Haunting for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) - Great Video Games
Not a Lot of People Have Played This One, But Trust Me, It's Good
Haunting is a 1993 game for the Sega Genesis, and it was also ported over to the PlayStation Portable. I know people have mixed opinions about Electronic Arts, but they really have produced a lot of great games (and a fair share of stinkers). This is a truly epic and great game, and it's extremely unique.
I'm not abashed to say that I full on love this game. It's amazing. You play as a recently deceased punk teenager named "Polterguy" who died as a result of some faulty skateboarding equipment. The defective skating equipment was manufactured by Vito Sardini. You make it your mission to haunt the Sardini family, and you chase them out of their home with your ghostly antics. You then follow them and continue to scare the crap out of them in each new home that they move to.
Haunting Gameplay - Check Out This Awesome Game!
Pure Unadulterated Fun
Haunting these people is just pure fun. You basically run around the room jumping into objects, and the objects then do something scary to whomever is in the room with you. This ranges from simple stuff like an exploding airplane, to more complex things like a floating chainsaw. Once in a while, you get to control an object as it does something like fly around the room.
Essentially, I believe there is a certain level of memory to this game. If you just jump around into random objects, it doesn't seem to scare them quite as much. It's better to work your way from more innocent poltergeist activity up to the scary stuff - like couches that turn into demonic faces. Scare the family members enough, and they'll run out of the house never to return. I don't think I ever got past the third house or so, but the game is just a laugh riot to play. I love it when the kids pee their pants.
Not 100 Percent Fun, but Definitely 90 Percent Fun
The game isn't all fun, sadly. EA made the decision to limit your hauntings based on your "ectoplasm" level. Every little Haunting that you perform lowers that level a bit more, and when you run out the game sends you to the underworld. In the underworld, things can hurt you a bit which reduces your life level. The point of this area is to collect ecto, and you also have to avoid the constant onslaught of crap trying to beat you up. It's not very fun, and I wish EA had thought more carefully about this part of the game. The underworld ruins the game for me when it starts to become annoying.
The underworld aside, Haunting is just a stellar game. There are four houses to scare the family away from, and reportedly more than 400 different objects to interact with. Admittedly, it's not the longest game, but it's certainly one of the most unique games from the Sega and NES era that I can think of. This is very much worth a play through if you ever get a chance.
An Easy Game? Not Quite
You might think that this is an easy game to beat. It's not. The game actually does have a fair bit of challenge to it. Due to the fact that the game play is so unique, it will take you a while just to get the hang out of it. Overall, I would say that the game would take a solid week or two to master. It has a lot of replay value though, because there are so many different haunting choices. It is to be assumed that the player will discover new and more interesting methods for scaring the family out of the house faster. On the downside, I never discovered any such "shortcut" methods. I wonder still whether EA programmed any synergistic haunting strategies. I'll have to explore the game more, I guess.
So, What Do You Think?
For those that have played this game, do you think it is an underrated classic?
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