it made such a good effort that I give it a pass. It was a great game, and it at least kept me stressed, on my toes, and properly paranoid at all times.

Maybe it's my fault I wasn't scared at all because of the "hyper focused, paranoid, expect all ambushes and counter them" mindset I developed and immediately find myself slipping into whenever I play a horror game. Then again that's the only reason I can even PLAY horror games. I used to be a total wuss and would not be able to SLEEP after playing the RE1 remake for a half hour at a friend's place. Without that mindset...I wouldn't be able to play scary games AT ALL. The only thing that can crack it is to pull the silent hill style "make the player doubt everything" thing and REALLY build up the tension until I'm thinking "DAMMIT SOMETHING ANYTHING ATTACK ME I NEED TO RELEASE MY PENT UP REFLEXES" and then hit me.

Or, you make me ridiculously vulnerable.

I STILL am not able to play Amnesia or Slender.

Some great ideas for that nightmare montage at the end.

malestrithe:
Sorry to disprove your stereotype of me, but I have already done that. It still was not scary.

Hate to break it to you, but when you know where the scares are, you are prepared for them.

You may find it scary and that's good on you. But I don't. It does not matter how I play it.

I don't believe you, sorry.

The scares will wear off because obviously it's a video game. You can only go so far playing a game over and be surprised by what it throws at you. The same goes for any book, movie or any other medium that attempts to create fear.

Just the same, I like Dead Space, and for more than just the attempted jump scares, successful or not. If that's the only value you put on a video game, then word of advice; it might sound thrilling, but hanging yourself from a doorknob while having a wank isn't worth it. I learned this in college. Trust me.

*Laugh* I'm just joshing you. Seriously though. You could pop a blood vessel in your head.

I was disappointed by the lack of a jump scare in the episode. :(

there were so many moments that would have BAHHHAHAH! but nothing.

I disagree on how jump-scares work, if the closet is promised to scare you, you won't be as scared when it happens, you'll ready yourself. Inversely, if the monster jumps out of the floor behind you after you open the closet, then you will jump out of your skin due to how unexpected it comes out. Some people do get scared from Jack in the Box tactics, but others ready themselves in that time and the fear falls flat.

EDIT: that Scarecrow costume is simply awesome by the way

I love Dead Space but I can't agree with that example, I get the core of Jim's argument but honestly I don't think Dead Space applies. It takes all of ten minutes once you have arrived on the Ishimura and have just started to ask questions 'where is everyone' and 'sure looks like they packed up in a hurry' before you are suddenly mobbed by Necromorphs. Your marine support gets butchered and you are forced to flee without weapons while getting attacked. I mean okay it is very effective but also not what I'd call subtle.
And after that, once you have the plasma cutter, there just isn't really a sense of threat anymore. The monsters presence is always announced by loud orchestral shrieks and their signature guttaral scream as they lurch towards you. After a while the jump scares become far too predictable and even kind of annoying in a 'fuck off and leave me alone' kind of way.

I agree with the rest of the examples but I don't think Dead Space has the whole tense atmosphere thing going for it.

As for games that made me scared, I gotta be honest here, the level Sacred Icon in Halo 2 creeped me out a fair bit if anyone remembers. You were the mighty and sexy Arbiter and you were looking for the sacred Icon in a forerunner facility and for almost the first hour you are completely alone. There is no music, hardly any sound, just you walking around in empty corridors with things floating around. You search for a piston that allows you to go a level lower whereupon you descend into the dark tunnel while the music becomes increasingly haunting.
You fight the occassional sentinel and eventually you find allies in the form of Jackals and Grunts which should ease the tension and lonliness but really only serve to increase it because for starters they don't speak english, Grunts only have a limited capacity to speak english and Jackals don't at all so you still feel alone. Second they die incredibly easily so at any moment your little team can be wiped out. Eventually you come across the flood and your rag tag group of Jackals and Grunts either die or abandon you and then you are alone again, descending deeper and deeper into the now flood infested territory.

It put me on the edge of my seat, I gotta say. Not quite so terrifying as the thought of Kinectonauts but still...

You're going to have to work a lot harder than that to scare me Jim. ...er Scarecrow.

Eh, I disagree. The fact that they're predicable and we know they'll happen is why some of us don't like them and aren't scared by them. I'd say it's much more scary to tease that'll happen, then not do it. Keeping things tense and unpredictable. "Wait, this should be a jump-scare. Why isn't there one? There has to be... if the monster isn't there, where is it? Is it behind me? Following me? Watching me? Waiting for the perfect moment to strike?"

