So this is my first time doing anything like this, bear with me. Just in case you've never looked at something like this before, spoilers abound below so if you want to play Clock Tower blind (like I am) please jack out now, chummer.
Clock Tower's this SNES proto-survival horror game which I've heard touted as genuinely scary, and apparently gave a TINY bit of inspiration for a horror-themed tabletop campaign I participated in (if you get a chance give that a read, it's something I had a lot of fun being a part of). I've had Clock Tower sitting around for a while and, getting in a strange mood last night for some horror decided I'd give it a go. I'm going into this fairly blind: I know pretty much nothing about this game other than it's supposedly the videogame equivalent of being a girl in a Slasher Movie.
So the story opens, I'm an orphan being adopted by some guy who lives in a creepy house in the middle of yadda yadda. To be honest none of this backstory really seems particularly gripping to me, the characters so far seem pretty two-dimensional, heroine included. I suppose it's a SNES game and probably at least partially limited by technology, but still it seems pretty easy to just start labelling these characters blonde girl, brunette girl, redhead girl... Since the main character, whose name is Jennifer, seems fairly innocent, and is, you know, the MAIN CHARACTER, I'm tempted to label her Final Girl as a foregone conclusion.
One thing I -will- note already that this game does VERY GOOD is mood. Almost immediately I felt like I was in a horror movie, and the game has given me a few good startles already (the 'stuff goes downhill' part of the game is heralded by a rather unexpected scream), and several things that are in fact fairly creepy. I entered one room, turned the lights on, walked over to the TV and turned it on. It gave me static and I turned it off again, but as I got halfway across the room it turned itself on again. I decided that wasn't a good sign and headed straight out of the room, but later when I returned there while backtracking the lights had been turned off, but the TV was still on...
I entered one area and our psycho killer appeared! This was pretty dramatic, as he crashed through a stained glass skylight riding the corpse of Blonde Girl (I think her real name was Ann or something), who he had impaled on a gigantic pair of scissors or hedge-trimmers or something, landing WHAM right in front of me. I ran back the way I came, went into a side room I hadn't entered before, which turned out to be a bathroom. I locked myself inside and the killer (who the Clock Tower page tells me is named Bobby or something but who I cannot think of as anything but Scissors Man) stopped outside the door for a few rather tense moments before moving on. That is, in my opinion, the best-done portion of the game I've encountered so far, it was done extremely well. I'm impressed.
My death count is up to 2 already, the first happening before I even SAW Scissors Man: I opened a parrot cage and the parrot flew out, loudly squawking "I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU!" ...which might have actually been pretty horrifying had THAT been the first time I saw Scissors Man, the bird's loud cries alerting him to my presence... instead the bird, just, you know. Killed me.
I'm actually the LEAST impressed by the times I've actually died so far, the bird thing, which... while realistically a parrot really could rip a girl to shreds if it really wanted to, it came so out of the blue, and as an instant Game Over, it kind of fell flat for me.
The second time was actually -slightly- more frightening for me, since I had in fact done something that probably puts me on the Too Dumb to Live list, made my way into a dead end room full of creepy mannequins wearing ballroom gowns, walked all the way to the end, and inspected one of the mannequins... which Scissors Man immediately leaped out from behind. He grappled with me and... knocked me over, then held his scissors up in victory. This kind of looked silly to me, but the actual reveal was pretty scary.
So far I'm having a good time with it, more updates to come.