Haunted: Halloween '86.. As a retro gamer and horror fan, this game excels on so many levels for me. While current gen consoles have 'retro-style' games to download, or pixel-art style games to stimulate those nostalgic emotions, this is the real deal. No fancy processors or engines to do things that shouldn't be done, just a fantastic group of programmers - pushing the limitations of the hardware in exciting and creative ways.
First of all, opening a 'new' NES game in 2017 is something to appreciate in itself. The high quality box, and especially the instruction manual, are key components to recapture that feeling we all had in the 1980s. Even the dust sleeve is customized! Once the cartridge is in and the NES is powered on, Haunted Halloween '86 takes you away to a fantastic world that is both familiar and refreshing.
The gameplay is unique onto itself, the closest comparison being Famicom's 'SplatterHouse Wanpuku Graffiti' -and that's a huge compliment. There's quality enemy variety and intelligent placement, atmospheric music and some truly cool boss sprites. That steel mill boss is something that would fit right into an 80's Capcom game!
This is just such a professional product. The level design's use of negative/ black space, the insane amount of parallax scrolling(!), difficulty balance and even the tag team swapping all come together here.
I have to 100% recommend this game. It deserves a place in your cartridge library alongside all of the classics. What better way to spend a night than marathon playing this NES horror-platformer?
**Protip: There might be a TV in the 'Outskirts of Town' level - I wonder what would happen if you took a swing at it?**