Jump scares could be an effective tool, if used sparingly. But use them too much, like Dead Space and Doom 3, and they just lose their scare factor.

Good work Jim. I really enjoyed this video. I was sort of expecting you to utilize a jump scare yourself during the shot of the stairs as you went on and on and why they are scary. Missed opportunity, but maybe next year.

SnakeoilSage:

I don't believe you, sorry.

The scares will wear off because obviously it's a video game. You can only go so far playing a game over and be surprised by what it throws at you. The same goes for any book, movie or any other medium that attempts to create fear.

Just the same, I like Dead Space, and for more than just the attempted jump scares, successful or not. If that's the only value you put on a video game, then word of advice; it might sound thrilling, but hanging yourself from a doorknob while having a wank isn't worth it. I learned this in college. Trust me.

*Laugh* I'm just joshing you. Seriously though. You could pop a blood vessel in your head.

You don't have to believe me. I'm telling you what I did. I played the game several times with weapons and without. Sorry, but it was not scary.

I do not play games to be scared. I play games to escape from reality for a time. Maybe it's just me, but when play a horror game, I expect it to scare me at least once. None of the Dead Space games ever did. It relied on too many jump scares and it killed any sense of horror for me.

As a fan of horror movies myself, I have seen more horror movies than most people have. When you've seen as many as I have, I tend to know where and when things are going to happen. I do not watch anything that is meant to disturb. I have not seen A Serbian Film, or anything of the sort because I don't like disturbing horror films. I'm a fan of less is more horror movies, like the original Texas Cainsaw Massacre or Halloween.

Hmmm I just realized Jim would make a great starscream/chris latta impersonator. Yes, that fascinating fact was embedded in my mind the entire review and will continue to do so the rest of the day... man i am such a nerd

Yeah, except for one thing there, Jimbo...

Doom ISN'T A HORROR GAME FRANCHISE. Doom 3 should have been THIS. V

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHZJ0de_I4Q

If they wanted to do a horror game, they should have just made a new IP. So yes, I will call it a bad game because it didn't do what it was supposed to be doing. Nevertheless, it's definitely not a horrible game by any stretch. It just went in the wrong direction.

Dude, that moon is legit frightening now thanks to BEN

Before I watch... I'm gonna guess from the description that this is about.... jump scares.... *watches first minute* OH GOODY JIM IS A SCARECROW FAN *SQUEEEEEE* Anyways, yep. Jump scares. Pretty much as with all tropes, it's not an inherently bad thing to use them, but you have to know HOW to use them. More often than not, the best way to make jump scares scary.... is to not have them. The fear of knowing they're just around the corner is far scarier than actually seeing them happen.... because we EXPECT them to happen. So they don't scare us. It's when they don't happen and we stop expecting them to happen that *BOO* FUCKING CUNTING CHRIST!

Kane and Lynch III: Drug Gun Gun Drugs

THERE IS NO GAME ONLY SCARECROW.

... Whelp, I'm gonna go hide under the bed now.

Jim mentioned Jack in the Boxes. That actually makes a lot of sense. Games like Slender and the one he showed with the endless staircase seem like modern extensions of Jack in the Boxes. Interaction, but the point is you will jump and you know the jump scare is coming.

Arnoxthe1:
So yes, I will call it a bad game because it didn't do what it was supposed to be doing. Nevertheless, it's definitely not a horrible game by any stretch. It just went in the wrong direction.

Not doing what you want it to do is not the same thing as not doing what it was supposed to be doing. It wanted to be horror. It achieved it. It was a good game.

O maestre:
Hmmm I just realized Jim would make a great starscream/chris latta impersonator. Yes, that fascinating fact was embedded in my mind the entire review and will continue to do so the rest of the day... man i am such a nerd

I've actually done him a little bit.

http://youtu.be/8er83h9Bbn8

I wasn't the main Starscream voice. I was the voice of his spark at the end.

Akalabeth:
Yeah for Doom 3. Though he failed to mention the bit in hell, that had some well-crafted openings that I'll always remember.

that and the praelanthor ruins in both DOom 3 and Resurrection of Evil were badass looking
so much so that I now wish they made an RPG where you could explore them XD
speaking of it, many people say that one of the main reasons that Doom 3 isn't scary is because you're always packing high power weaponry
I personally think that those weapons help a lot, since the 3 most powerful weapons* (BFG, Rocket Launcher and Grenades) are AoE, and in closed quarters AND panic reactions, they fuck you over too
and let's not forget that there really are a lot of explosives hanging around the place, so you're always too in risk of accidentally a fuel tank with your shotgun, because no matter how powerful your weapons are, a jump scare will still make you panic 90% of the times

*I count the Soul Cube as a tool, since it requires special parameters to be used, such as the demon heart

Best Jimquisition to date.

