Last week, while editing a story for Nadia on Luigi's Mansion 3, I encountered one of my greatest fears: big spiders. Yes, spiders approximately the size and shape of Luigi and Gooigi are foes in Luigi's Mansion 3, and it's enough to deter me from picking up the family-friendly horror next week.
...I'm kidding of course, but it does give me pause.
However, it reminded me of a lingering thought I've had for some time: Can we stop putting big spiders in games? I'm sick of 'em, because no matter what, they petrify me. When I played Jak and Daxter when I was younger, I did a 180 away from an area because as soon as I was I walked into it, I saw giant creepy crawlies dangling from a thin web. In The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, I winced when the first real enemy I encountered in my hectic escape from a dragon was—you guessed it—big ass spiders. Colossal spiders aren't just an "easy" scare for me, they're also overused. They're trite at this point. And they heighten my anxiety.
I've never considered myself as arachnophobic, but considering how tense I feel when a spider is in sight, I might as well be. Still there's no denying that in the grand scheme of bugs, spiders are the good guys, even if they look evil with their spindly legs. After all, they eat bad insects and they are beneficial to crops particularly because of that. That's all in addition to their most noble cause: keeping the population of pests like roaches in check. Sure, they might decide that old shoe you wear once a year is a hospitable home, but other than that, most spiders are harmless and stay out of your way if you don't antagonize them.
In video games, they act against this very nature. Spiders are very often the bad guys, like an angry hornet buzzing around your food at a BBQ waiting for the perfect opportunity to bite you. In Luigi's Mansion 3, they march in Luigi's path. In Limbo, a giant spider with legs about as tall as a Louise Bourgeois sculpture has the ability to stab you. The spiders in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are a hair too creepy for a game that's, again like Luigi's Mansion 3, supposedly family-friendly. Sure, occasionally they're an attractive lady like Shelob's non-spider form in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, but mostly spideys have nothing but malice on the brain.
The scariest spider in games, for me, remains the T-virus infected one in Resident Evil. The first time I saw it shocked me so bad: you see spiderwebs in a hallway, walk through a door with the typical opening animation, and suddenly a giant tarantula crawls down a wall. It is not cool! It might just be the scariest fuzzy arachnid I've ever seen. I hate it, and the GameCube remake only made it more realistic looking.
Giant spiders remain the worst in video games. They are always out to get you, unlike real-life spiders. Oftentimes, they are expectedly scarier than their real-world counterparts too. All I'm saying is: Can we get a game with nice spiders? Maybe even cute ones, for once? Maybe ones that are both cute and that actually do good for the world, like they mostly do in real life? Maybe this game already exists on itch.io or something? Those are the only spiders I'll allow in games in the future. As for the rest, scram please. It's time for a new absurdly large bug to take over.
Major Game Releases: October 21 to October 25
Here are the major releases for the week of October 21 to October 25. Want to see the complete list? Check out our full list of video game release dates for 2019.
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 [October 22, PS4]: The civil war may be over, but the conflict still rages on in Falcom's multi-part RPG series. If you've been following the series to this point, you probably have your preorder cued up and ready to go . Everyone else may want to check out our review to see whether it's worth jumping straight into Part 3 (my opinion: no).
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [October 25, PS4, Xbox One, PC]: After years of recapturing lightning in a bottle again, Infinity Ward is going back to the name that once made it the king of shooters. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is staking its appeal on what Activision is calling a gritty depiction of war, but for most it will be all about the multiplayer. The name alone will get millions of people in the door, of course. The only question is whether it will manage to stick.
- MediEvil [October 25, PlayStation 4]: The biggest PlayStation 4 exclusive of the fall! Okay… maybe not. Actually, our Brighton team informs us that MediEvil was very popular in England at one time. Otherwise this curious remake is apt to pass relatively unnoticed. I guess we'll see.
- The Outer Worlds [October 25, PS4, Xbox One, PC]: Obsidian's hotly anticipated first-person RPG arrives this week. It won't have the scope of a Skyrim or a Fallout, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Sharply designed quests and a sparkling wit are enough to carry any RPG, and The Outer Worlds figures to have plenty of both.
This Week's News and Notes
- First thing's first! We're running a 24-hour Extra Life marathon next month! Stay tuned for a guest list and a full schedule!
- The release schedule is a little lighter than usual, but only because this week has Call of Duty and The Outer Worlds. The rollercoaster has reached the top of the drop, and this holiday season will shortly be hitting full speed. Personally, I'm most excited for Jedi: Fallen Order, which should be on everyone's radars following last week's successful showing.
- Our Monster of the Week series continues with the Water Lurker from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We have no idea what the heck this thing looks like, and that's exactly what makes it so freaky. Read Caty's fully write-up, complete with comments from the developers, right here.
- Crusader Kings 3 is officially happening, much to the delight of everyone who is into regicide and kinslaying.
- Blizzard's very bad October continued last week as it was hammered over its handling of a Hearthstone pro player speaking out in support of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. In the meantime, a competitive Magic: The Gathering player added their voice in support of Hong Kong on an official stream and suffered no consequences.
- A Random Side Note From Caty: I finished Disco Elysium over the weekend, which is much shorter than its touted 60-hour length. (I finished in 25 hours, and my task list was nearly empty.) I urge you all to read Mike's review, play it yourselves, and look forward to more coverage on it later this week from yours truly. It's truly one of the best RPGs I've played in years; I mean, look, I criticized a book and got the ability to become an Art Cop.
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions is on its way to Switch, and it's bringing the dumbest controversy in gaming, the progenitor of the "Vagina Bones" meme, along with it.
- Filed under "Sometimes the Internet" is good: This absolutely incredible Gastly Pumpkin.
- Axe of the Blood God: With the RPG deluge continuing, Kat and Nadia are joined by Caty and Mike to pick through the biggest releases, including Trails of Cold Steel 3, Disco Elysium, and Little Town Hero. Plus, we talk The Witcher 3 on Switch, whether it's been a good generation for games, and more! Subscription info here!