Review a Bad Game: Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday

No matter how skilled you are at picking good video games, once you amass enough of them, you invariably end up with some downright rotten ones.  So when preparing for this post, I listed by console the games I have that are no good.  After marking out the ones that are really should be categorized as more mediocre than truly awful, I eventually narrowed it down enough to where one game caught my eye.  This is a game I wrote a post on years ago on my own blog because it is that bad, and it would make a perfect topic for Review a Bad Game Day.

This particular game is “Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday”, an old game for the Super Nintendo, which comes as no surprise to me because, as great as the SNES was, I ended up with a good amount of terrible games on it.  I’ve learned since then, and I make such mistakes less often.  Nevertheless, somehow I ended up with this scummy thing and, for whatever reason, I still have it, when it really should be incinerated, and then have its ashes incinerated, which should then be launched into the sun.

But, the game is not just the usual kind of bad.  It makes me rather angry that there are no save points.  It is rather annoying how much of a pain in the butt it is to play (especially when there are no save points!).  I also get a bit peeved when a level is so impossibly labyrinthine that you really stand no choice but to rely on Youtube videos to guide you through it.  But, what makes this game go above and beyond bad, so utterly abysmal, is that it is really creepy.

Okay, so I know it is called “Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday” and not “Porky Pig’s Not-At-All-Scary Holiday” or “Porky Pig’s Mildly Surprising Holiday”, so it should stand to reason that creepiness will be an expected aspect to this game.  But, it goes beyond that.  It just really creeps me out.  Sometimes things are creepy in games.  The ReDeads in nearly any “Zelda” game terrify me, and once this evil, squishy hand/sea monster freaked me out in “Okami”, but this is not the same.  Some scary stuff is fun.  I actually enjoy the scary parts in games the most.  But, this game just has something about it that chills me to my soul.  And I must admit, playing it alone this one evening was not a good idea.  What a disturbing evening that was….

But, why is it so darn creepy?  I don’t even know if I can explain very well, so at the end of this post, I have included a video.  It’s not so much monsters and bones and dark places.  It’s not the usual scary.  Sure, there is a haunted forest for level one with a ghost boss, and a haunted castle for the final level, but this game just manages to make things that shouldn’t be that creepy positively and downright unsettling.  There’s just something about Porky wandering alone about all these weird places with bizarre enemies, creepy music, his strange halting way of moving, and the sound effects when he falls or gets hurt, along with the occasions where a Daffy Duck with fangs suddenly pops up and belts out a wicked laugh at him.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m a wuss.  But, it has always disturbed me.

Take world two, for example.  It’s this abandoned, old Western town.  Yeah, abandoned town.  A little creepy.  But, when you enter the place, with this bizarre sun, and this depressing music that makes you want to curl up in a corner somewhere and die, facing these weird, little hopping coyotes and stuffed moose heads with the ends of rifles sticking out of their mouths that manage to walk around, it makes for a weird experience, to say the least.  Then, there’s this Atlantis level, that starts simply with Porky riding on a raft, but the music is just so lonesome, and I just hate it.  And then you end up hopelessly lost in this underwater place.  Just as you get lost in this mine, and it’s not so much the mine itself that is creepy as the simple fact that you are so totally lost and clueless as to where you are.  Then, you get lost again in this completely random world, complete with giant eyeballs in the background and flying ostriches that toss balls at you and these stupid doors that you have no idea where they lead.

This game is just one freaky thing after another.  They don’t even have many things that are that scary.  Ooooh, Atlantis, I’m terrified.  So what, leprechauns and shoes that walk about on their own in the woods.  I’ve faced the Flood.  This is nothing.  But, somehow, this game manages to take things that aren’t even scary on their own, and combine it together with creepy, repeating music, and you have a game that is just horrifying.  It’s like when you have somewhere that may be a little creepy, and then you hear children laughing, which is not scary in other circumstances, but combined with this somewhat creepy location, it just elevates it to a level of terror it wouldn’t have had on its own.  That’s what this game does, I think.  This game is a mismatch of random things, including level choices that make no sense in a scary game, and the mere feeling of being alone, in this world filled with out-of-place objects and creatures, just scares me.  I’d have preferred ghosts and zombies, I think.

So, I can’t stand this game, and it is just the worst, most terrible thing in the world.  As the pig says after a great deal of stuttering, “That’s all, folks.”  Because it is all.  I’m done with that game.  I’m never playing it again, and you should avoid it, too.  I have psychological scars that will never heal.  And if you’re doubtful of how freaky this game is, here’s a video from Youtube, featuring the Western level, the creepiest one, in my opinion.  Must be watched with sound so you can get the full effect of the music plus the weird scenery (video from Youtube user: Sonic8000).

The Duck is Frightened of Anything Related to Looney Tunes

2 thoughts on “Review a Bad Game: Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday”

  1.…goodness…that video! Those two-headed bird things! It really is all so awful! But the music…bad, bad, bad. Over and over with terrible repetition – you are a champ for making it through this game!

    On the flipside, I think it’s great that you still have this game, awful as it may be. Life is all about dealing with the good and the bad, right? For instance, I can’t get rid of CDs I don’t like because they remind me that there’s so much great music out there. I imagine it’s the same with games. Seeing this game serves as a constant reminder that things have (mostly) gotten better in games and gaming. (Though I bet it would be quite the sight to see this game launching into the sun.)

    1. Yeah, that repetition really gets to you after a while. It’s enough to drive you mad! That evening I decided to beat this game once and for all was a very disturbing evening indeed. But, such things do indeed make us appreciate our good games. Just like having a cold makes us appreciate when we aren’t sick, as awful as colds are. This game is the sore throat and runny nose that makes you love all the more being healthy.

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