Sweet Home Review: Fresco? Like the drink?

 

As a kid, going to Blockbuster with my older brother was the highlight of the month; since we weren’t rich enough to keep buying new games, we had to recycle our games or rent them. Like most normal people, my mother got paid every two weeks; so every two to three weeks, as a family, we went to our local Blockbuster. My brother and I ended up gravitating towards games that looked interesting based on the cover, description, or if it was multiplayer.

Buying or renting games meant getting ones that were either age appropriate for me, the speculation if it would be good, or ones where my brother and I could co-op. To give a little back story/context my mother was a tad bit over protective when she was raising us. Hell, I wasn’t even allowed to play with toy guns, be it Nerf or water, as my mother’s thinking was it would turn me into a killer. So when the few times I could actually go to an arcade without my mom, I would play games such as Time Crisis and Virtua Cop, but especially House of the Dead. This might explain why I’ve never really had the accessibility to have a sweet love affair with any Horror games besides my occasional House of the Dead. So for 1989’s Sweet Home, this is wish fulfillment on multiple levels.

What is this, Splatterhouse???

Released for Nintendo’s Famicom in 1989, Sweet Home was developed and produced by Capcom (we are all familiar with the love affair these two companies had in the 80’s and 90’s, right?). Often Sweet Home is sighted as being the father of survival horror games; as well as being the main influence for the initial Resident Evil. Sweet Home is based on and was released in tandem with the horror film of the same name  as this old commercial showcasing not only the game play but as well as scenes from the film points out. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, director for the Sweet Home film, also oversaw the game’s development.

Sweet Home sees a small team set out to discover the mystery of the famous painter Ichirō Mamiya, who vanished without a trace, leaving five hidden Fresco paintings behind in his enormous mansion. The team consists of five unique members who enter the mansion and are immediately trapped by a ghost. The ghost tells them that the mansion is slowly but steadily falling apart, thus Sweet Home becomes a race against time as they not only have to document their findings, but more importantly, survive.

SWEET! TOOTHPASTE FIRECRACKERS!!?!

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What Happened When I Stopped Playing Dead Rising, And Never Got Back To It

To start with an overly broad statement, “How often have you put a game down for a large amount of time because of X reason?”. I personally am talking on whenever say, I buy a cheap copy of an Advance Wars game because I wanted to take another stab at a strategy-game, even though I know I am terrible at the genre. Or the time I bought a port of fighting games like the PSP version of Street Fighter Alpha Three or the Wii version of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (which I equate now as a twenty dollar soundtrack + a game), to then learn I am not hardcore enough a fighting game player to warrant such purchases. Or even the time I kept forgetting to get the No More Heroes’ save data from my friend’s Wii because I played the game with them at their house, and was later hesitant to restart. Yet the perfect example I can recall is none-other than that bastion of George Romero-no relation, 2006’s Dead Rising from Capcom.

Detroit Lions linebacker, I mean photojournalist Frank West is following a news scoop that has him traveling by helicopter over the Colorado town of Williamette. At first believing his attempt at Gonzo journalism will have him simply facing a town riot, he learns that the city violence is caused by not by civil uprising, but zombies. Getting off at the top of Williamette’s large shopping mall, Frank is set to get him that scoop, making him famous in the field of “make sure you get the shot, even when the subject is about to kill you”. Mysteries are afoot though when trained Department of Homeland Security agents Brad Garrison and Jessie McCarthy try and hide from Frank that there is more going on in the Wiliamette mall then zombies and marauding psychopaths. From there, Frank has to make his way from scoop to scoop, solving his own mystery in an open-world game with shops to explore and misc. objects to defend himself.

I ended up relying on this map as much as the average metroidvania.

I ended up relying on this map as much as the average metroidvania.

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