Anyway, I'm not really into "scary" games myself, but one game that did jump scares right is Bioshock; because it really set the mood even when there wasn't a jump scare on the way. And when there was? Shit got real.

My god, the morgue section literally made me quit the game for a year, because it set you up for a jump scare, then let you relax for a second, and then BOOM! Guy with scythe blades for hands jumps out of the dead guy freezer in your face.

Jim, it's one thing I respect you already but to point out as to why Dead Space, my favorite game does a fantastic job at being scary despite that it's not considered all that scary by the community? Dude you're amazing and you have my thanks for standing up for a game that deserves more credit.

Also must agree with you, games have to plan out the jump scares. Dead Space doesn't just throw necromorphs to jump out at you (despite they do tend to really heavily on jump scares) but rather build up the tension with you knowing that a necromorph can get you even when you're in the supposed safe room shopping. Seriously i've been attacked while shopping that's unfair.

He makes a good point, though I still think Doom 3 was crap.

Scare-Foe for the fucking win

Hyper-space:
So...the show is called JimCrow now?

The Crowquisition?

To be honest I was thinking more like 'Burlap the Hutt'.

But anyway...

I like a good jump scare every now and then, but they never leave me awake at night. Like Jim says, they're the theme park ride version of horror, where you're scared but it's all for fun.

Although now I've written that, it makes me wonder why I'd ever watch a movie/play a game which leaves me awake at night.

Meh.

The stuff about Dead Space was bull.

You know what isn't scary? Vent #37 bursting open with a necromorph. Or Suspiciously Intact Corpse #11 lying on the corridor ahead of you.

And even if it was scary, any sense of threat is undermined by the fact you're carrying a arsenal of guns in your pocket. When a monster jumps out at me in a DS game, I don't think, "Oh crap, I'm under attack!" Rather, I think, "Fuck yeah, time to try out by new upgraded kinietic blaster!"

Also, there was nothing slow or tense about the intro to either game. DS1 had necros popping up with, what? Five minutes? Ten? DS2 had one screaming in your face before you'd even got control of your character.

There are many kinds of fear...

Fear of Danger...
Fear of the Unknown...

...And...

...The most Crushing of all categorized fears...

...The fear of one's own self.

For our greatest fears are tied to what we might do, and we feel we have the capability to do deep down, and we oppose doing more than anything else.

...But there is one further fear...

...Our True fear.

It is the one unique fear that you hold above all others.

It is tied intrinsically with two other unique values you hold above all others of their kind...
...What you value as most important, above anything else.
...What you Wish for; more than anything.

These are not easy things to figure out. And sometimes, it might be better you didn't know.

Its a shame... that I figured out... what my true fear was...And I figured out just how pathetic I am...

In any case, feeling the effects these things have on you isn't hard. It just requires you to ask the question of what it is until something in your heart clicks, and you can't imagine that specific question digging deeper.

"What are you really so afraid of?"

That game with the stairs... Damn scary and I didn't even have to play it...

Zhukov:
Meh.

The stuff about Dead Space was bull.

You know what isn't scary? Vent #37 bursting open with a necromorph. Or Suspiciously Intact Corpse #11 lying on the corridor ahead of you.

And even if it was scary, any sense of threat is undermined by the fact you're carrying a arsenal of guns in your pocket. When a monster jumps out at me in a DS game, I don't think, "Oh crap, I'm under attack!" Rather, I think, "Fuck yeah, time to try out by new upgraded kinietic blaster!"

Also, there was nothing slow or tense about the intro to either game. DS1 had necros popping up with, what? Five minutes? Ten? DS2 had one screaming in your face before you'd even got control of your character.

I believe Dead Space one was pretty scary at moments, however, as you said it, Dead Space 2 was not. In Dead Space 2 I wouldn't feel desperate but more "frustrated" because there were so many necromorphs attacking, simply put, many passages in Call of Duty would make just as tense, because just the same, it would throw a shitload of enemies on top of me. Dead Space 2 was a total letdown for me, I felt like going through the descending quality of Resident Evil all the same.

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